The European Commission has officially registered a European Citizens’ Initiative which calls for Article 20 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) to be replaced by “bespoke legislation which clearly sets vaping products apart from tobacco and pharmaceutical products”.
The initiative “Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!”was submitted by Dustin Dalhlmann of the European Vape Alliance (IEVA) and Mosè Giacomello of Vapitaly. It also calls on the EU authorities to set up new legislation based on “mandatory compliance”, including safety and manufacturing standards for e-cigarette devices and e-liquids.
Giacomello told ECigIntelligence they are proposing to the European Commission the creation of a Vaping Products Directive (VPD).
“It would be based on scientific evidence and focused primarily on the role of vaping in tobacco harm reduction,” he said. “The VPD should be separate from the TPD, not part of it.”
The initiative also calls for a new approach to vaping policy that should make it possible for vapers to have clear information on how to access tobacco-alternative products such as e-cigarettes, as well as ensuring youth protection with “responsible marketing practices”.
Deadline: 20th February 2020
The initiative needs to collect more than 1m signatures in less than a year from at least a quarter of EU member states in order for the European Commission to propose a change in the existing regulations.
The next step for the committee behind the initiative is to start lobbying in Brussels and at national level involving MEPs (members of the European Parliament) and national deputies. They will also attempt to collect signatures at vaping exhibitions and trade shows.
The members are also seeking the support of vaping associations in EU member states. For now, the Italian vapers’ associations ANPVU and the Lega Italiana Anti Fumo (LIAF) have joined the initiative and it is expected more may join soon.
One of the requirements to present a European Citizens’ Initiative is to have funding of more than €500 in support. In this instance, Imperial Brands has sponsored the initiative with €10,000.
“We have long argued for a more enlightened and pragmatic approach to vaping regulation so supporting this grassroots campaign makes complete sense for us,” said Valerio Forconi, Imperial Brands’ head of EU corporate affairs.