As the proposed revision of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive is now being discussed in the European Parliament, the UK-based electronic cigarette manufacturer, Totally Wicked Ltd, is sending an electronic cigarette to all 754 MEPs.
‘Accompanying the e-cigarette will be a briefing document that simply and factually explains why e-cigarettes do not belong in the TPD,’ the company said in a press note issued through PRNewswire.
‘A covering letter asks MEPs to examine the e-cigarette in detail and poses the following question: “What do you do with a product that mimics smoking, but is not a cigarette, that stops people smoking, but is not a medicine?”.
‘Totally Wicked is concerned that at present, EU policy makers believe that e-cigarettes should only be placed on the market if they are authorised pursuant to Directive 2001/83/EC (the Medicinal Products Directive).
‘By wishing to regulate e-cigarettes as a medicinal product, and by banning flavours, Totally Wicked believe the Commission and their supporters in Parliament are effectively banning e-cigarettes, a view that is supported by the European Parliament’s own Legal Affairs Committee.’
“The e-cigarettes we have chosen to send to MEPs look nothing like a conventional tobacco cigarette,” said Fraser Cropper, business development director at Totally Wicked. “Contrary to what many MEPs think, the vast majority of e-cigarettes sold throughout the EU look nothing like cigarettes.
“We hope to make it clear to MEPs that e-cigarettes are not a medicinal product and that users do not see themselves as ill or in treatment.
“MEPs have an incredible opportunity to craft regulation that reflects the reality of e-cigarettes – they are nicotine-containing consumer products that compete with cigarettes but with many superior characteristics, mainly by virtue of not using combustible tobacco.
“Tobacco cigarettes have been unequivocally proven to contribute to the early mortality of the European population. During this time, our legislators have been unwilling or unable to ban cigarettes, a product that if it came onto the market today, would without question be prohibited.
“Surprisingly, rather than be applauded and encouraged by our elected representatives as the potential panacea to the smoking epidemic, we find Article 18 of the draft TPD, stifling the potential of these products and effectively handing over the product’s concept to the pharmaceutical sector, destroying a safer alternative.”