Open Letter to the Lords

Dear Member of the House of Lords

We are asking you to support vapers and the pro-vaping motions to be debated on Monday 4th July.

Despite what “experts” such as ASH have said, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD – enacted in the UK by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016) will have, and is already starting to have, a devastating effect on tobacco harm reduction in the UK. A quarter of a million UK vapers use nicotine strengths that will be banned, the limit to 2ml of a post-TPD tank is ludicrously small, has no justification and reduces the value proposition of vaping to a smoker, artificially limiting the amount of smokers who will successfully switch to vaping. The limit on eliquid bottle sizes to 10ml is unjustifiable, disproportionate to the limited risk presented and will increase costs and waste.

The notification system is a shambles and is unlikely to be live for some considerable time. The testing costs for both devices and liquids are astronomical and will decimate the amount of products available. The ban on advertising will reduce the exposure of current smokers to vaping as a safer proposition, and so will reduce the number of switchers. The uneven implementation of the cross-border sales rules across the EU has hit UK vendors’ order books hard. A significant number of SMEs employing thousands of UK citizens manufacturing or re-selling vaping equipment and liquids both domestically and abroad will either close down or see their business recede.

We are a small political party, set up by vapers in response to these regulations which solve no problems. By 2014, 6.1M smokers across the EU had switched to vaping (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27338716), an unprecedented reduction in smoking prevalence, far out-weighing the effects of the other measures in the TPD.

We, the vapers, are the real experts here, not established tobacco control groups who are playing catch-up with limited and often outdated information. We are the ones at the coalface and we are sure you will agree that Monday’s debate is beyond overdue. That it has taken so long to be debated in a main chamber is nothing short of an outrage.

It is clear to us that these new rules do not benefit the consumer or the hitherto rapidly growing vapour industry (an industry that is literally saving lives). The rules benefit only the competitors to ecigs: tobacco, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and prescription smoking cessation medicines. Big businesses whose profits are threatened have reacted decisively and effectively, and we have been left stranded.

We ask you to stand up for the common vaper and to help protect a valuable (in fact the most popular) exit route for smokers.

Please attend the debate at 7pm on Monday in the main chamber and listen to the arguments presented then vote according to your conscience. Send a signal to all who would hear – ecigs save lives.

Liam Bryan, Jessica Harding, Abi Cott, Rhydian Mann, Robert Jenkins, Bernice Evans, Russell Ord.
Management Team of Vapers in Power

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