Vapers In Power Welsh Manifesto 2016

Vapers In Power was created to protect the voice of vapers, and exists to uphold the right of smokers and ex-smokers to practise harm reduction using all types of ecigs including technically-advanced devices and generation one “cig-a-likes”.

We support the Freedom to Choose in Wales:

This includes the freedom to choose:

  • To vape outdoors in public areas.
  • To vape outdoors in private areas with the permission of the owner or landlord.
  • To vape indoors with the permission of the owner or landlord.

There is no credible scientific evidence that vaping harms anyone, yet the Welsh Labour party wants to remove the right to vape incertain public and private indoor and outdoor spaces which meet certain criteria, on a basis wholly determined by them.

Vapers in Power stands in Wales for the Freedom to Choose and the right of the public to have a say in where vaping should be permitted. Decisions made by faceless bureaucrats without public oversight should never be acceptable for an issue which affects so many lives.

Ecigs and The Tobacco Products Directive (Article 20)

Ecigs are a powerful harm reduction tool because users can tailor their vaping experience to suit their individual tastes and needs.i To satisfy this need the ecig market offers a wide selection of devices – and an even wider choice of flavours and strengths. Vapers In Power rejects Article 20 of The Tobacco Products Directive (compliance for the EU member states from May 2016) because it imposes heavy-handed and inappropriate regulations which will outlaw effective ecigs and eliquids. Article 20 limits the nicotine strength in eliquids to an arbitrary and unscientific 20mg/ml, based on the misreading and misinterpretation of a scientific paper that was submitted in good faith by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos and Dr Lynne Dawkins at the request of the European Commission. ii This limit will prevent heavy smokers from switching from tobacco to ecigs and will cost lives. The legislators have also ignored modern scientific knowledge of the toxicity of nicotine iii and impose a limit on eliquid bottle capacity to 10mls, thereby creating an increased choking hazard. iv Article 20 imposes a six-month notification regime for new ecig products with no justification. Member states will be allowed to ban all non-medical ecigs and eliquid flavourings. Article 20 proposes outrageously expensive and largely irrelevant testing procedures yet fails to address the real safety concerns which most vapers would welcome regulation on – limits on diketones, for example. It also applies an advertising ban on ecigs, which will reduce the number of new users moving from smoking to vaping.

This inappropriate and heavy-handed regulation will squander the current and future public health gains from ecigs. Ecigs are not tobacco products and should never have been included in this Directive. The TPD protects the interests of the pharmaceutical companies which produce ineffective nicotine replacement therapies and drugs to treat smoking related illnesses.v viArticle 20 also perversely gives an advantage to the tobacco companies as cigarettes will be more widely available than ecigs.

It’s important to realise that ecigs have not been shown to harm and are in fact now generating measurable population-level health benefits.vii viii ix x

Appropriate Regulation for Ecigs

What is appropriate regulation for ecigs? Vapers In Power supports the continuation of general consumer product regulations applying to ecigs and eliquid with certain provisos:

  • We call for an amendment to the The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 to allow for the proxy purchase of e-cigarettes on behalf of persons under 18 by their guardians.
  • We believe the parents/guardians of under 18’s who smoke should have the right to provide their child with e-cigarettes as part of a cessation attempt or as harm reduction.
  • We want appropriate warnings on eliquid bottles to reflect the actual toxicity of nicotine and to comply with any relevant CLP regulations.
  • We are committed to affordable and effective testing for known or potential dangers in flavoured eliquids and for eliquid manufacturers to be inspected for hygiene under existing legislation.
  • We believe that existing consumer legislation is sufficient for the safety of batteries and chargers. Ecig vendors should supply comprehensive guidelines about battery and charger safety with ecig battery products. We will also push to end the dangerous situation whereby 5V chargers and 4.2V chargers can be used interchangeably.
  • We demand regulations to ensure that ecig devices are adequately vented, where appropriate

We do not accept that ecigs should be classified as either tobacco or medicinal products because they do not fall into either category: ecigs should be regulated as a general consumer product.

Vaping and Society

Vaping needs wide public acceptance if it is to continue saving lives.

  • We will push for action against bogus science and propaganda that endangers life. Journalists and scientists who misrepresent research should be held to account – their actions have fatal consequences.
  • We will support the thriving small ecig businesses which are driving innovation in the ecig sector and boosting local economies by employing local people.
  • We demand that the maximum taxation for ecigs and eliquid is levied at the minimum VAT level – as Nicotine Replacement Therapies are. It would be morally wrong to sin tax this infinitely less harmful tobacco alternative
  • Vapers in Power opposes bans on vaping and/or smoking in outside public spaces. We believe that laws limiting individual behaviour should be based on scientific evidence of harm to bystanders. Neither the proposed regulations on vaping nor the proposed regulations regarding smoking in outdoor spaces meet this benchmark. We stand against such arbitrary rules.
  • We are committed to educating both individuals and corporate bodies with regards to the facts of ecig use and harm reduction.
  • We call on employers who prohibit the use of ecigs in the workplace to re-assess their policies and at minimum to provide separate shelters.
  • We defend the right to promote ecigs in public

“Freedom to choose” is a slogan used by Vapers in Power for our Welsh campaign. Vapers in Power is not affiliated to any other organisation or campaign, any similarity with our slogan and any other organisation or campaign is totally coincidental. “Freedom to choose” is not intended to convey a message that choices should be without restrictions, just that some proposed restrictions are unfair.

i Impact of Flavour Variability on Electronic Cigarette Use Experience
ii Letter from Dr Farsalinos, Dr Lynne Dawkins and other key scientists to the EU to complain about the misrepresentation of the science
iii Study on the toxicity of nicotine
iv Dr Lynne Dawkins’ letter to the EU commissioner – choking concerns
v ASH fact sheet “The Economics of Tobacco” November 2014
vi Profits from sales of Nictotine Replacement Therapies
vii The Cochrane Library: Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction
viii Effectiveness of the electronic cigarette (Flemish study)
ix Ecigs estimated to save 6,000 lives a year in the UK
x The smoking toolkit: please see latest trends.