Yesterday, TVECA rocked the e-cig world when they wrote in a letter to MEPs, that they and their members support the current draft TPD in relation to electronic cigarettes and that although they had a few reservations, it was ultimately, “well done EU, we are fully behind you.”
This is the complete opposite to what the rest of the vaping community and industry are saying.
In their letter TVECA wrote that the “biggest share of the European electronic cigarettes industry” supports their position. This is a bold statement, and if true, rather worrying.
However, if you look at the TVECA website this bold statement begins to unravel. TVECA list only 16 individual member businesses, some very small, across the whole of the EU, and guess what? 11 of these 16 businesses are based in the Netherlands! For the overwhelming majority of EU Member States TVECA has no member.
TVECA may argue that this is not a problem as their position and letter is also supported by a number of national trade associations from across the EU. Again, if true this is very worrying. One of the trade associations listed is CACE, the national trade association for the electronic cigarette industry in France. Do CACE support the TVECA letter? Not one bit of it. It transpires that TVECA added CACE as a supporter without even showing them the letter; we can only assume that the same applies to all the other national trade associations cited in the TVECA letter.
Today CACE issued a statement that said:
“CACE disagrees with recent pronouncements TVECA, considering in particular Article 18 of the draft Directive tobacco as a preferred solution to the regulation of the market of electronic cigarettes in Europe. CACE here wants to assert its independence from the TVECA, whose orientations differ legitimate interests vapoteurs and French professional electronic cigarette. In addition, the CACE is not a member of TVECA even if our association dialogue at European level, with all the actors involved in the draft Directive.”
CACE are an Industry organisation that on their website claims to represent 61 members (manufacturers and distributors), 58 commercial websites, nearly 241 specialty shops, 12,800 outlets representing more than 2,000 jobs and 1.5 million consumers.
TVECA is an American organization that allegedly fell out with another organization in the USA, namely SFATA, and so decamped to Europe. Further inspection of their members sites show that the majority of their members are either flavour houses, or they sell nothing bigger than a basic eGo, (much like the tobacco companies that have joined the e-cig market), so the TPD is pretty much fine for them. Having it amended to deal with the legitimate concerns of the majority of this industry and consumers would only increase their competition. Far better to support a poor piece of legislation that will negatively impact their commercial rivals.
In the last week scientists and vapers from across the EU have made it clear that they cannot support the TPD in its current form. We also understand that a letter signed by individual electronic cigarette companies stating their opposition to the TPD will be published this week.
In sending this letter TVECA have made a power grab for their own benefit, not the benefit of the majority of vapers who they clearly hold in contempt. It is clear that TVECA want to be the only guys round the table negotiating the implementation of the TPD.
TVECA really do not speak on behalf of the “biggest share” of the electronic cigarette industry in Europe, they certainly do not speak for the public health community or the millions of vapers and their families. MEPs have now got to decide whose side they will be on.
We hope that MEPs will see through TVECA and continue to stand up for public health and the rights of upwards of 12 million vapers throughout the EU.