My name is Carmen Escrig; Many will know me for being one of the international coordinators of the MOVE initiative (Organization of doctors in support of the vapeo and electronic cigarettes); But in addition to my role as a Doctor, my work focuses mainly on activism in defense of personal vaporizers as a public health tool.
Across Europe, many activists, including many people linked to the world of health and science, we develop initiatives to preserve the value and free development of this important tool of harm reduction. Many believe, after analyzing the clear scientific evidence, that these devices have enormous potential in the fight against smoking and, therefore, can save millions of lives.
The development of the wide variety of vaporizers and the growing "gourmet" market of e-liquids allows us to adapt the form of vapear to the level and type of addiction of the consumer. This has motivated the emergence of a whole culture around these products and their manufacturers, which contributes in a decisive way to the maintenance of the high rates that have been registered of total abandonment of tobacco by eCig. This integration between the specialized market and the process of smoking cessation has become an unpublished sociological phenomenon worthy of study which, of course, must be protected as it keeps millions of people away from tobacco.
Unfortunately, the legislation imposed by the European Tobacco Products Directive will create significant obstacles, in some cases insurmountable, for these devices and e-liquids to reach the smoking population in a free and efficient way. All vapers, both present and future, will lose a lot when the TPD is applied. Which is even worse; As it is worded, "power" can completely destroy the whole independent industry of the electronic cigarette to its foundations at will. The implementation of the TPD will prevent the effective remedy against the greatest public health problem in history from reaching the population effectively. It will be a real tragedy.
Before this nonsense, many vapers, no matter origin, formation or profession, we have united to fight it in all the possible fronts and in all the countries. However, we do not have the means or legal mechanisms to influence a European Directive "of mandatory compliance in all member countries". As vapers, we can not fight against it in European courts from the point of view of defending public health, since the European treaties are strictly economic in nature.
In a magnificent exercise of opposition, the Totally Wicked industry has challenged the TPD in the European courts, in the only possible way according to the treaties of the Union; By economic means. Specifically, the challenge is based on the revision of article 20 of the TPD, which represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provision of services. Article 20 places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage with respect to other tobacco products, fails to comply with the principle of equality, and violates the fundamental rights of producers of electronic cigarettes and their users. The challenge has been admitted and the hearing will take place later this year.
It will be then when judges evaluate the case and Totally Wicked, in an important initiative that reflects the unity of European vapers, both industry and users, will bring before the court the thousands of user signatures in support of this challenge of the directive. For the court, the awareness that the defense of the independent electronic cigarette market is something that thousands of USERS support throughout Europe, it may be the discordant note that makes the balance fall on our side and open the doors to a possible repeal of this Normative without meaning.
That's why it's very, very important that you all sign up for the Totally Wicked Challenge on this same website; Will not take you more than a few seconds and it is one of the most important active initiatives in Europe that all vapers should support.
We must convince the European Union courts that the vapeo has come to stay and that destroying the independent market of personal vaporizers and e-liquids through the TPD will only trigger the emergence of a huge uncontrollable black market that millions of vapers return To tobacco and that millions of smokers do not access this magnificent tool. It will only trigger millions of deaths that could have been avoided.
I invite you all to sign the initiative. Thanks a lot for your support.
Carmen Escrig, PhD
International MOVE Coordinator
Statement of Conflict of Interest: Carmen Escrig does not receive any kind of financial or other contribution from any company or association related to the electronic cigarette