The year 2013 has been a somewhat rocky affair for vapers around the World. As the impact of electronic cigarettes continues to grow, the industry is granted more and more pertinence and consideration from authorities. Whilst this new found respect and exposure brings with it many positives, it can also be incredibly troublesome.
There is something of a general confusion surrounding electronic cigarettes and how they should be approached, with different authorities and regulators taking wildly different stances, e cig manufacturers and suppliers (importers, in particular) may soon encounter incredible difficulties and restrictions whilst operating. This made it all-the-more important that the proposed European Parliament plan to regulate electronic cigarettes as medicinal products was overturned. Whilst there is still a chance that e cigs may fall into medicinal regulation, the EU vote earlier this week which rejected the initiative was a welcome forward step.
The original proposal was heard earlier this year and given a vote of confidence by the gathered members of the European Parliament. This result received widespread criticism within the vaping community because it potentially would have effectively killed off the entire industry with many suppliers and manufacturers not being able to accommodate the lengthy and expensive testing process that would be necessitated for medicinal regulation. Following the reception of the original proposal a number of vaping groups, e cig companies and initiatives were formed and set about trying to get the decision reversed. MEPs and influential figures were contacted en force and educated about the benefits of electronic cigarettes and why medicinal regulations would be a backwards step. This approach worked wonders with many of the MEPs changing their vote and in turn reaching out to other representatives with their newly adopted findings and knowledge.
One of the most active MEPs was North West representative Chris Davies who was contacted as a part of Totally Wicked’s drive to prohibit the proposed regulations. Chris Davies MEP spoke to his fellow parliament members about the huge potential of electronic cigarettes and was central to the success of reversing the vote. This demonstrates the effect that the vaping community had on changing a decision that could have far-reaching and potentially life-saving ramifications. This situation should be considered an example to vaping communities around the World who may find that their specific area is due to face new and unwelcome regulations and restrictions.
New York City may Michael Bloomberg is currently considering plans to regulate electronic cigarettes as traditional tobacco products and place the same restrictions upon them as tobacco cigarettes. Similarly, the French government have proposed plans to place a tax on electronic cigarettes at an above VAT rate – which would seriously impact upon the money-saving potential of the entire industry.
Whilst it may seem somewhat daunting to tackle the authorities, rule makers and parliaments; organised campaigns can make difficult tasks achievable as the vaping community has so successfully demonstrated.