Letter to Owen Paterson, MP

Here is a letter from one of the Vapers in Power members to their MP, Owen Paterson.

Dear Owen Paterson,

I am writing to you to express my concerns and fears concerning the TPD Article 20. As I’m sure you already know the British government will have to implement this directive in May next year.

Let me start by telling you something about myself. I am 50 now, I started smoking at the age of 8, only occasionally obviously, my babysitter smoked and would give me a cigarette or two on a Saturday night when she babysat or I could buy or beg a cigarette from older kids. I went all through secondary school smoking, I had a paper round so could afford to buy 10 a day! I carried on smoking as I got older even though I knew it was bad for my health and there was a good chance it would kill me. But I did enjoy smoking! As I reached my 40’s I started to think that, maybe, I should try and quit. So I tried, just will power first time, then gum, then patches, then gum again, etc, round and round I went with no success. So I went to see my GP and was prescribed Champix, the side effects were quite scary but I was getting more determined, still I failed! A few months later I went to see the Stop Smoking nurse, again I was prescribed Champix and told this was my last chance. Again I failed. I remember thinking to myself “that’s it, I’m a smoker and that’s that, I’ve given up giving up”.
A couple of years later I was in Wigan visiting family and there was a kiosk selling e-cigarettes so I went to have a look. They were the type that look like a real cigarette, I ended up buying a starter kit. A few days later I decided I’d better give it a go then as I’d paid £25, that was the 14th January 2013, I haven’t smoked since, not even one puff.
The ‘cigalike’ made realise there was something out there that could get me off tobacco cigarettes, it wasn’t perfect and after a couple of weeks I was starting to waver so I did some research online and discovered there was a lot more out there, an industry that was in it’s infancy, but it was growing and improving almost every day.

Move on nearly three years later and all I see is smokers who will not have the opportunities I had, the industry will be stunted, the people who have drove this safer alternative to smoking on, ex-smokers themselves that swapped to vaping for a better, healthier lifestyle will be pushed out. Online vendors, small independent shops, small independent e-liquid producers will not be able to afford to survive.

Public Health England have said e-cigarettes are 95% healthier than smoking, I know from first hand experience that this is true. My GP put ex-smoker on my records after being smoke free for 9 months.

Smokers should be encouraged to try an e-cigarette, but with this EU directive coming into effect next year that opportunity will be taken away.

There are 2.6 million vapers in the UK right now, there is a EU referendum in the near future, vapers are not happy, vapers are voters… and motivated!

As my MP I would like to ask you about you views concerning Europe and concerning vaping? Our government does seem to be sympathetic to vapers but if the EU can just dictate to us in the UK what is the point in having a UK government? We may as well just have a federal European government.

I believe smoking could really be a thing of the past in the next 10 years if vaping is allowed to grow and is regulated correctly.

I believe vaping is a health revolution!

If you would like to learn more about vaping I would be more than happy to show you what I have learnt, which isn’t everything!!

Thank you for your time!

Yours sincerely,

Ricky Foulkes

The more MP’s, AM’s and MSP’s that receive letters like this, the better!!

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