BLACKBURN, England, June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Members of the European Parliament are currently debating proposals from the European Commission to revise the existing Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). As these discussions reach a crucial stage, Chris Davies MEP, a leading member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee, the committee responsible for this matter, visited Totally Wicked Ltd, a Blackburn based manufacturer of electronic cigarettes.
Totally Wicked in concerned that at present EU policy makers want to bring electronic cigarettes within the scope of the TPD and regulate them as a medicinal product. Totally Wicked believe such a move would effectively ban electronic cigarettes, a view that is supported by the European Parliament's own Legal Affairs Committee.
The European Parliament's ENVI committee will vote on their own amendments to the European Commission proposals in July. Ahead of this vote Totally Wicked is engaging with committee members and other MEPs. As part of this engagement Totally Wicked has already sent every single member of the European Parliament a sample electronic cigarette and a briefing paper that simply and factually explains why e-cigarettes do not belong in the TPD.
Fraser Cropper, Business Development Manager at Totally Wicked said:
"We were delighted to be able to welcome Chris Davies to Totally Wicked today. Chris has been one of a number of MEPs who has been very supportive throughout this whole process. It was great to be able to show Chris the products that we make, to introduce him to our staff, and for him to meet some of our customers.
Medicines regulation would clearly have a negative impact on our business and the people we employ as it adds costs, imposes burdens, applies restrictions, and holds back innovation. It would result in many smaller and more innovative producers of e-cigarettes going out of business. More importantly however, medicines regulation creates a default prohibition and requirement for approval, leaving tobacco cigarettes as the only easily marketed source of nicotine. We believe as an ethic supplier, which has invested significantly in recent years in being able to offer our customers the best possible vaporising devices and nicotine solutions, that irrespective of what happens to our business the real casualty of such disproportionate regulation will be our customers. We believe that our moral mandate is defined by the free availability of government sanctioned cigarettes. As long as these products remain available for general sale, we have an obligation to offer our products as the only viable alternative for the recreational smoker.
MEPs have an incredible opportunity to craft regulation that reflects the reality of e-cigarettes - they are nicotine-containing consumer products that compete with cigarettes but with many superior characteristics, mainly by virtue of not using combustible tobacco. Tobacco cigarettes have been unequivocally proven to contribute to the early mortality of the European population. However, our legislators have been unwilling or unable to ban cigarettes, a product that if it came onto the market today, would without question be prohibited.
Surprisingly, rather than be applauded and encouraged by our elected representatives as the potential panacea to the smoking epidemic, we find Article 18 of the draft TPD, stifling the potential of these products and effectively handing over the product's concept to the pharmaceutical sector, destroying a safer alternative."
Following his visit, Chris Davies MEP said:
"I was very happy to visit Totally Wicked today. Many smokers have written to tell me of the difference the availability of e-cigarettes has made to their lives and to their health. Medicines regulation would undermine the proven potential of electronic cigarettes in weaning hardened smokers off tobacco.
I believe that e-cigarettes should be sold alongside conventional cigarettes and it should be up to former smokers themselves to judge how much nicotine they inhale. There's no doubt that nicotine is addictive and that suitable sector regulation is required to be clearly defined and enforced. However, electronic cigarettes, without any government funding or large corporation investment, have been able to demonstrate thorough entrepreneurial business like Totally Wicked, the tremendous positive transformational affect they can have on smokers' lives and habits. I will continue to represent the users' perspective in the European Parliament and ensure that a properly informed debate is achieved which I aim to result in these products continuing to be freely available as viable alternatives to UK and European smokers, without overbearing regulation.
Fraser Cooper T: +44(0)1254-692244
SOURCE Totally Wicked E Liquid UK