Lord Callanan Introduces Motion to Strike Ecigarettes from Tobacco Products Directive
Lord Callanan has submitted a motion in the House of Lords to strike down regulations surrounding vaping in the Tobacco Products Directive, which goes into effect on May 20 in the United Kingdom. In summary, you will only be able to purchase 10ml bottles of eliquids and there are restrictions on the kinds of vaping devices that can be sold in the United Kingdom - restricting choice for vapers. For more information on what the TPD means for consumers, see our infographic.
For businesses like ours, the TPD means that our eliquids are classified as tobacco products and face the same restrictions on advertising as traditional tobacco products, which limits our reach and, in a tacit way, encourages the use of pharmaceutical solutions over vaping to quit smoking. Lord Callanan has already been outspoken in House of Lords debates on how he thinks that the pharmaceutical industry designed the new regulations.
Lord Callanan’s motion, SI 2015/507, uses the recent data from the report by the Royal College of Physicians to support his arguments that vaping is an effective means of tobacco harm reduction and should be recommended by the government rather than regulated.
From official House of Lords Business for May 19:
“†Lord Callanan to move that a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, laid before the House on 22 April, be annulled on the grounds that its restrictions on product choice and advertising of vaping devices were devised before evidence had accumulated that vaping was enabling many people to quit smoking, run counter to advice from the Royal College of Physicians to promote vaping and are so severe that they could force vapers back to smoking and create a black market with harmful products (SI 2015/507).”
What UK vapers can do to help the motion be implemented
As suggested by Planet of the Vapes in its blog post, we can:
Sign the online petition
Sign this petition to Prime Minister David Cameron to use his influence in Brussels to get an opt-out from Article 20 of the TPD prior to the EU referendum.
Tweet support for Lord Callanan’s motion
Tweet your support for the motion using the hashtag #LordsVapeVote to @Number10gov @jeremycorbyn @MartinCallanan
To be clear, this isn’t a last-ditch effort by a backbencher. Lord Callanan is extremely influential and a House of Lords debate last week already saw a number of Lords voicing their disapproval for the inclusion of vaping in the Tobacco Products Directive after the Royal College of Physicians now recommend it as an important measure in tobacco harm reduction. There is a very real possibility that the motion will succeed, and we must do everything we can to make it happen.