Today brings the news that a court date has been set for the case being taken by Totally Wicked, one of the UK’s leading electronic cigarette manufacturers who are challenging the validity of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) at the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.
On the website dedicated to collecting signatures of support for the Article 20 challenge, Totally Wicked has said –
”This is great news, not just for us, but also for the wider industry and vapers across the whole of the EU… The TW court case is an historic opportunity to turn the tide away from bans and restrictions towards regulation that is proportionate, and genuinely risk based.”
Below is a video recorded earlier this year, in which the case is discussed with Mr Clive Bates of Counterfactual Consulting:
Totally Wicked’s challenge is based on its view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provision of services, places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers.
Totally Wicked’s case is that e-cigarettes deliver to the consumer “clean” nicotine without the tar, carbon monoxide, and volatile hot gases of tobacco cigarettes. This “clean” nicotine contains only a fraction of the 7,000 chemicals contained in ordinary tobacco cigarettes. Delivery is through the act of vaping rather than through the combustion of tobacco and inhalation of smoke, as with conventional tobacco products.
Accordingly, Totally Wicked believes that e-cigarettes greatly reduce the risk of adverse health effects and death associated with smoking conventional tobacco. This risk reduction produces an obvious benefit to public health, whilst also satisfying a user’s strong desire for nicotine and the “behavioural” aspects of smoking.
Totally Wicked believes that the Article 20 restrictions will result in:
(a) less innovation in a demanding consumer market;
(b) fewer suppliers in the marketplace, as the remaining larger players will be tobacco or pharmaceutical companies, or be backed by them;
(c) a reduced product range for consumers, which will mean current tobacco and electronic vaporiser users may not find suitable strength products on general sale in the marketplace;
(d) regulatory burdens will increase product costs; and
(e) as a result, electronic cigarettes will become less available than, and less attractive than, conventional tobacco cigarettes and other tobacco products; this restriction on the availability to consumers of a healthier, alternative product to conventional tobacco will mean:
(i) a significant number of existing electronic cigarette users return to smoking conventional tobacco products;
(ii) a number of future and existing tobacco cigarette smokers will not have a readily available, attractive e-cigarette alternative which delivers nicotine to the bloodstream at anywhere near the level that conventional tobacco cigarettes do.
In addition, legitimate e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers in the EU will not only have to comply with the burdens imposed by TPD, but will have to compete with e-cigarettes continuing to be produced outside the EU, unburdened by the new regulatory regime, and also with “black market” e-cigarettes produced illegitimately within the EU.
The IVVA would like to publicly lend their support to, and sincerely thank Totally Wicked and their Managing Director Mr Fraser Cropper, in taking these steps that highlight the fact that Article 20 of the TPD is not the right legislation for vaping products.
Our members would also ask that you will join us by adding your name to the list of supporters. To do that, or find out more about the case, you can visit the Article 20 Challenge website.