Confused e-cigarette trade association supports e-cigarette regulation it opposes

Stop press 21 Jan 2014: not only is TVECA confused, it has misrepresented its support.  The French e-cigarette trade association, […]

Stop press 21 Jan 2014: not only is TVECA confused, it has misrepresented its support.  The French e-cigarette trade association, CACE, dissociates itself from the letter.  BRAVO!

The CACE would like to dissociate itself from the TVECA, whose positions strongly differ from the rightful interests of the vapers and the French e-cigarette sector. […] In conclusion, the CACE is calling upon the MEPs of the ENVI Committee to reject article 18 of the draft TPD, in order to allow for a more adequate and realistic regulation, considering the needs of both the vapers and the market.

This is a letter sent to MEPs today in which an e-cigarette trade association displays naivety and a measure of contempt for its customers, whilst not apparently understanding the process it is involved in (2nd reading isn’t inevitable). Let me put a question to TVECA – all those things you list that you don’t like and make no sense… how are they going to change if the directive passes unchanged? In the courts?

To MEPs, just a reminder that this is an industry lobby and does not necessarily have anything useful to say about science or public health. The fact that it can comply withy poorly designed regulations tells us nothing about whether that regulation is justified on health grounds.  Note added emphasis by me  of a particularly offensive paragraph in which they heap scorn on scientists their customers and consumer trade associations… ‘procedural tricks’ indeed.  In Europe, we call that ‘obeying the law’ and many experts, consumer associations and companies think that good science, proper process and lawful measures are worth arguing for and are part of proper politics. Consumers have a very different view: see the European Declaration (reproduced below)

Here’s the letter…

TVECA logo

 Brussels, January 20, 2014

 Dear Chairman,

Dear Rapporteur and Shadows,

First of all, we would like to wish you a very happy new year and best wishes for 2014.

With 2013, a very busy and eventful year came to an end. After long and complex negotiations, the Council and the European Parliament on the 16th of December rejected the express classification of electronic cigarettes as medicinal products and agreed to regulate them within the framework of the TPD. This was a critical step towards creating a proper regulatory framework for the growing electronic cigarettes sector in Europe; a framework that should ensure the high quality and the safety of these products without disproportionate barriers for placing them on the market. In other words, and despite some important compromises which the European Parliament had to unfortunately accept, the co-legislators have confirmed that a less harmful alternative to conventional tobacco products must be available to European citizens and must meet strict quality and safety criteria.

The Tobacco Vapour Electronic Cigarettes Association (TVECA), also on behalf of the electronic cigarette national associations of France (CACE), Germany (VdeH), Greece (SEEHT), Italy (ANAFE), Netherlands (Ecigbond), Poland (STEP) and Spain (ANCE), supports the text adopted during the trilogue on the 16th of December, although with a number of reservations. Representing the biggest share of the European electronic cigarettes industry, we are confident that the agreed provisions are a compromise that the industry can comply with. We encourage the Parliament to adopt the text with no amendments during the upcoming votes in the ENVI committee and at the Plenary in, respectively, January and March. We would like to use this opportunity to personally thank you for your efforts in reaching the trilogue agreement.

We are aware that certain stakeholders continue to lobby the Parliament to amend Article 18 or try to apply procedural tricks that would undermine the credibility of the agreement. Any amendment at this stage would automatically lead to a 2nd reading and mean an unhelpful step back. We believe this would be an insult to the co-legislators who have worked hard to reach this compromise.

In the meantime we still would like to draw your attention to a number of provisions, some of which were included in the text at the very last stage of the process and may still negatively impact the European electronic cigarettes industry at the implementation phase. These include:

Medicines by function (Recital 32a). Member States may regulate electronic cigarettes as medicines “by function”. This only undermines the TPD’s purpose to ensure harmonisation across the EU. Member States could de facto ban electronic cigarettes on their respective markets while conventional tobacco products remain freely available;

Medicine-like evaluation (p.2c art.18a). Electronic cigarettes will be required to undergo a medicine-like evaluation. This means they will indirectly be treated as medicinal products and provide Member States with another tool to impose a ban;

Regulation of flavours by Member States (Recital 32l). Member States will continue to have the freedom to ban flavours. In this scenario it would considerably decrease the attractiveness of electronic cigarettes vis-à-vis conventional tobacco products;

Advertising of flavours on packages (Art. 18.4(b)ii). Packages of electronic cigarettes cannot refer to the flavouring of the product as set out in Art. 12 of the TPD. This is highly illogical because consumers would have no information about the flavouring of the product being purchased.

Ban on advertising (p.5 art. 18a). Bans on advertising and cross-border sales of electronic cigarettes would unfairly deprive the growing electronic cigarettes industry of the chance to establish a market that can compete with conventional tobacco products;

Regulation of brand-stretching by Member States (Recital 32m). Brand-stretching is currently banned only in 5 Member States, although this should be the case for the entire European Union. The non-application of this ban in certain Member States would benefit “Big Tobacco” and facilitate their expansion into the electronic cigarettes market.

In other words, these provisions bear the risk of bringing about the categorisation of electronic cigarettes as medicinal products through the indirect provisions which would not only sustain regulatory fragmentation across the EU but place the electronic cigarettes sector at a disadvantage and uncompetitive position vis-à-vis “Big Tobacco”. Also it would squander a major opportunity to promote a less harmful alternative to conventional tobacco products in the European Union.

However, TVECA, also on behalf of the national associations (CACE, VdeH, SEEHT, ANAFE, Ecigbond, STEP, and ANCE) as representatives of the majority of the European electronic cigarettes industry appreciate that compromise is necessary, and we would like to express our full support to regulating electronic cigarettes within the framework of the TPD while we will continue to strive for achieving improvements of the regulatory requirements where possible. Our joint efforts should now be directed to ensure harmonised and consistent implementation of the Directive, its provisions and standards in all Member States to ensure fair treatment, foster a competitive environment and give European smokers every opportunity to change to a less harmful alternative if they choose to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Story

Dac Sprengel
Spokesperson for EU Affairs, TVECA
Chairman, Verband des eZigarettenhandels e.V. (VdeH)


The consumer view


Download Post as PDF

43 thoughts on “Confused e-cigarette trade association supports e-cigarette regulation it opposes”

  1. When there is clear ambiguity as to who speaks for any population that vacuum is always filled with those that claim they do.

    The TPD aims to curb the specific action of tobacco usage, of all the technologies it should seek to restrict like vending machines, rolling machines, matches, lighters, cigarette papers, shop power walls and whatnot… Of all of these the Electronic Cigarette should certainly NOT be considered as a tobacco product or a tobacco gateway product or even a tobacco paraphernalia product… yet here we see acquiescence from TVECA in all of its glory.

    After all the government quit websites also I am told are a gateway to cigarette smoking since most of those obeying their methodology end up back smoking….after a few weeks of cessation most of those signing up end up back smoking…we could equally define these government attempts to curb smoking as ‘gateways’ to smoking since if we ignore the fact that everyone that signs up is a smoker to begin with, then examine if they are smokers a month later we find that the government themselves are adding smokers to the population. This is the very same lunacy supported by the TPD with the exception that it highlights governments attempts to curb smoking and not ecigs.

    Should such governmental programs they not also be included as a gateway to smoking? Of course not that would be ludicrous… yet somehow this ‘lunacy’ is perfectly okay as a ‘compromise’ by TVECA!

    TVECA are trying their hand here at the old ‘compromise’ no matter how stupid or nonsensical. Doubtless they are waving the TPD above their heads proclaiming peace in our time! The rest of us are building bunkers!

    1. The short answer is ‘yes’.

      It’s hard to see the public affairs logic of such a crude intervention. Many companies, rightly, want to be involved in settling the detail of whatever is agreed, and want to keep doors open. Fair enough, but there is a subtle way of engaging in a process without necessarily supporting the legislation, or attacking those opposing it. That is the approach being taken by some of the more sophisticated players. Keep head down in the politics, retain some integrity by being clear about weaknesses and poor science, and go ‘technical’ in engagement.

      It takes an especially divisive talent to do it as badly as TVECA, and they have yet to explain why they think their companies will benefit from agreement to all the things they list in their letter.

      The kind of letter they should have written would go….

      As you approach the ENVI committee meeting, we would like to raise the following concerns about the text as it stands:

      – concern 1
      – concern 2

      – concern n

      We support evidence-based policy and well designed regulation for the e-cigarette industry, and would like this to be clearly specified, stable and robust. We hope you will listen to all sides of the argument and bring the process to a clear resolution as soon as reasonably practicable. In the mean time, our members wish to indicate their willingness to work with whatever the legislature decides and hope that we can engage constructively with the Commission and member states as the implementing detail is developed.

      Yours ever…

  2. How influencial are this group? I’d never heard of them until they were mentioned at the BBC rally.
    I’ve looked at their membership list: seems to be mainly US & Netherlands based; my knowledge of the companies involved is limited to Janty and Flavourarts.
    Does their title overstate their position in the ecig market?

  3. TVECA’s Ray Story was warning vapers in 2009 that they should give up on flavors because the FDA was just weeks away from stepping in and banning them.

    Story has his place in history due to his willingness to fund lawsuits that have brought e-cigarettes out of legal gray markets, but he has time, time and time again, showed himself to have ZERO FLIPPING IDEA what he’s doing beyond that.

    TVECA has next to no real membership, does no productive lobbying, and no one would notice if it vanished tomorrow.

    1. This is correct.

      Story and Kiklas have an excellent track record in overturning oppressive legislation enacted to benefit others, but apart from that their abilities appear limited.

      [Editor: statement removed]

  4. Jonathan Bagley

    Last time I looked, only one company based in the UK was a member. To me it appears the industry has now split in two.

    There are the cigalike unrefillable manufacturers who have judged that the proposed regulations suit them. They don’t mind losing the vapers who want strengths higher than 18mg. They still have a large market to go at. These previous smokers of 10 to 15 cigarettes a day might on the whole be happy spending the same amount on disposable cartridges. Crucially, they couldn’t make money out of these people without a ban on refillables and mixing liquid. The disposable cartridges cost pennies to make. They represent a huge profit – like printer ink cartridges.

    The other group are the small companies who, rather than rigging the market, are responding to demand and selling vapers what they want. For example: large batteries, refillable tanks and cartridges and strong mixing liquid.

    I doubt the decision makers will grasp the situation.

  5. TVECA has always been in favour of the kind of regulations that came out of the recent negotiations. Looking at the kind of products sold by many of its members, it’s understandable why. Many of those companies wont be affected by limitations in ejuice bottle volumes or nicotine concentrations.

    I recommend listening to this ENVI discussion that took place in early 2013.

    While TVECA and ECITA agreed that medicinal regulation was not the right path to take, they disagreed strongly with each other over other forms of regulation. ECITA has always been in favour of a separate directive for e-cigarettes. TVECA have always been in favour of regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

    ECITA’s stance, which is apparent by the kinds of products that their members sell, has always been inclusive of the widest range of products possible, which includes nicotine liquids for self-mixing, flavour varieties, and an endless range of battery and atomizer types.

    Every smoker is an individual, and has their own preference for nicotine intake. The ability and freedom for smokers to find their perfect vaping product in order to keep them off the smokes is vital to ending tobacco smoking. Restricting the vast range of vaping products only limits a smoker’s chance at finding their right product. Leglisation should work to cradle the currently available range of products and set rules only to ensure their quality.

    As Gerry Stimson said, during I believe his first VTTalk interview, “the market requires a variety of products to suit a number of needs and purposes”.

    I believe this is the core of what makes vaping work and I think this should be a stance that the whole vaping community needs to hold onto.

    Variety is Vital.

  6. E-Cigs are a square peg. The TPD is a round hole. The EU Commission will continue to hammer until all the edges are removed and E-Cigs fit nicely into the TPD.

    Of course, that leaves all the hammered detritus (Vapers) discarded, ignored and basically, swept up with the rubbish.

  7. So, they’re OK with having to give notification of every single (modification of a) product, six months before starting to sell it? Not even a little worried that users will order new gear directly from China rather than waiting?

    Most of the Dutch sellers on the member list are *not* cig-a-like sellers, BTW.

  8. It is UTTERLY EMBARRASSING to have to read the name ‘Dac Sprengel’ in this TVECA document.

    From this moment onwards, I will look upon him as one of the ANTZ.

  9. Pingback: E-Cig Trade Association TVECA Supports New EU rules

  10. Anthony Williams

    This shower of excrement does not in any way reflect the views of Vapers across the EU, they are self appointed and do not represent us the end users of this Fantastic product.

  11. Pingback: Confused E-Cig Trade Association Supports E-Cig...

  12. There are two main ways to smoke; the smoke can be just drawn into the mouth, or the more dangerous method of inhaling the smoke into the lungs. Pipe and cigar smokers almost universally only draw the smoke into their mouths, it was a matter of personal preference which method was used with cigarette smokers until the price of cigarettes was increased for “health reasons”. Unfortunately this limited supply due to cost and in order to receive the same amount of nicotine, has led to the lung inhale becoming predominant. The legislation actually made smoking more dangerous. Also it is said inhaling tobacco smoke into the lungs makes it more addictive. There is a parallel to the safe sex message, abstinence, using a condom, or being forced not to use a condom.

    The lung inhale method is the only one mentioned by health care professionals and by the unelected who would wish to govern us, with the resultant reinforcing of unsafe smoking behaviour.
    The T.P.D. continues with the one size fits all policy by virtually excluding the safer mouth inhale in favour of lung inhalation. The mouth inhale requires a higher nicotine level and more e-liquid. Goodness only knows who ‘thought’ it was possible to deliver a consistent nicotine dose.
    E-pipes and e-cigars have been lumped in with e-cigs as there was not enough time to produce proper legislation. The legislation then dances through a field of daisies, comparing everything to tobacco cigarettes. Tobacco pipes have a larger tobacco content than cigarettes, as do cigars. Actually the clue is in the name, cigar-ettes. There is a very simple test, if it looks very similar to a tobacco cigarette it can be compared to a tobacco cigarette, if it does not, it cannot.

    E-pipes and e-cigars are not cigarettes so obviously cannot be part of the legislation. Logically a VTR is equivalent to an e-pipe and an EGO is equivalent to an e-cigar. Again a simple test will help the befuddled. How many VTRs can you put in a cigarette packet? None, the VTR is too big! How many EGOs can you put in a cigarette packet? None, the EGO is too big! We are looking for a figure approaching twenty, but one device will not fit in a cigarette packet, so they cannot in all sanity be compared to a tobacco cigarette, can they?

    If a child tries to put a square peg in a round hole one makes allowances for age. If a reasonably intelligent adult literally tries to hammer a square peg in to a round hole, excluding substance abuse, it is done for an agenda.

  13. The vapers never listened to voices whispering that the interests of vapers and vendors are different. Perhaps they listen now. But its too late.

    I am a 24mg vaper and a smoker and I knew what to expect from the German VdEH since they banned e-liquids containing more than 20mg nicotine per ml. Just imgine: Vendors BAN vapers products! And there was no shitstorm in German forums …

    And I am pretty sure that the members of the VdEH will enjoy the same profits as before their letter. Most vapers look for the cheapest price and forget about the rest.

  14. Pingback: TVECA Upsets E-Cig Community By Supporting Harsh EU Regs | Ecig Advanced News

  15. toto le robot

    if you look a bit futher
    you’ll see that “tveca is a proud member of coresta”
    now if you look at this
    and down load the full presentation, and look atthe last page, you’ll find
    Annex 1

    BOARD MEMBERS (2012-2014)

    Alliance One International (USA)
    Borgwaldt KC GmbH (Germany)
    British American Tobacco (UK)
    China National Tobacco Corporation (China)
    Imperial Tobacco Ltd. (UK)
    Japan Tobacco Inc. (Japan)
    KT&G Corporation (South Korea)
    Papierfabrik Wattens GmbH & Co KG (Austria)
    R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (USA)
    Sodim SAS (France)
    Swedish Match North Europe Division (Sweden)
    SWM International Inc. (USA)
    Universal Leaf Tobacco Company (USA)
    University of Kentucky (USA)

    that could explain few things.

  16. So an organisation that few vapers were even aware of before today has the temerity to commit the rest of us to their agenda? It gets crazier by the day!

  17. Well now, here is our opportunity to yell LOBBY! instead of Linda.

    This calls for a letter to MEPs of ENVI:

    1. You habe received a letter by TVECA commending the result of the trialogue.

    2. TVECA is a member of coresta ( )

    3. The board coresta is full of BigTobacco ( Presentation )

    2+3 => TVECA speaks for BigTobacco

    1+2+3 => BigTobacco commends the result of the trialogue

    So, if you vote YES, you support BigTobacco!
    Whoever supports them is a pawn for BigTobacco.
    Is that, what you want to be?
    Or would you rather be a representative of citizens who definitely oppose it, as you should know by now.

    So, if you don’t want to be seen as a tobacco lobbyist you have to vote NO.

    BTW: This TVECA are the same who were “consulted” when the Commission git the “information” that only 40% of e-cigs sold are the advanced devices. The rest are supposed to be junky, useless cig-a-likes. This doesn’t fit with our experience, but we have no verifiable numbers. Did the Commission verify TVECAs numbers?
    And are these numbers really representing the whole market or just the share represented by TVECA, whose few members produce primarily cig-a-likes.

  18. Excellent spot Toto, Sent a letter to MEP’s already pointing out the links that TVECA have. That is the fourth from me and hopefully been associated with the tobacco industry may wake them up. No response other than acknowledging the receipt for the others.

  19. I’m Ray and I too have a right to Vape! I have had reasons to think a great deal about this new thing called vaping. I personally could not and did not want to quit smoking. I was invincible , you know; the rebel without a cause and who gives a f….k anyhow? Like many of you, my day came when life was pretty much to much. Hospitalized, weak and being told I need to kill my immune system with chemo was a real wake up call. I’m a single Dad with two teenage kids and not ready for this . They need me I told myself even though I felt like giving up. Lay back let the world feel sorry for me. Problem was a rebel can’t just go that route. Inside is this overwhelming desire to “show em'” show them all….I can do this…anyone know that feelin? Yeah you know what I mean. We can do this people. We can make a difference in this movement away from the mass frenzy of what appears to be one or two Giants in the health care system and a few in the poisonous Tobacco industry. They aid and abiet each other to survive and control us….the victims. What is told to all victims so that they may overcome? …..We tell them to share their story with others ….share it LOUD , share it honestly without fear. I’m not afraid any longer. I beat the fuckers. I quit smoking. I don’t need them anymore. We don’t need them anymore. They need us. They are in a panic without us. Remember that and we win. They become exposed for what they really stand for. All the supporters of them fall with them. Like all truths…..we need one another and united we stand strong. Make this web soar with our voices . Make this our stand and spread it beyond the web. Everywhere I go these days I tell everyone I see with a cigarette in their had they should quit or end up looking like me. ( breathing like me ) then I tell why I’m still kicking. This ingenious device invented by a PHARMACIST who’s father had died of cancer, wanted to help others who are still suffering. In a nutshell who better to come with something safe and simple than a pharmacist who works with drugs and chemicals as his liveilyhood. It’s working. God Bless that man who knows the pain of others. What is my message? Simple. Take a deep breathe…..what do you feel? I feel freedom. Freedom to feel fresh air and even taste it. For that I owe and this is how I am trying to pay my dues. Thanks for listening and please help those who don’t yet breathe that fresh air. P.S. I’m a Canadian…but I’m free from Canadian complacency. Complacency is the end result of indifferent choices made with no concern for the outcome as long as it just affects someone else.

  20. It seems clear TVECA speaks on behalf of Big T in the States.Big T see ecigs as a way forward and have bought up cigalike businesses.The regulation that most suit cigalikes is one that standardises the product,reducing choice.

    This allows mass production on the lit tobacco scale,the opposite of the smaller,innovative manufacturers in China and,increasingly,the rest of the world.

    I don’t understand how they can support the new Article 18 in one paragraph and then point out its numerous flaws in the next.Do they expect some post-implementation concessions in some,if not all, member states?Or is this just a way to provide Big T with a seat at the table?

    We probably need an input from CASAA

  21. There is a common misconception that trade associations work on behalf of vapers, they don’t. They work for their members to further their members ambitions, market positioning, profit margins and other interests. If non trade association vendors and retailers suffer by their actions, that is the cherry on the cake as it improves members market share. It is sad though that TVECA and assumingly its majority voting members seems to have absolutely no regard for consumers.

  22. If only the EU would look at the scientific evidence, the majority of questions would answer themselves and all this malarky would go away. The flawed basis for Art 18 is the problem; it makes the decision making process susceptable to lobbyists.

  23. Unbelievable, this kind of representation is the last thing we need, who gives these idiots the right to make these comments on our behalfs??

  24. Hello Clive,

    what do you say about, that it is written, you don’t agree with the regulation in the TRL, because you want to have the e-cigarette regulated as a medical product in the UK? It is written, in the UK it is more easy to get the certification as a medical product and the product could also be sold in other stores than pharmacies.

    1. Hi – well it is true there are people in the UK who want medicines regulation, and it has been pushed hard by the UK government and public health establishment – though I think support is declining now. But there are also many of us in the UK who oppose medicines regulation. You can see some of the advocacy I did on this here

      I think one of the things that has changed some people’s minds in the UK is how difficult this would be in other countries. The UK regulator is open to ‘harm reduction’ ideas and has led the way on this. But other medicines regulators do not share their open-mindedness. It is claimed that the UK would have a ‘light touch’ approach to regulating e-cigarettes as medicines – but I don’t think that is true in reality. They just talk about it, but the reality has been quite different.

      1. I don’t see how the MHRA can decide to apply ‘a light touch’. Either ecigs are regulated as medicines, with all that is implied, or they are not. In any case, what is to stop the MHRA from changing its mind at any time?

  25. Please everyone in Europe understand the here in the US we went through all of this already. The TVECA is NOT in the corner with “BIG TOBACCO” however, unless someone plans to rewrite the laws Ecigs. must fall under tobacco regulations. Yes all vapers know that they are less harmful and yes we all know what a wonderful alternative they are and what they have done for ourselves and our loved ones. This is exactly why Ecigs. should be available equally as tobacco products. People have a choice to VAPE or SMOKE. Most people have common sense and can make an educated choice. However, eCigs do need regulation. The TVECA is there to help and support the industry and the users.

  26. Where do you think nicotine comes from? Nicotine is the natural drug in tobacco. Considered a “drug” because of its strong dependence that the user develops once using regularly. Just like caffeine that comes from plants.
    Tobacco and all the chemicals added to traditional cigarettes is what harms people! CORESTA as far as what I can find and read about via the web is an association that scientifically researches tobacco products. Seeing that all natural forms of NICOTINE come from tobacco or plants it only makes sense to me that the TVECA has positioned themselves correctly when working with or as you say “is part of” CORESTA.

  27. Coresta wants from regulators same than tobacco industry and that´s against vapers´ and most ecig vendors´ interest.


    The European Parliament formally approves the revised Tobacco Products Directive, by a vote of 480 to 130! As stated on the European Commission’s website, “This new directive will improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for European citizens.” There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but we are excited and we would like to congratulate everyone that contributed to this major achievement!
    For more information about the tobacco products directive in the EU, click here:

    1. Dear TVECA

      It is not an achievement. It is unscientific, arbitrary and disproportionate legislation that will hold back the development of the industry you claim to represent. It will reduce the appeal of the products to a significant number of potential consumers. You supported measures you say you oppose and now assert that it is an achievement that they are agreed.

      It does not provide certainty or a stable regulatory environment, because most of it is highly vulnerable to legal challenge, which is likely.

      There is very little sign consumers support it, and their reasons for wanting it to be done properly are more persuasive than your arguments to settle with poor legislation.

      It is never a good idea to let politicians decide regulation without consultation. Any trade body worth the membership fee should be absolutely firm on that. It is unlawful in Europe to produce new legislation without consultation.

      Any resemblance you display to a bunch of clueless amateurs may well be accidental. But for now, please forgive me if I don’t share your excitement.

      Yours sincerely,

      Clive Bates

  29. Pingback: PM - UTVG revolutioniert die E-Zigarette - wirklich? - DampfFreiheit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top