Could the proposed ban on electronic cigarettes push smokers back to tobacco products?
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of secrecy, rumor and counter rumor the fact is that the European Commission is again looking for the European Parliament to bring in back door regulations to cover electronic cigarettes. Despite the fact that the European Commission’s recommendation to the European Parliament was rejected just a few weeks ago, the commission is now coming back to try again.
However, there are real concerns that the proposed ban on a variety of electronic cigarettes could push smokers back towards tobacco products.
The refusal of the European Commission or the European Parliament to even comment on speculation of a secret deal has left an information vacuum which has created rumor, counter rumor and untruths. At this moment in time it is difficult to tell the rumors from the truth and until we see the whole situation played out in public this will continue to be the case.
Why is the European Commission pushing for new regulations?
There has long been a suspicion that the European Commission is under significant pressure from tobacco companies and pharmaceutical groups, who provide a significant income stream to European governments and the European Commission itself. These two groups have become enormously influential financial powerhouses over the years and now they are seemingly flexing their muscles to effectively rid the market of a competing product.
The so-called “secret document” would appear to have been deliberately leaked into the public domain to cause confusion and concern. The idea may be that this confusion and concern could result in a drop in short-term sales although in reality it is having the opposite effect. Electric cigarette enthusiasts and companies around the world have now joined together to fight this secret battle, a battle which a European Commission and the European Parliament will not even acknowledge exists.
Will this push electronic cigarette users back towards tobacco products?
The harsh reality is that a ban on electronic cigarettes, in reality a total ban seems highly unlikely, could push many more people back towards tobacco cigarettes. This would then increase tobacco cigarette sales across Europe, increase government tax income across Europe and effectively put the tobacco cigarette companies back in total control.
The European authorities seem incapable of understanding that many people have switched from tobacco cigarettes to their electronic cigarette counterparts to reduce their nicotine/tobacco intake. They seem obsessed with the idea that minors are gaining access to electronic cigarettes when in reality, assuming this is the case, a simple law banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors would solve this problem. Many experts believe that the current European Commission stance could put the lives of many former and future tobacco cigarette smokers at risk. This is something which the commission seems oblivious to as its obsession to try to crush the electronic cigarette industry continues.
It seems highly unlikely that the proposed ban on electronic cigarettes in 2017 will come into place because of the massive movement against this particular motion. It is the secret way in which this has been put together, the way in which the European Parliament has initially been ignored and the fact that it is undemocratic which is concerning many people. The European Parliament contains MEPs who are appointed by voters while the European Commission has no such system in place and is seen as undemocratic and a law unto itself. It will be interesting to see whether the European Parliament is again able to withstand the enormous pressure placed upon it by the European Commission, backed up by an array of corporate companies and lobby groups with their own agenda.