We support the Totally Wicked legal challenge to Article 20

 

What Is The Tobacco Products Directive?

The European Commission claim the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) legislation will “improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for European citizens.”

Article 20 of the TPD relates to electronic cigarettes and eliquids. It has some specific consequences for the way in which vaping devices and e-liquid may be manufactured and sold.

 

What does Article 20 mean to the vaping community?

  1. E-cigarettes may be sold as licensed medical products, in which case they are not subject to the limitations imposed by the TPD.
  2. E-cigarettes and e-liquid not sold as medical products are considered to be tobacco products, and may be sold subject to TPD regulation.
  3. All products must be notified to the competent authority (DH) 6 months prior to being placed on the market. Products already on the market on 20th May 2016 must be notified within 6 months of that date. The notification procedure is complex and requires substantial testing and technical work for every product.
  4. E-liquid may only be sold in pre-filled cartridges containing 2ml or less, or dedicated refill containers containing 10ml or less.
  5. E-liquid may not exceed nicotine content of 20mg/ml.
  6. Only high purity ingredients that do not pose a risk to human health may be used in e-liquid.
  7. Consistent nicotine doses must be delivered in consistent operating conditions.
  8. E-cigarettes and refill containers must be child and tamper proof, protected against breakage and leakage, and when refillable there must be a mechanism that ensures leak free refilling.
  9. Information leaflets must be included with all e-cigarette and e-liquid products.
  10. Ingredients should be listed in descending order of weight, with a notification of nicotine delivery per dose.
  11. Promotion and advertising of e-cigarettes by print, radio, televisual or public event media is prohibited.
  12. Submission of comprehensive sales and marketing data is required

 

We Agree With Totally Wicked about Article 20

It:

  • Places a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods.
  • Places a disproportionate impediment to the free provision of services.
  • Places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products.
  • Fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality.
  • Breaches the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers.

 

What is Totally Wicked doing?

The company were given permission from the UK Administrative Court to bring a judicial review action, obtained after issuing court proceedings against the Secretary of State for Health.

A hearing will took place on the 6th of October 2014 and the Administrative Court judge determined that the matter ought to be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU.

We are waiting for a hearing at the Court of Justice of the EU to assess whether Article 20 breaches EU law. This will happen in the latter part of 2015.

 

What do Totally Wicked’s lawyers say?

Susan Garrett, representing the company on behalf of Addleshaw Goddard LLP: "Totally Wicked believes that the Tobacco Products Directive is a misconceived and disproportionate attempt to regulate electronic cigarettes. Today's decision is a key milestone for our client, given the impact it believes the Directive will have in stifling this emerging market.”

 

What does it mean for vapers if they fail?

The strict regulation will lead to less innovation, we will not see the constant push to different and better performing atomisers and different blends of juice will cease.

The financial costs will mean fewer suppliers in the marketplace. This will stop competition and increase prices to you.

The vendors who do survive will carry reduced product ranges and limit your choice.

Product prices will also rise due to the increased costs of over-regulation.

It will lead to the laughable situation that equipment for vaping will become less available than cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Portugal and Italy have demonstrated that when harsh legislation is put in place significant numbers of vapers returned to smoking. It is reasonable to see that this will happen here too.

Strict legislation will prevent existing smokers from having a healthier, attractive vaping alternative.

 

What does Francis Cropper of Totally Wicked say?

Not only is it disproportionate, we believe it is contrary to established EU law. For nearly 30 million people in the EU, electronic cigarettes provide a viable alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

“We may have launched this challenge, but it is a challenge we hope all vapers and all of industry can support. We want it to be our challenge – vapers and the electronic cigarette and e-liquid industry, for if the TPD is implemented in its current form we will all lose out.”

 

What can I do?

Totally Wicked have created a website http://article20legalchallenge.com/

On the website there is a petition where you, your friends who vape and everyone who supports you vaping can express your backing for Totally Wicked’s legal action.

 

Clive Bates interviews Totally Wicked

 

Are there any other groups I could support?

Vapers In Power

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Facebook

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New Nicotine Alliance

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