It’s good to see that the peaceful protest is not only making a comeback, but has in the last couple of years become an extremely effective method of change once again. Look at Iceland and Brazil for some good examples.
And now the European vaping community are adopting the method.
On July 10th 2013 clouds of vapour will be descending on Brussels. No, this isn’t an end of the world scenario, though it might seem so to smokers determined to give up their addictive habit. The reason vapers are up in arms is that European Union health ministers could decide that most vapour-producing e-cigarettes will be re-classifiable as medicines, or fall under the same regulations as tobacco products despite them not actually containing any tobacco at all.
That is to say, the results of the Tobacco Products Directive are going to be decided on July 10th.
The point this demonstration will be trying to put across is that if e-cigs and other vaping devices are not removed from the TPD then it will mean that thousands of smokers will continue to die every day of smoking related diseases – unnecessarily.
Why? Because they will either become too expensive due to manufacturers having to cover the cost of the medical license needed to produce them, or they will be limited to 4mg nicotine which is not enough to help most smokers make the switch from tobacco to vaping – particularly when the cigarettes they are moving off of generally contain much higher amounts of nicotine.
Although the general view of e-cigarettes is that they are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, and NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) have even announced that they believe they should be recommend to smokers as an a form of smoking cessation, public-health researchers such as the World Health Organization fear that the products’ growing popularity and wide range of flavours could prove seductive to teens and children.
Vapers are not against sensible regulations, but these proposals do not seem sensible to the vast majority, and so they have come together to make their voice heard.
To emphasize this, each protester will burst a single black balloon at 1pm to represent the death of yet another smoker whose life may end because he or she wasn’t able to switch to electronic cigarettes.
If you want to protest but can’t be in Brussels on July 10th, then Clive bates has a list of suggestions that you might find useful on his blog.