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Breaking The Law

The Totally Wicked Tobacco Products Directive court case looms large.

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European ministers voted in the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) on the 19th May 2014. They claim that it “will improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for European citizens.” Totally Wicked will challenge the clearly flawed and ill-considered piece of legislation on 1st October 2015.

Totally Wicked (TW) believes that the TPD Article 20 restrictions will lead to:

  • Less innovation in a demanding consumer market
  • Fewer suppliers in the marketplace
  • A reduced product range for consumers
  • Increased product costs due to over-regulation
  • Electronic cigarettes will become less available than conventional tobacco cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • A significant number of existing electronic cigarette users will return to smoking conventional tobacco products
  • A number of future and existing tobacco cigarette smokers will not have a readily available, attractive e-cigarette alternative

Totally Wicked also contend that Article 20 is unworkable as companies within the EU will have to compete with unregulated e-Cigs produced outside the EU and also an emergent black market.

Fraser Cropper, managing director of Totally Wicked, said: “We just want a competitive, level playing field that allows us to sell our products. Not only is it disproportionate, we believe it is contrary to established EU law. For nearly 30 million people in the EU, electronic cigarettes provide a viable alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

On their blog this week, Totally Wicked write: “We are delighted to report that finally we have a date for our hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union. It’s been set for the afternoon of the 1st October 2015.

This is great news, not just for us, but also for the wider industry and vapers across the whole of the EU.

Essentially, the TW legal challenge is the ONLY game in town now, the only one that has a chance of putting a halt to the TPD implementation. Those of you that have been following this will know what’s going on. Some countries are worse of than others – Scandinavia and Spain – well, you can pretty much forget about vaping there.

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.”

Although TW say they are the only game in town, they aren’t.

Philip Morris and British American Tobacco are also challenging the legislation. They contend that the TPD is without a valid legal basis. They also claim that elements of the legislation are disproportionate and do not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.

Also, Poland announced that it was going to challenge the legislation – with particular respect to the ban on menthol.

It remains unclear whether a decision will be announced on the 1st October, but vapers will be scanning the Internet for news with rooted interest.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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