Saturday, 21 May 2016

The deranged new vaping/tobacco rules could only make sense to EU bureaucrats. Help Tory peer Lord Callanan fight them!

JAC Vapour Series E vaporiser and Vapemate Key Lime Pie eliquid
Unless I've misunderstood the latest EU Tobacco Products Directives, we will no longer be allowed to buy packets containing 10 or fewer cigarettes. This (we're told) is because smaller packets aren't big enough to carry the obligatory new "Smoke this and die in pain" warnings. Of course, they could redesign the warnings so they would fit on smaller packets - but that would obviously be far too difficult: far simpler to make people buy more cigarettes than they wanted to, because that will undoubtedly encourage them to smoke less. Or something. Meanwhile, as of last week, e-cigarette companies will no longer be allowed to sell e-juice (the vaping equivalent of tobacco) in large 30ml bottles: from now on, we vapers will only be allowed to buy our e-liquid in 10ml bottles, because... well, just because.

So, while many cigarette smokers (who may not have heard that smoking may be bad for them) will be encouraged to buy cigarettes in quantities that will tempt them to suck in even more carcinogenic, lung-shredding tar and chemicals, vapers will have to pay more for smaller quantities of the magical, harmless liquid which is the greatest aid to giving up smoking that industry and science have yet devised. This will mean that vapers will be liable to run out of juice more often, thereby facing the temptation to buy a packet of ten cigarettes to tide them over until the next batch of e-liquid arrives in the post (the new directive will make it hard for most bricks-and-mortar e-cigarette shops to survive) - only they'll now have to buy a packet of 20 cigarettes, which is far more likely to see them firmly back in cancer-stick hell (cigarettes really are quite more-ish).

I guarantee that every EU bureaucrat and British civil servant involved in devising these deranged twin plans will have really impressive degrees from top universities - because only very clever, well-educated adults could dream up anything so monumentally stupid, illogical and - in terms of public health - so spectacularly counterproductive. The only people who will benefit from these rules are (1) bureaucrats, who will be paid handsome salaries to promulgate and enforce them (while dreaming up new attacks on our personal freedoms), and (2) Big Tobacco, which is as keen to nip vaping in the bud as Arab oil producers are to prevent the spread of fracking - as the EU is a massive corporatist organisation, it's only too happy to oblige massive corporations.

One of the other seemingly pointless anti-vaping EU rules introduced last week makes it illegal to manufacture and sell new tanks (i.e. the bit of the e-cigarette that holds the liquid which is to be turned into harmless vapour - please keep up at the back) with a capacity larger than 2ml. Which is just dandy, because both of the tanks I use are bigger than that: my Big Bertha (Aspire Nautilus) holds 5ml, and the other (JAC Vapour Aero Tank) holds 2.5ml. So a bunch of tax-funded wankers in Brussels, with the collusion of a bunch of tax-funded wankers in Whitehall, and encouraged by an unholy alliance of tobacco companies and leftie health nazis, have decided that I will be unable to replace the vaping equipment I currently use (both tanks are made of glass, so they won't last forever) with equivalent bits of kit - even though my current vaping equipment is helping me not to smoke tobacco in any shape or form, and is saving me a fortune in Nicotine gum (the cost of which is scandalous).

Meanwhile, the EU and our own government are deluging Britain's nascent vaping industry with whole forests' worth of red tape: i.e. forms up the wazoo, as per usual, because that tends to kill off small companies, while Big Tobacco companies have offices full of drones to handle this sort of pointless, make-work crap. The EU loathes small businesses and start-ups: it finds it much more agreeable to deal with commercial behemoths, which can afford to employ armies of oily lobbyists to schmooze and reward dreary little euro-apparatchiks for doing their bidding.

Vaping is currently very cheap compared to smoking. It's a lot more enjoyable, as you can tailor the experience to suit your tastes in infinite ways. You don't have to feel like a social pariah. You can feel morally superior to smokers who haven't yet seen the light. You can reduce the amount of nicotine you consume (all the way down to 0%) without losing flavour or having to vape less. And there's no evidence that it gives you lung cancer or COPD or any other terrible affliction (it can irritate the sinuses, give you a sort throat and temporarily disable your taste buds - but then you just alter the mixture you're vaping to avoid those problems). And yet the EU wants to dissuade us from doing it - its new fun directives have already forced prices up (and that's not the fault of vaping industry).

The Conservative peer, Lord Callanan (a former Tory MEP), has just put down a Lords motion which is so sensible it almost brings tears to my eyes:
“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).”
If you're a vaper, or a smoker who's thinking of quitting and would like the process to be as painless as possible, or you're worried that your children might take up the weed, or you despise health fascists, or you loathe the EU and all its works, or you think personal liberty matters, or you would like to help small British businesses fend off attempts by huge multinational corporations to crush them - and even if you're allergic to signing petitions - please sign this petition to force a debate on repealing (or simply ignoring) the EU's idiotic and harmful Tobacco Products Directive on e-cigarettes.

And if you're even thinking of voting Remain, may God have mercy on your soul.


  1. Crème de Vape, my favoured vaping goods supplier, wrote a paper on the Tobacco Products Directive in January. It includes this gem under Product testing and notification:
    ... e-liquid manufacturers will still need to run chemical analysis on every single iteration of their product (that’s every strength and flavour separately) to identify and quantify all the compounds present, both in the liquid, and in the vapour. Cost estimates vary wildly, depending on who you speak to, but a very conservative estimate is a minimum of £5000 per iteration (e.g. a banana flavour e-liquid in 4 strengths = a minimum of £20,000 just for the testing and documentation for that one flavour liquid) ...

    Crème de Vape offer 41 flavours in their Classic range of eLiquids. That's £820,000 on mandatory official testing according to my slide rule. £820,000-worth of quadruply assured extra safety, praise be.

  2. Suppose a vaper has a penchant for Crème de Vape apple flavour eLiquid. He or she can currently and for a short while yet buy a 30ml bottle for £8.95.

    A 10ml bottle costs £3.95. So in the near future with 30ml bottles banned and only 10ml bottles allowed, 30ml will cost £11.85. That's a 32.4% increase/rate of inflation (many, many) thanks to TPD.

    With a price increase like that, Crème de Vape must expect their turnover to drop. Which is a bit of a shame because they've now got to sell 207,595 10ml bottles of eLiquid just to pay for TPD chemical analysis.

    1. It's not that I'm anti-EU, you understand - but I hope everyone who works for the organisation finds that their testicles shrivel to the size of processed peas, that migrant camps spring up on their front lawns, that they all wake up one morning with a permanent comb-over (that's men and women), that when they go on holiday, they discover Nigel Farage sitting next to them on the beach, and that when they die and try to get into Heaven, they discover that God looks and sounds remarkably like Dan Hannan, and when they reach Hell, the Devil turns out to be a dead ringer for James Delingpole.

  3. At the end of the 1942 film "Now, Voyager" Paul Henreid whips out a couple of cigarettes, lights them at the same time and offers one to Bette Davis. She says: "Don't let's ask for the moon when we have the stars". To-day, he would whip out his vaping apparatus probably and ask "Banana or Bubblemint?" and after much palaver hand her a stick. It's not the same.

    1. "ACK", says Ms Davis (acknowledge), followed by "CTS" (clear to send). "RTS" from P Henreid (ready to send), and ... dissolve. Zoom in to the server bay where they're lying together some time later, his USB lead limp now and a cloud of Crème de Vape billowing from her microport, hanging lazily in the air before languidly disappearing into the ventilation shaft, a scene of completion, satisfaction, transcendent togetherness, credits, "EOJ" (end of job).

    2. Readers are referred to the romance of flow control.

    3. This is such a weighty issue, I'm devoting a separate post to it.