We write on behalf of e-cigarette users (vapers), their friends, and their family from across the EU, in support of the ECR Group’s request to have the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), agreed in trilogue and approved by the ENVI committee, opened up for split and separate votes.
As vapers, public health experts, and electronic cigarette manufacturers, from across the EU, have all made clear, the TPD in its current incarnation is deeply flawed. As an example, the current version of the TPD would ban the labelling of e-cigarette and e-liquid flavouring. How will producers of flavoured e-cigarettes and refill containers label their products? How will users know what they are buying, storing and using?
This is just one example drawn from a very long list that not only makes the TPD undesirable in parts, but also genuinely unworkable. We have arrived at this situation primarily because the current version of the TPD, and in particular Article 18, was drafted on the hoof, behind closed doors, and without any consultation with those who will be impacted by this directive.
If any credibility is to be salvaged from this whole process, it is vital that these genuine concerns are heard in the European Parliament. We, the ones who will have to live with the consequences of Article 18 should be given our opportunity to have our say and to have our arguments articulated by our democratically elected supporters in the European Parliament.
In October a majority of MEPs from across the political spectrum voted in favour of amendment 170. The TPD that MEPs will vote on in March is significantly different to what a majority of MEPs previously supported, and therefore no matter what you or individual members may feel personally or politically, the European Parliament can only, if it is to maintain its integrity and authority support the ECR Group’s request.