End of an Era

Well. This is it. Today is the last day of the transition period. Tomorrow, May 20th, is the day when any non-notified vaping product can no longer be legally sold. Tomorrow is when the new legislation will really start to bite.

What will happen? There isn’t a straightforward answer to that.

Let’s look at what we, as a community of consumers have been able to enjoy.

Over the years, we have been able to enjoy tank sizes of up to a whopping 7-8ml. I once complained about the drive towards a particular subset. Was I right to do so? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s face it, the number of tanks on the market that are in excess of the ridiculous 2ml limit imposed aren’t generally going to be for new users, and rarely for the average Joe in the street that just wants an alternative to smoking.

I’ve been enjoying the Smok TFV8 recently. A lot. I regularly trigger the smoke alarms in my home. Mostly because I’m an idiot and don’t notice just how much vapour has escaped the room I’m in to where the damn thing is located. But here’s the thing. I enjoy it. The TFV8 that is, not the shrill smoke alarm.

From tomorrow, anyone who wants a TFV8, won’t be able to get one. Not legally at any rate. Here’s the thing about that, many of the small 2ml tanks just aren’t enjoyable to use. There are many of those small tanks that simply will not serve.

Oh, and any kit you are able to get is plastered with a fuck off, totally pointless warning:

A thoroughly pointless warning about nicotine on products that don’t, shock-horror, contain nicotine.

Vapers 0, TPD 1.

We’ve had the luxury of various bottle sizes. 5ml testers, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 100, and I’ve even heard of (though never seen) a 300ml.

Tomorrow? All we’ll be able to get is 10ml. No longer can I, nor any other vaper, legally buy a 100ml bottle of our favourite liquid. Instead, we’ll have to buy 10 bottles of the same liquid.

What is worse is that, prior to today, you could (if you could find it) buy e-liquid in various strengths up to 54mg/ml. 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg, 24mg, 36mg and 54mg were all available. True, the 24mg and above were hard to find, or you could make it yourself, but they were there. Admittedly, the last 18 months or so has seen a drive towards low nic e-liquid, with 0, 3 & 6 becoming the most popular. The last show I went to (Vape Jam last year), no vendor had anything above 6.

From tomorrow, there’ll not be anything above 18mg/ml. But that’s OK according to our frenemies at ASH. Y’see, they firmly believe the needs of 9% of vapers that use above 19mg/ml don’t matter. The same 9% of vapers that are at greatest risk of relapsing to smoking. There’s zero consideration for any potential new users that might require the strong stuff. After all, an NRT course is designed to reduce nicotine intake by a carefully calculated step-down set of patches. Stop Smoking Services don’t (usually) start a two pack-a-day smoker on the course with a 6mg patch.

What is even more stunning is a recent admission from the Director of Policy at ASH:

It’s very interesting to be lectured about public health from Simon who is being funded by tobacco manufacturers and really only got interested in this subject since those companies have entered the market, but on the specific point around nicotine warnings I really don’t think it’s unreasonable for a product to say that nicotine is addictive. I mean, the addiction to nicotine has caused millions of deaths across the planet, you know, for the last many decades and while…

Aside from the fact that BBC Radio Kent classed ASH as a “public health charity” when they are anything but, let’s remind Ms Cheeseman of the phrase that everyone should be aware of from the late Dr Michael Russell:

people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar

There’s also the inconvenient fact that many smokers, not the ones that ASH like to survey but the real smokers, actually enjoy smoking.

Vapers 0, TPD 3

At last count (by ASH, natch), numbers of current vapers affected by the nicotine strength limit is down to 6%, and I think we all know exactly why that is don’t we? Y’see, ASH, CRUK, RSPH and all the other alphabet organisations have been beating the “cessation, cessation, cessation” drum. They don’t support vaping in the way that I, Dave Dorn, Dick Puddlecote, Fergus Mason, Christopher Snowdon, and several others do. These alphabet organisations insist that vaping is a cessation tool, when it is anything but. Y’see, this mindset has seeped into the minds of the average vaper:

There is no fundamental need, or requirement to lower your nicotine strength. If you decide you want to use a dripper you will probably need to lower the nicotine concentration. But there is absolutely no need to for the average vaper. I use 6mg/ml in the TFV8 and 12mg/ml in the Cleito. I started at 18mg/ml, almost three years ago.

Y’see, we’re all about choice. The choice to do what you like without the minimum of interference from the State, and that includes sockpuppet alphabet organisations where the control freak whose life is so empty, dull and formulaic that they get their kicks out making other people’s business their own without asking, and of thrusting themselves into the lives of others of whom they disapprove.

Let’s go further shall we?

(H/T Spiritus Vapes):

Basically: Under the Tobacco Product’s Directive, it’s getting harder and harder to keep going. Back in May last year things began with cross-border sales being banned in 12 EU countries, allowed in 8 countries (including the UK) and 8 countries not saying either way or offering no way to register our business with them.

Cross border bans have limited what Tristan can get to supply vapers in the UK. It’s also cut him off from customers on the continent.

The EU Tobacco Products Directive was drafted with the aim of “improving market harmonisation”, as I wrote in Vapelyfe Magazine in February:

The state of the Union is a puzzle missing many centre pieces and corners, leaving vapers with fewer choices.

I doubt Brexit will serve much short term purpose, so vendors who were early converts to vaping, that started businesses to share the wonder they had found. The small businesses that form the beating heart of the vaping industry won’t be served at all by the TPD. Big businesses will, especially the Tobacco Industry (they can’t say we didn’t warn them).

The days of the entrepreneur in the vaping industry are dead.

Vapers 0, TPD 5

If the TPD, and it’s UK implementation the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016) are meant to harmonise the market, it has failed miserably. If it was about health, it has failed miserably. If it was about maximising choice, it’s failed miserably.

It’s shite, get shot. While you’re at it, get shot of the navel gazing fuckwits that lobbied for, and fully welcome it and the ridiculous bans that come with it.

This regulation isn’t about health, never was and never will be. It was never about maximising choice, and never will be. It is, in short, in place due to corporate & sockpuppet lobbying, secret meetings, ignorance and snobbery. This is just the first step – lingchi – taken by these fuck knuckles, the next logical step (natch) will be to generate a revenue stream from the highly regulated industry.

May they burn in hell. Don’t let the bastards win.

(image credit Diego Schtutman/shutterstock)

  • Arnold

    #everyone should be aware of from the late Dr Michael Russell: people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar#

    Nice soundbite, but false. People smoke for a lot of various reasons and smokers die of the same diseases/accidents as nonsmokers do. Once science and medicine get bastardized with soundbites like that, a directive like TPD becomes the new normal.

    • It is an accurate summation of his article in The Lancet, February 16 1974 – http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(74)92558-6/abstract

      • Arnold

        #require the virtual elimination of cigarette smoking in favour of non-inhaled smoking of pipes or medium to large cigars.#
        An early prohibitionist at work…

        • He also mentions taxation. The key factor is the recognition of the combustion (i.e. the tar and CO) being the problem, not the nicotine. Hence the summary soundbite.

          • Arnold

            Well, if you believe that nicotine is addictive, you should be happy it wasn’t banned entirely, but limited to 20mg/ml. You wouldn’t want to get people addicted, now would you? 🙂 They will get addicted to a vapor that contains formaldehyde and other nasty stuff, just ask the ‘experts’ such as Glantz.

            Seriously now, Glantz and his ilk exist because of the bastardization of science and medicine, a process that Dr Russell was part of.

          • I’d put nicotine in the same category as caffeine. Both are mild stimulants, and outside of burnt tobacco, the ‘addictiveness’ of nicotine is dubious at best 😉

            To be fair, science has always been bastardised, especially for the various media outlets over the years. Also, the overall quality of science – particularly in the public health and tobacco control fields – has declined rapidly (though I’d posit that it was never that scientific to begin with 😉 ).

            Soundbites, for better or worse, are the primary weapons of Glantz and his ilk – it’s easy to proliferate a lie (or even a half truth) in a snappy soundbite than it is for actual fact (also, today’s media don’t want facts, they want sensationalisation); and that is predominantly because the majority of folk that read the various articles out there don’t know any better (though I’d tentatively suggest that may indeed be changing – slowly – for some topics).

          • Jon

            Totally agree that nicotine is on a par with caffeine in terms of a stimulant and relative health risk. I am sick and tired of people confusing the dangers of tobacco smoke and all its associated toxins with the relatively harmless effect of nicotine inhaled through vaping, whatever the strength. Which is why we’ve ended up with a bunch of ignorant legislators listening to an even more ignorant bunch of lobbyists. The tobacco companies must be rubbing their hands in glee, firstly because of all the current smokers who won’t even try to switch now (all this legislation does is re-enforce the total misconception of the general public that vaping is somehow as harmful as smoking so why bother?) and second, because they have the financial muscle to apply for the now statutory licences that the small/medium innovative vape companies cannot. I’ve now got 10 years worth of high strength nicotine stored in my freezer and enough spare parts for my 4 ml to 7 ml tanks to last a lifetime and I suspect that I am not alone amongst experienced vapers but I could weep for all the totally avoidable deaths that are going to occur as fewer and fewer smokers join our numbers over the coming years.

        • Roberto S

          What could make Russell a prohibitionist is the phrase “require the virtual elimination of”, not the advise of switching from cigarettes to non inhaled smoke in pipes/cigars, an advise that I have followed for the last 34 years and that has improved my cardio vascular condition. There is epidemiological evidence (good one, not Glantz-like rubbish) showing much less health hazards from pure cigar/pipe smoking in comparison to cigarette smoking. The problem is not medical advise per se, but medical advise that is either patronizing or authoritarian, or based on lies and pseudo-science, and, of course, when it is aimed at providing a “science base” to bullying measures like intrusive bans, de-normalisation, etc.

          • Arnold

            I am aware of the epidemiology. I tend to think that the differences between cigarettes and cigars/pipes have more to do with self selection of people in the respective smoking categories. For instance, as big a fan I am of tobacco and smoking, I don’t see myself smoking and inhaling 2 packs a day. So there has to be something in the genetic makeup and/or environment of a person that self selects into smoking and inhaling 2 packs a day. The second point is the lab experiments in which smoking animals (of unfiltered cigarettes) have outlived in better health the controls. The third point are the few randomized quitting studies such as MRFIT which didn’t show the alleged benefits of quitting smoking observable in studies such as Doll’s (where the quitters were again self selected).

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