Reaction to ASH news release 16 May 2016

 

ASH’s lack of concern for 200,000 vapers is staggering

In response to: http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/:new-eu-rules-on-nicotine-strength-not-a-problem-for-most-vapers

ASH’s lack of concern for the 200,000 vapers who use eliquid that will be banned is staggering. Higher strengths are used mainly by new vapers and dual-fuellers: in other words, by smokers who may be trying to give up. Not to mention future smokers that might try ecigs as an alternative. The very people ASH should be most concerned about. Higher strengths are needed to get over the initial hurdle of switching. It’s the throat hit that matters at that point – nothing to do with nicotine dependence.  ASH’s suggestion to supplement nicotine with patches completely misses the point.

Of course, ASH have form on underplaying the appalling nature of the TPD, a law that will kill people (some say up to 105 000 a year 1). Their recent “fact”sheet 2 on the impact of the TPD ignores the costs to vaping businesses (mostly small, independent, family and friend affairs) of the onerous testing regime. Costs which have been estimated to be ~£3000 per product, way above the £150 notification fee which is all ASH sees fit to mention.

We have to wonder why they are getting this so disastrously wrong when it is clear that including ecigs in the TPD will cause harm.

Lord Callanan says: “this was argued for by the pharmaceutical industry, which would have an awful lot to lose if e-cigarettes supplanted or replaced nicotine patches and gum” 3. He should know, he was there when it was being drafted.

Why are ASH suggesting it will be fine?

This is what some real people who will be affected by the TPD have to say:

Jill Baldwin (Gloucestershire): “As an ex 60 a day cigarette smoker, 24mg/ml was my life saver. A limit of 20mg/ml will stop some people from quitting cigarettes”.

Mark Magenis (Chelmsford): “In the cheaper devices many smokers still struggle at 24mg, this law demands those that do to make a bigger investment, to get high power devices, which is a leap of faith the most addicted smokers are reluctant to make”.

Liam Bryan (Bristol): “The limits on the concentration of nicotine allowed are more to do with nobbling vaping than protecting users – I’ll be ordering from abroad and hoping the package isn’t stopped. I make my eliquid myself, a safe and cost-effective practice. The TPD stops me doing that, it turns me into a criminal”.

Rhydian Mann (Swansea): “If I didn’t have access to 2.4% and 3.6% nicotine liquid I wouldn’t have been able to do so. I still use those concentrations during times of stress. Under TPD,the easiest option to get my nicotine fix will be a cigarette and I will certainly take that avenue if needs be”.

Lisa Kirkham (Hartlepool): “Outrageous and one of the incentives to switch was the cost and the strength. I did not feel deprived as it was a perfect replacement for tobacco. I don’t believe them for one second when they say it’s for safety. Corrupt liars and it’s all about money!”

Gareth Witty (Windsor): “The TPD is not a protecting rule but rather an underhand deal to try and give Vaping to the tobacco and pharma industry due to illegal deals and should not be recognised by any country”.

Lee Woolls (Cardiff): “The 2% maximum nicotine level is an attempt to make these products ineffective. The pharmaceutical lobbyists certainly earned their money that day. Shame on EU!”

Scott Gregory: “The only explanation for the results of the survey is that ASH are either asking the wrong questions, or the wrong people. It is not about those that currently vape, it is about those smokers that have yet to switch and how they manage to successfully transition”.

Kevin Crowley (USA): “Restriction on levels of nicotine is like limiting water to a fish. Current / future vapers should not be limited on nicotine levels, as it is the most important part of reducing tobacco with vaping products”.

Jamie Hollywood (North Lanarkshire): “The 20mg limit will be 1 of the barriers that stops people being able to make the switch from tobacco smoking successfully.  A lot of people won’t get a strong enough nicotine hit, thereby going back to smoking”.

Robert Jenkins (Cardiff): “I started vaping with 24mg Nicotine because it was a close match to tobacco. I truly believe if I had been limited to a lower nicotine dose I would still be smoking. Household bleach is not limited to 10ml bottles so why should E Liquid be?  It  makes no sense”.

Darren Stone: “10ml bottle will increase production costs (especially with them now having to be sealed nozzles, plus labeling is not really big enough to get all the warnings on. Plastic bottles now won’t be recyclable as can’t be washed out and will still have a small bit of nic in them (environment issue). I started on 24mg under the tpd the 20mg limit might not have been enough to get me off tobacco. 2ml tank size is just a ball ache which leads to ever more refilling for a lot of people. The fact you can’t advertise a product which gets people off tobacco whist not costing the tax payer anything still amazes me”.

Ben Parr (Leeds): “From first hand experience of managing a vape store for a few years, I still have customers who rely on 30mg and above as they don’t won’t a box mod and are still happy with there pen style, plus the 20mg max strength is going to make it hard for 30 a day plus smokers to switch, and believe me there are quite a few”.

Christina May (W Australia): “If these new regulations were in place,I would NEVER have been able to quit smoking after 47 years and to be frank I would still be incontinent. 2 yrs and 2 months of vaping and I am a new woman. And yes you may publish my name. I can sleep in peace at night now without coughing my guts up”.

Paul Barnes (Essex):

20mg/ml limit
For some vapers, the imposed limits will be more of an inconvenience than a problem. However, we mustn’t forget that the vast proportion of vapers don’t frequent vape stores, forums and social media and are most likely on “older” hardware that necessitates the use of higher strength liquids. These are the ones that will be most affected. The limit will also have a negative impact on those dual using or looking to switch, as lower strengths may not provide the satisfaction those users need.
2ml Tank Size
For many vapers this does pose a problem – lower nicotine strengths and more efficient devices do need a larger tank size to be convenient. Regular refills can be troublesome and in most cases carrying additional liquid for this purpose is simply not convenient. This won’t necessarily affect me directly in the immediate future, but will in the long term as the tanks I use regularly end up being phased out of the market.
Cost Increase
For the everyday vaper this will have a large impact as one of the primary reasons vaping is so popular is the fact that it is relative inexpensive compared to tobacco. Narrowing this benefit will likely have one of two effects – users will end up weening themselves off vaping altogether as costs increase, or they could end up (especially the newer users) relapsing back to their old habit. These products need to be cost efficient for the user to be attractive as an alternative to smoking”.

Debbie Traynor (Grantham, Lincs):
“Whilst technology has advanced and many devices are more efficient at delivering vapour/nicotine they are still many users who rely on strengths higher the 2% to divert their attention from combustible tobacco. When lower nicotine strengths tend to go hand in had with more powerful devices – it stands to reason, therefore, that larger bottles and greater strengths of nicotine need to be available to accommodate the varying needs of individuals depending on whatever is required to keep them off traditional cigarettes. Users of high powered devices may be satisfied with lower nicotine strengths but there has to be consideration for the remaining millions of smokers who need to be encouraged to make the switch. We cannot have a closed door policy, where only those who have already made the switch are the only users to be taken into consideration.
Tank size- huge mention has been made (and vastly exaggerated) over the potential hazards of some filling mechanisms; if this is the case why are users being encouraged to refill more often. If larger tanks remain available surely this would be considered ‘damage limitation’.
The limit of container size for E liquid is ridiculous, it is unwarranted as it offers no risk reduction and would only serve to increase cost of transportation and manufacture, increased waste and cost to the end user.
All of the restrictions combined will limit availability of this technology and encourage smokers back to tobacco which is easily available. I, personally haven’t had a cigarette in nearly four years, vaping has been the only long term solution for my being smoke free. Before discovering this technology I had tried every conceivable method of smoking cessation with very little success. I was so amazed at the ease of switching to vaping I wanted to encourage others, which is what lead to my opening a shop”.

Colin Hawkins (Stoke on Trent):

“Smoked up to 40 a day for around 30 years, tried every type of quitting mechanism, hypnosis, gum, patches and nothing worked for more than a couple of weeks, started vaping 4 years ago and have not touched a cigarettte since, massive health improvements as well.”

 

1 – http://londoneconomics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/High_nicotine_e-cigs_ban-Feb14.pdf

2 – http://ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_1011.pdf

3 – https://hansard.digiminster.com/Lords/2016-05-10/debates/16051044000179/TobaccoAndRelatedProductsRegulations2016

 

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