Pressure mounts on TPD as associations rally

Across the continent, calls for vaping regulation reform are growing louder in 2019. Dustin Dahlmann, founding member of the Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA), is turning to people power to make the case for reform.

Vaping is currently covered by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which specifies restrictions on areas like advertising as if the devices were cigarettes.

Now, the ‘Vaping is not Tobacco’ campaign is calling for bespoke legislation to set the industry apart from the arbitrary application of cigarette law. Mr Dahlmann has big aspirations for change:

“Our aim is to raise awareness of the important distinction between vaping products and tobacco. With everyone’s help we hope this initiative will lead to a reform of EU legislation, which currently fails to recognise vaping’s potential value in helping people switch to less harmful alternatives.”

The IEVA, along with Vapitaly and representatives from eight EU nations, is taking the campaign continent-wide with the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). This mechanism, which operates via an online petition, would call on the European Commission to bring forward a legislative proposal on the topic.

The ECI petition calls for ‘vaping products to be taken out of the Tobacco Products Directive’. It needs a million signatories from a quarter of EU member states to pass. You can find out more about the initiative here.

The UKVIA fully supports evidence-based regulation of vaping products, but this regulation must be proportionate, distinct from tobacco regulations and support the public health potential of vaping. This is enshrined in our five-point TPD manifesto:

  • The government should create a new piece of legislation specifically covering vaping.
  • The industry must be consulted and involved in the design of a new regulatory framework.
  • There should be revisions made to rules on bottle sizes, nicotine concentrations, etc.
  • Remove the current advertising restrictions and introduce new regulations commensurate with other consumer products.
  • Require non-nicotine containing e-liquids to be subject to the same testing and product restrictions as nicotine containing liquids.

For more details, read our manifesto in the UKVIA Annual Report, available here.

UKVIA board member, John Dunne, backs the calls for change over vaping and TPD:

“The UKVIA is not against regulation and indeed the TPD has helped set high standards across the industry and reinforce consumer confidence in what is still an emerging sector. However, it’s imperative that any regulation is proportionate, properly sets vaping products apart from tobacco and supports the public health potential of vaping. The TPD fails to do that and is in urgent need of reform.”