The Challenge (and why we hope you will support us)
We may have launched this challenge, but it is a challenge we hope all vapers and all of industry can support. We want it to be our challenge – vapers and the electronic cigarette and e-liquid industry, for if the TPD is implemented in its current form we will all lose out.
We launched this legal challenge to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive last year, on the grounds that Article 20 of the Directive breaches EU law.
Specifically, this challenge is based on the view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provisions of services, places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers and users.
On the 6th October 2014, at the UK’s Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Green decided that a ‘preliminary ruling’ reference should be made to the Court of Justice of the European Union to determine whether Article 20 of the TPD does in fact breach EU law.
On the 1st of October we had the CJEU hearing, and a ruling is expected in the early part of 2016.
We have challenged a Directive that will bring electronic cigarettes and e-liquids under the same regulatory scope as tobacco, and, one that regulates them far more stringently than some tobacco products.
Electronic cigarettes are not a tobacco product, they are a revolutionary product with the potential to render tobacco cigarettes obsolete and prevent millions of deaths from smoking. We believe that the TPD is likely to adversely impact the availability of good quality electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, and, jeopardise the life changing potential of e-cigarettes.
We very much hope that you will join us in this challenge to Article 20 of the TPD. Although the court hearing has taken place, and we have handed in our petition to the Department of Health (DoH) with over 71’000 signatures, we are continuing to collect signatures and will be sending them in to the DoH until we have a ruling from the CJEU.
By adding your name you will be playing your part in demonstrating to the CJEU and the DoH that vapers and industry from across the EU are united in their opposition to Article 20 of this directive.