#LordsVapeVote Writing Campaign

******UPDATE****** instructions now on YouTube too:   #LordsVapeVote on YouTube

Urgent Call to Action:

Please write to members of the House of Lords to ask them to support Lord Callanan’s fatal motion.  There is a chance that the TPD in the UK could get overturned if enough emails and letters are sent over the next few days.

1.  Choose a peer who hasn’t been written to from this spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has been updated to move the high priority targets to the top of the list. They are highlighted in red.

2.  Click on their name in http://www.theyworkforyou.com/peers/ then click on the ‘send a message’ button. That brings up an auto filled form for you to use.

3. Tell them your story.

Consider including:

  • how many cigarettes you smoked and for how long
  • if you tried other methods to give up.
  • if you stopped smoking despite not trying.
  • if you have reduced your smoking by vaping.
  • how switching or reducing smoking has affected your health.
  • especially tell them if you do, or you used to use nicotine strengths above 20mg/ml.
  • Tell them how the provisions of the TPD will affect you.

4.  Ask them to support Lord Callanan’s motion.

5.  Fill out your details,  hit ‘preview and send’.

6. Edit the spreadsheet to say you have emailed your peer (it auto-saves, don’t worry).

7.  Repeat the above for up to 5 more peers (if more than 5 you’ll get a message saying the letters will be deleted).

8.  Ask friends and family to do the same- they could write about how your vaping has benefited them

Some tips:

Keep it personal. Peers have had very little engagement with vapers so far and the idea is that they should be reminded that the health and well being of real people is at stake.

Always be respectful. Your story is powerful enough without swearing!

Choose a peer at random if you don’t have a particular one to write to.  Don’t just pick the first few from the list as then some peers wouldn’t get any letters.

Don’t get bogged down with technical arguments about EU politics, corruption and lobbying, the referendum or vaping devices – it will distract from your story.

“it is the hundreds or thousands of individual stories which have made politicians and regulators listen”

 

Background:

Throughout the TPD ‘war’ and its numerous battles one message has come through loud and clear from those we have sought to influence, and that is that it is the hundreds or thousands of individual stories which have made politicians and regulators listen, and in many cases change their minds.

Yesterday Lord Callanan tabled a motion in the House of Lords which would, if successful, block the statutory instrument which transposes the TPD into UK law.

Although that sounds simple enough the politics surrounding this are quite nuanced and complicated.

Dick Puddlecote’s post The Real Deal:  A Fatal Attraction  is well worth reading for the background on this.

Lord Callanan’s motion is available to read here

The text in full:

Lord Callanan to move that a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, laid before the House on 22 April, be annulled on the grounds that its restrictions on product choice and advertising of vaping devices were devised before evidence had accumulated that vaping was enabling many people to quit smoking, run counter to advice from the Royal College of Physicians to promote vaping and are so severe that they could force vapers back to smoking and create a black market with harmful products (SI 2015/507).

Hopefully you have already signed the petition, please also ask others to sign it:  https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-support-parliamentary-moves-to-block-crazy-e-cigarette-regulations

 

No one is better at this than us. We did it in 2013, now let’s do it again.

 

 Adapted from a post by Sarah Jakes
Update: Step-by-step video here: https://youtu.be/4oOCurjboZk

20 thoughts on “#LordsVapeVote Writing Campaign

  1. I wrote this:
    Dear Sir

    I am writing to you because the House of Lords will shortly vote on something that is very dear to me, my health. In fact I would not be exaggerating to say, my life.

    You see, I used to smoke. I used rolling tobacco so it’s hard to say how much, I’d use a pouch every 1-2 days, I guess that’s ~20 cigarettes. And I did this for 23 years.

    About 3 years ago, I started to hear about electronic cigarettes, I like gadgets and new things so I thought I’d try one – I wasn’t trying to give up smoking, I just thought I’d give them a go.

    It was amazing, straight away I preferred it. It took me about a month to get one with enough battery power to last but instantly, if I had the choice, it was that which I’d reach for.

    These things are an incredible invention, the science is in – they are much, much safer (https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0), they are not, for new users, addictive, and, they satisfy whatever it was in me that made me smoke.

    They have created an incredible fuss in the Public Health community though, I think many were just scared of the unknown – one of the consequences is the drafting, and now enacting of the rules which pretty much destroy the ecig market. They have made the rules so burdensome that even now, after the law has nominally come into force in the UK. there is no way to notify products so they can be sold.

    This letter to No. 10 gives a flavour of the mess which has been made: http://nnalliance.org/images/resources/NNAPMMay2016.pdf

    It is a public health disaster, lives will be lost if it is allowed to continue, and the Lords has a chance to stop it.

    Lord Callanan has tabled this motion: “to move that a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, laid before the House on 22 April, be annulled on the grounds that its restrictions on product choice and advertising of vaping devices were devised before evidence had accumulated that vaping was enabling many people to quit smoking, run counter to advice from the Royal College of Physicians to promote vaping and are so severe that they could force vapers back to smoking and create a black market with harmful products (SI 2015/507).”

    I will not comply with the law if it goes forward, I cannot. I really do not want to smoke again – I will turn to the black market, I don’t see how that is making me safer? I don’t see how that is helping me.

    Please support Lord Callanan, this law is going to cause harm, it must be stopped!

    If you would like any further information, anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The write to them site only seems to let you send 6 copies of the same message to 6 peers. You can get a few more messages out by changing your e-mail address but then it picks up if you’re sending the same message. I’m not sure what it’s checking but even after a hefty edit I’m now unable to mail any more peers.

    Like

  3. fwiw I wrote this + slightly amended it after sending off to 4 Lords,but note the message from Chris (above)

    ‘Just as a prelude to this message that I do hope you will consider reading, this is of great importance to myself and millions of others.

    I am writing to you as there is to be a fatal motion proposed by Lord Callanan, debated in the House of Lords in the very near future regarding the Tobacco Products Directive.
    My interest in this is not from a manufacturing or sales point of view, as I have no connection with either the tobacco or e-cigarette industries. I am simply a very concerned consumer who wishes to give my story, and to give you a few links to some of the recent published Scientific and Medical knowledge as opposed to that contained in the scaremongering press.

    My smoking journey started nearly 50 years ago at the age 15,I started smoking and gradually progressed to upwards of 40 cigarettes per day for 45 years, as indeed many of my generation did.Probably for the last 20 years of my smoking history I made a series of failed attempts to quit, as my health was undoubtedly worsening. Virtually every quit method was tried, including Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy,Allen Carr book,NRT in the form of patches,gum,sprays, Pharmacotherapy in the form of Champix(Varenicline). As all of these methods had repeatedly failed for me,I had genuinely resigned myself to ‘Quitting giving up on quitting’ due to continued failure and costs. This fear of failure I feel sure is far from unique and contributes to further annoyance and possible depression.

    Just over 3 years ago I was reading about one guys story,in an electric bicycling forum(pedelec) about his conversion from smoking to using an e-cig., it was convincing and inspirational enough to make me want to investigate this far further. I spent at least 2 weeks on dedicated e-cig forums reading,asking questions, prior to me making a purchase of a starter kit that bore no resemblance in any way to a traditional tobacco cigarette This model was a metal cylinder(battery) with a smallish refillable tank sitting atop and most certainly no glowing light. Within 2 days, the last of my remaining cigarettes were gone, and can truthfully state I have never returned to using them in the 40 months since.

    Huge benefits were immediately noticed in breathing,smokers cough (which was keeping me awake at night ) disappeared,sense of taste and smell returned, improved stamina/energy..many others that I now forget,a massive cost saving also experienced of upwards of £500/month. To my dismay,after discovering the only method that had worked for me was immediately under threat (December 2012- January 2013) with the EU Commission announcing the TPD2 proposals. To that point,I was mildly interested in politics whether local,national,international, also research into Harm Reduction or Public Health in general ,now though however I spend a substantial part of my days engaged in reading and writing about this.

    I will spare you the finer details of arguing why the Tobacco Products Directive Article 20(relating to e-cigarettes) is so divisive,but I shall leave links at the end that you may consider reading.

    How the provisions will impact me and other consumers

    1) Max nicotine content allowed = 20mg/ml, the current limit is 75 mg/ml, I use 24mg/ml (and most new switchers need this as a minimum to be successful.

    2) Max refill size allowed = 10ml, this will have the unintended consequence of far more waste (currently I use either 50-120ml refills) more costly and general inconvenience for little purpose

    3)Max tank size =2ml , currently I use 4-6ml to avoid having to refill too frequently (2+3 compound this problem)

    All of the above were based on the flawed perception of the lethal dose of nicotine, additionally UK suppliers had already voluntarily introduced child-proof/child-resistant caps. Calls to various Trading Standards or call centres may appear high(according to the press) but sometimes they were calls for information and more crucially, dwarfed by complaints or incidents involving other household products like bleach,laundry pods or painkillers. As an example

    Consumers like myself recognise the need for Regulation,but this should be proportionate to the associated harms and risks(estimated by PHE and RCP to be < 5% that of tobacco cigarettes).

    So to conclude I humbly ask you to support the motion advanced by Lord Callanan who has been very closely involved with the Directive since its inception at the end of 2012 and I believe the Scientific and Medical evidence as advanced by Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians strongly supports light touch regulation which the Tobacco Products Directive most assuredly is not. I shall not speculate on the ramifications of this action if this motion is passed, but humbly ask you to consider the desires of the not insubstantial 2.8 million users, and more importantly the 8 million smokers yet to transition, who need obstacles removing or minimising as opposed to what is contained in the Directive.

    References (the latter 2 are ‘lighter’ reading but equally as persuasive)

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/457102/Ecigarettes_an_evidence_update_A_report_commissioned_by_Public_Health_England_FINAL.pdf
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-an-emerging-public-health-consensus
    https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/promote-e-cigarettes-widely-substitute-smoking-says-new-rcp-report
    http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/e-cigs-inconvenient-truth-its-much-safer-to-vape-20151221
    http://nnalliance.org/blog/39-the-pleasure-principle&#039;

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is message to Lord German

    Dear Lord German,

    I am writing to you regarding the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), especially the UKs implementation of it and how it can affect me.

    I have been over 3 years smoke free thanks to electronic cigarettes (herein after called vaping devices) and the UKs implementation of the TPD I would not be able to be smoke free.

    I used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day and on the weekends that could go up to 50 cigarettes. I tried multiple times to stop smoking because I knew it was damaging my health. I tried patches, gums and even going cold turkey but I always managed to end back smoking. So over 3 years ago I came across a colleague at work using a vaping device and curiosity led me to have a go. Within in 24hrs I binned my last cigarette packet and began vaping. I have never looked back.

    I started vaping on a 36mg/ml nicotine eliquid. Unfortunately under the TPD, if I chose to begin vaping now, I would not be able to get that nicotine strength because the TPD limits nicotine content to 20mg/ml.The 36mg/ml nicotine is what helped step over the edge in being smoke free. Over three years I have reduced my nicotine content to 6mg/ml, this is down to the better vaping devices I have now compared to when I started vaping.

    3 years ago, I didn’t know about better vaping devices but due to finding vendors on the internet my journey carried on. Under the TPD, lists of vaping vendors on the internet will be prohibited. Without having access to information like this, I wouldn’t have been able to get a vaping device that suits me and keep me smoke free.

    I am just one of about 2.8million vapers in the UK, which will be affected by the TPD in the UK but it’s not about me. I have succeeded in my journey to become smoke free but there are all those who are still yet to find vaping as their avenue out of smoking. The TPD in the UK will block their way out of smoking on many levels.

    The advertising and promotion restrictions, that the Royal College of Physicians have slated recently, will also no longer help smokers who wish to make the switch to vaping. This in turn affects local businesses, without promoting products etc they will not be able to stay open. This is coupled with financially burdensome testing regimes that will inevitably reduce product ranges available. Hence, the variety of products which allow a smoker to become smoke free on their own terms will not be there.

    So to keep the vaping avenue open to many of the smokers in the UK and in Wales, I ask you to support Lord Callanan’s fatal motion to remove the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 from the law. In Wales, your party, the Liberal Democrats have continuously fought for vapers in terms of the Public Health Bill, it would make sense to me if you follow the stance of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Vapers today and vapers of the future will owe you gratitude if you support this fatal motion because it will aid proper regulation which will suit everyone.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am writing to you to plead that you support Lord Callanan’s motion, which, if successful, will block the statutory instrument which transposes the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) into UK law.

    I am writing to you as the Earl of Caithness as I am a former resident of Sutherland and teacher of 30 years in Golspie High School – I moved to the Western Isles a few months ago.

    More to the point, I am writing to you as a former smoker of over 50 years.

    For over 50 years I struggled with the smoking habit: Over 50 years of trying to escape from it; I tried ‘cold turkey’ more times than I care to remember; I tried gums and lozenges and patches, and I even paid for hypnotherapy in an attempt to quit smoking – nothing worked… until, on a long car journey I saw in a Tesco Garage an e-cigarette which I bought and used – I have not smoked a cigarette since, and that was well over three years ago.

    That first week or two was not easy and I have to say that I might have relapsed, however, via social media I found that there were ‘better’ devices where higher concentrations of nicotine could be used. I moved on to the advanced technology and the cravings disappeared immediately.

    Now the threat has returned with the section within the TPD which places draconian regulations on e-cigarettes.

    I have no objection to appropriate regulation. For example battery safety requires oversight. The e liquids with particular emphasis on the flavourings used need to be controlled… But as Lord Callanan and Lord Ridley and others pointed out, to put it bluntly, the TPD does nothing whatsoever to make e-cigarettes safer to use and, indeed will inhibit people from using them. Added to this the industry will be decimated.

    You are busy and so will cut this short.

    Smoking has left me with COPD and I am under investigation for another serious complaint also caused by smoking. I have no desire to return to using cigarettes but I fear the restriction on nicotine strength wll see this happen. I am not the only one facing this threat.

    The Royal College of Physicians has clearly set out the case for e-cigarette use and I will include here a link to a summary of key recommendations with a further link to the full report included.
    https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0

    Please support Lord Callanans moton and please ask others to do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well lord Faulkner is a definite no “… I am sure that if you are serious about breaking your addiction to nicotine there are other products which would help you better than “vaping”, without incurring the displeasure of people such as myself who regard it as socially unacceptable….”

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  7. I should point out that the gorverment has before had issues with pertitions unless they are done through petition.parliament.uk starting this on change.org instead may not be a wise choice… still ive signed and passed it around, lord help us that this modern miracle that can save so many lives is not ruined by evil people that would see the vaping industry ruined and people forced back to smoking. If leaving the EU means no more TPD i would sign upto that too.

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  8. 4 Lords contacted (Bird, Colwyn,Crisp,Greaves). All I had time for. Story told, feelings communicated. Fingers crossed fellow vapers.

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  9. I sent 5 on Tuesday and just sent another 5 today. It won’t let you send more than 5 within a couple of days but will let you after. So everyone can keep sending more Letters if they wait a few days which is good to know.

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  10. I don’t see how this new law is going to help smokers it will just make it a longer proses for them to give up as it will be harder to find the right vapour for some people aswell

    Like

  11. A life saving device for me definatly
    I’ve allays smoked hand rolling tobacco 50 grams in 4 days . So yes I was a heavy smoker . I found out about electronic ciggerets from a friend . I started to get some very vet bad chest infections . So one day when and bought a electronic ciggeret took ne a bit of time to find one I could have with me all day . The higher strength nicotine was essential for me to kick the ciggerets compleaty . Now I can walks at a brisk pace with out getting breathless

    I do not get chest infections ( saves the NHS money

    And prefere my eciggy to tbe real thing any time
    My taist buds taist things I’d forgot how they taist
    The house no longer smells like a ashtray
    Cloths do not smell and in general all our lives have improved

    Like

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