- Easy to get
- No charger
- Left handed use only
- Supports only Apple products
- Low storage
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The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the legislative framework for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and low-risk nicotine products. This consultation is the second part of a process that began in 2022 and is aimed at shaping changes to the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and the Tobacco Advertising Directive. The deadline for responses is May 16, and it is critical for vapers and other nicotine product users to provide input to prevent the adoption of prohibitionist vaping laws.
The Risk of Prohibition without Consumer Input
The consultation seeks comments on all tobacco products but is particularly focused on introducing harsher regulations for e-cigarettes and other low-risk nicotine products. Some of the recommendations in the policy documents include flavor and online sales bans, a minimum age increase, and a ban on internet advertising. These policies have already been adopted by some EU countries, and if they become EU law, all member countries will be forced to implement them. The commission is expected to adopt a final proposal for TPD revisions next year, but the direction the EC takes will be decided well before the final proposal is published, and public input must be considered.
How to Participate in the Consultation
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) has provided a step-by-step guide for EU citizens completing the consultation. The current consultation is “one of the most important to date” according to ETHRA, and in order to have a serious impact on future EU tobacco policy, public responses must meet or exceed the 24,000 received for Part 1 of the consultation last year. The consultation runs till May 16. As of now, only about a quarter of ETHRA’s goal has been achieved with just five weeks to go in the 12-week response period. Some EU countries that have faced major internal fights over vaping and nicotine product policy have registered almost no participation in the consultation.
The third part of the three-part TPD revision process will be stakeholder consultations, to be held by invitation immediately after the public consultation. ETHRA expects to participate, as will selected representatives of the vaping industry. However, those meetings will almost certainly be weighted toward influential European public health and tobacco control agencies—none of which favor liberal vaping and nicotine product laws—and that makes a strong public response doubly important.
Encouraging Public Participation
With the European Commission’s public consultation on the legislative framework for tobacco products underway, it is essential that vapers and nicotine product users make their voices heard. The EC’s intention is to elicit anti-vaping responses, and without consumer input, the direction the EC takes will likely be toward prohibitionist vaping laws.
The consultation process is the only tool that vapers and other nicotine product users have to prevent the adoption of such laws. Therefore, it is crucial that the public participates in the consultation process and provides their views on the matter.
Steps to Participate in the Consultation
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA), an umbrella group of consumer THR advocacy groups, has provided a step-by-step guide for EU citizens to complete the consultation. The current consultation is considered one of the most important to date, and ETHRA stresses that public responses must meet or exceed the 24,000 received for Part 1 of the consultation last year.
The consultation period ends on May 16th, and with just five weeks remaining, only about a quarter of ETHRA’s goal has been achieved. To date, only 5,882 responses have been received, with about half coming from Germany and Italy. Some EU countries, including Estonia, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, and Poland, have registered little to no participation in the consultation.
The importance of a Strong Public Response
The third part of the TPD revision process will be stakeholder consultations, held by invitation immediately after the public consultation. While ETHRA expects to participate, these meetings will likely be weighted toward influential European public health and tobacco control agencies, which do not favor liberal vaping and nicotine product laws.
Therefore, a strong public response is necessary to ensure that vapers and nicotine product users’ voices are heard. Failure to participate in the consultation process may result in further unwelcome regulations, including flavor and online sales bans, a minimum age increase, and a ban on internet advertising. These recommendations are already included in the policy documents the commission will use to justify TPD changes.
In conclusion, it is essential that vapers and other nicotine product users take part in the consultation process to ensure that the EU’s tobacco policy takes into account harm reduction measures. With just five weeks left, it is crucial to provide feedback and make your voice heard before the May 16 deadline.