back to article Use Brexit to save smokers' lives and plug vaping, say peers

The government should take advantage of Brexit to save lives, the House of Lords heard last week. Conservative peer Baron (Martin) Callanan, who tabled the motion being debated to withdraw the EU’s latest vaping regulations, said smoking policy should no longer be driven by the interests of Big Pharma, and called on the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not scientific, but true

    I stopped smoking and started vaping on the same day (back in February).

    I don't even vape now.

    1. Grifter

      Re: Not scientific, but true

      Same. Smoked 14.5 years, tried to quit in that time but was a complete wreck, and still went back to smoking. Heard of ecigs, researched it for a week, ordered my kit, and have been smoke free since I got my kit in the mail, 29 dec 2010. Don't really vape anymore either, but it's fun to take out on occasion.

    2. Yesnomaybe

      Re: Not scientific, but true

      I started vaping and stopped smoking on the same day, about a year ago. Tried to stop on a number of occasions before, but somehow always drifted back into smoking. Since then, I have used my new-found knowledge to get two more people off the stinkies. (This is why vape-shops are so important: It isn't just about selling the gear and the juice. For a beginner, there is a lot of information to take in, and the two people I helped make the change would probably not have managed if I hadn't been available with help and advice. I was lucky enough to have a very friendly and helpful vape-shop close to where I live so this made it a lot easier for me to quit)

    3. Salts

      Re: Not scientific, but true

      Me also, stopped smoking started vaping was vaping nicotine free in about 6 week and now I use it from time to time(beer time) a bottle of ejuice lasts me about 8 weeks, my better half did the same on the same day and she never even touches the vape anymore.

      I have heard this same story from everyone I know/meet that has tried to quit using vape, some quit others like to vape from time to time, none smoke anymore.

  2. Unep Eurobats
    Thumb Up

    The Brexit cloud

    may have a silver lining for vapers, it seems.

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: The Brexit cloud

      Seems a strange thing to wreck the economy, bugger up people's pensions, and give a thumbs up to racism, just so that one can get a nicotine fix inside a pub rather than outside of it.

      1. streaky Silver badge

        Re: The Brexit cloud

        TPD confirmed to me everything I knew about the EU before and made it absolutely clear that the EU wasn't prepared to discuss anything sensible on any level. One doesn't vote to leave solely for that reason but it cemented my decision in stone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Brexit cloud

          Our government agreed the rules on Vaping via the council of ministers and our elected MEPs then approved it too.

          They may have all been misled... but I don't hold out much hope for any subsequent government to do much better on average.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Vaping in a pub

            There's nothing stopping the UK from passing a law banning vaping in pubs while still permitting the higher strength that helps smokers bridge from smoking to vaping on the way to hopefully quitting. Having to go outside to vape wouldn't make it any more difficult to use vaping to quit, given that they're already used to going outside to smoke.

            While I doubt there's much risk for "second hand vape", I think all tobacco products should be banned in public places for consistency's sake if nothing else. My pet peeve is people chewing tobacco in bars (probably seen more in the US than the UK) because of the disgusting spit cups that always accompany them, and their tendency of users to spit the pouches into urinals when they know damn well they won't flush (and shouldn't be flushed in toilets either) My state talking about banned all tobacco products in restaurants etc. to extend the smoking ban passed almost 10 years ago, but it failed to pass. I imagine it will pass in the next year or two.

          2. streaky Silver badge

            Re: The Brexit cloud

            Our government agreed the rules on Vaping via the council of ministers and our elected MEPs then approved it too.

            I'm fully aware but the government has shown it can be moved on vaping. EU has proven it is utterly incapable of even discussing the issue. The progress that's been made with the Lords alone has underlined how much even a little public pressure can be brought to bear against the people who listen to ASH and get them to change their opinions to align with reality.

            If it was possible to get the commons to agree to discussing it without saying "it's EU law so we can't do anything anyway" (which will be the post brexit outcome) then that same pressure can have an effect. Government departments are already being completely reasonable even in the face of the TPD.

  3. Lee D Silver badge

    Bloody people, imposing regulations, telling us what we can and can't do, raising the taxes on cigarettes and making us move to vapers instead "for our own good", without public consultation... what right have they got to interf...

    Oh, hold on. Nope, sorry, we're only allowed to say that when it's the EU doing it, right?

    (Always been a non-smoker, for reference, but if this was the other way around, I could easily see everyone jumping on the bandwagon of "bloody eurocrats telling us what to do"... Strange how now the EU aren't a factor it's STILL the same kinds of rules being imposed on people without a vote, no?)

  4. rmason Silver badge

    Indeed @Unep Eurobats

    In fact many (most?) UK based vaping groups on facebook were crammed full of users who were voting leave, just on the off chance that the TPD would be looked at again. There are close to 2 million vapers, estimated, in the UK, the last time I checked any figures. That's quite a chunk of voters who saw a ridiculous piece of legislation that impacted something they saw as life saving.


    Something has to be done, it's an utterly crazy bit of law making that only benefits large tobacco and pharma companies (i.e. those who can afford to pay all the fees mentioned in the article.relating to e-liquid)

    Other parts of the article ring true as well, I make my own e-liquid. I sell it to my brother in law and few friends too, however I know other "home brewers" who have long since passed the "taking the piss" point with their sales, and are making more or as much from it as they are their day job. All untaxed, undeclared and unregulated. The decision to make your own eliquid was made by many the second the new regulations were mentioned, knowing they'd only be able to buy vastly more expensive, and smaller bottles of e-liquid at some point in the future.

    If it's (the TPD) actually enforced more and more vapers will turn to making their own liquid, or buying from someone who does. Sales of Chinese nicotine base liquid will soar (because the current UK supplies of good quality nic base will, more than likely, stop selling to the public in any worthwhile quantity and strength)

    The norm will then be similar to the dodgy tobacco market, i.e acquired from mates, down the pub or on facebook selling pages. With the only brands of e-liquid available in shops being those made by "big tobacco" at many times the price.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      I make my own eliquid because I can be sure of the quality of the flavours that go into them; I only buy flavours and base liquids I can get datasheets for and frankly that's what sensible regulation would have looked like. If we're all using the same sources for our liquids why do companies who make liquids have to individually go get every flavour at every strength tested to reach the same conclusions. It's illogical on all sorts of levels and completely ignores everything we've learned from science, ever.

      The fact the EU completely missed this simple point is the exact problem with the TPD. That and the fact that there's no point in limiting the size of something you can refill (i.e. the tanks) other than just to annoy people.Same with the actual size of liquid bottles you can buy; why in the name of all holy hell not just require that caps are childproof (which *all* manufacturers are doing anyway). You wouldn't limit a bottle of bleach to 20ml so why do it with eliquids.

      Also yes it only benefits manufacturers (see: traditional tobacco companies who have been buying those manufacturers) of the kind of ecig that you can buy from your local garage and those things suck if you actually want to quit smoking.

  5. moiety

    As I understand things, the lords had largely decided to ignore the regulations anyway.

  6. Velv Silver badge

    Hmmm, lets see.

    You manufacture a product to meet European regulations so you can export it to 500million people. Then this piddling little market breaks away and sets its own different regulations.

    Do you:

    a) invest in modifying your product to serve two different markets; or

    b) fuckem, they can have what we make for Europe.

    There are probably niche players who only manufacture for the UK, but the majority aren't going to bother their arse when they're still selling to 440million+ Europeans.

    1. NotBob

      Because no one makes for the Merkins, right?

      If the regs are reasonable, products will be available.

    2. rmason Silver badge


      Keep in mind that many eliquid producers and mod makers (the people making the atomisers and the things they sit on) are small 1-5 man bands that simply can't meet the cost of these new rules.

      If I make 10 e-liquid flavours (most places make many, many more) in 5 strengths (covers most vapers) the relevant testing to become TPD compliant would cost me approximately a quarter of a million pounds, you'll see why this would effectively put all those without big money behind them (like British-American tobacco et al) out of business.

      It'd also make the price of a days vaping about as expensive as a days worth of cigs, rather than cheaper.

      It benefits nobody apart from those who have an interest in making vaping more expensive, less accessible and less successful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is that e-liquids with nicotine, or without?

        I ask because if nicotine is there to help you quit nicotine, and not just the leaf burning business, then people are getting into "medical claim" territory.

        Hence BAT getting their "Voke" (reminds me of Vokes filters) licenced with MHRA as a medical device

        1. rmason Silver badge

          @AC the regulations only apply to eliquids containing nicotine.

          While some places still may market it as a way of quitting nicotine it's not really. The primary thing is harm reduction, when compared to smoking.

        2. Steven Raith

          "Is that e-liquids with nicotine, or without?

          I ask because if nicotine is there to help you quit nicotine, and not just the leaf burning business, then people are getting into "medical claim" territory."

          Quite emphatically, no.

          Just containing nicotine is not enough to be a medical claim. You have to specifically claim that your product will help you get off smoking.

          No reputable vendor or device maker makes that claim specifically because they do not want to go through the medicinalisation route because it's expensive, restricts the products usefulness and won't sell.

          No-one - and I mean no-one - is interested in a medical e-cig. We're all quite happy with our consumer goods that - as a handy byproduct - allow us to significantly reduce our cig intake, even down to zero.

          You know, unless you want to claim that we should force all gyms to go through MHRA registration as phsyio outlets because they 'medically' make people lose weight....

          Steven R

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If I make 10 e-liquid flavours (most places make many, many more) in 5 strengths (covers most vapers) the relevant testing to become TPD compliant would cost me approximately a quarter of a million pounds

        Yes, you should absolutely be allowed to put anything to like in there without any spoilsport restrictive legislation.

        1. rmason Silver badge

          Not many vapers (myself included) are calling for ZERO regulation.

          Sensible regulation is what's needed, not the current shambles that only benefits big tobacco.

    3. Tim 11

      yeah - who on earth would possibly bother making a product aimed at a market of only 50 million people.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Then this piddling little market breaks away and sets its own different regulations.

      I think you'll find that the UK is the world's fifth largest economy. Maybe you would treat this as a "piddling little market", I doubt others would be so blinkered.

  7. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Ah, e-cigarettes

    The most effective birth control ever invented.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, e-cigarettes

      Cig-alikes I agree.

      But don't underestimate the power of a 150w mod with sub-ohm dripper.

      I was sitting on a bench and I blew a phat cloud. When the vapour eventually cleared, I was covered in scantily clad ladies, and the sponsors wanted me to go pro.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Ah, e-cigarettes

        But only if you get lots of tattoos and a backwards baseball cap, right?

        Steven "owns more than a few >200w devices" R

    2. Jim 43

      Re: Ah, e-cigarettes

      I've heard them referred to as douche-flutes by many of the twenty-somethings I interact with. It's a wonderfully evocative name.

      I'd still say that smoking analog cigarettes is more effective at birth control.

  8. Yugguy

    Vaping - it will never look cool.

    I mean, how cool would Lauren Bacall have looked saying "all you have to do is whistle" had she been holding an enormous plastic contraption and surrounded by an opaque cloud of steam?

    So there you go kids - fags, they're cool. Yeah.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Vaping - it will never look cool.

      You do know they are available in the exact same form factor as a cigarette, don't you? Of course you don't, because you never notice those users. You only ever notice the ones with the big bongs that pump out clouds of steam,

  9. Buzzword


    Sod the vaping law - when are we going to dump the stupid "this website uses cookies" popup that the EU mandated on every bloody website?

  10. Naselus

    OK, so negatives:

    * economy crashing

    * No immigration limits possible

    * No tariffs possible

    * No extra money for NHS after all

    * Fishing quota not changing

    * Still probably going to have to pay EU fees for access to market

    * Still probably going to have to follow all EU directives for access to market

    * Thousands of jobs being offshored

    * Hiring freezes worldwide

    * Total collapse of political system


    * Can vape again.

    Remind me why we voted out again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Er, we didn't?

      People are angry with neoliberalism, even if they don't explicitly know the meaning of the word.

  11. JRW

    Not Sure if Vape Good or Bad

    A few days ago I was at the top of a local hill and four young lads had just finished cycling up. They were probably 10-13 years old. The eldest was the most out of breath and called on the others to stop. Years ago I wouldn't have been surprised to see him lighting a cig. It being modern times and he got out his Vape machine. I'm unclear if this is progress. (I smoked for >20 years and it was without doubt the stupidest thing I have done.)

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Not Sure if Vape Good or Bad

      Vaping does not cause you to be unfit or get out of breath more easily, so the fat that the unfit cyclist also used an e-cig is merely coincidence (and probably more to do with him being older than the others).

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Not Sure if Vape Good or Bad

        Cynic is correct. It's more likely that he used to smoke, or that in the experimentation phase, he'll mess with vaping, get bored of it, and never move on to smoking.

        Population levels studies - all of them - show that this appears to be the case. As vaping goes up among youth, smoking goes down. Full stop.

        Steven R

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every news article on eCigs talks about them as if their primary use-case is smoking cessation, while every eCig user I've ever met has a primary use-case of 'no-odor cannabis'.

    Maybe I tend to hang around the wrong sort, but by now I should have met at least one person whose motivation was smoking cessation.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Yes, you definitely hang around the wrong sort. Everyone I know who is using e-cigs has done so in order to stop smoking. They have not necessarily done so with the intention of giving up nicotine, but nicotine addiction is of itself about as dangerous as coffee or tea addiction.

      1. Steven Raith

        Curiously, you can get CBD liquid (that is, cannibinoid, not THC liquids - so strictly speaking, not illegal as it's not psychotropic/doesn't make you high etc) which are good for anti-inflammatory use and can have (what appears to be) a psychosomatic calming effect.

        I threw my back out at the weekend, and much as thought I'm sure walking it off will sort it by midweek (feels like it's just a muscle strain) the concept of having a bottle of the vapable anti-imflammatory kicking about is quite a nice one.

        I've not looked at it in much detail though. I think I might investigate.

        No-one with an IQ greater than 36 uses e-cigs for getting high - trying to get the THC in there from the oil just kills the, I mean, it doesn't work ;-)

        There are far better pieces of equipment for that, namely dry cannabis 'heat not burn' devices, that are, unsurprisingly, less harmful to use than smoking a big fat camberwell carrot, because there's no combustion going on.

        It's an interesting market, for sure.

        Steven R

  13. myhandler

    This is why the house of lords has a useful reason to exist - some don't toe a party line and some are immune to lobbyists.

    1. Steven Raith

      sadly rather a lot appear to have been poorly, and amateurishly, prepped by the BMA and ASH - the arguments against e-cigs in the house were very much of the 'oh we just don't know' and 'think of the children' line that are typical for those organisations.

      The fact that most of them didn't seem to even understand what they were saying was quite telling. Tripping over words, reading every single word off the page rather than freewheeling, etc.

      I'm very much of the opinion that those of us on the side of harm reduction and common sense have scared the living shit out of the antis - they're worried. Hence the poor lobbying efforts.

      Interesting times.

      Steven R

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: All vapers shall be free

      "After the Brexit, all vapers shall be get mouth cancer. There are early indications that vaping is bad for your health as well"

      Citation needed.

      FYI, oxfordmale78 nothing outside of articles in the sun/mirror/Daily Mail has claimed any evidence of negative effects from vaping. I'm sure the few months/years of vaping that most users right now have clocked up caused mouth cancer, not the multiple years or decades of smoking that came before. Absolutely laughable.

      All actual,scientific studies done say the exact opposite.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vaping is downright weird

    The UK appears to be a-drift in a huge vape cloud these days.

    So many vapers.

    Also,so many still smoking dried leaves. (It's 2016 people)

    I don't care what is or isn't in your 'vapour', please keep it away from me.

  16. Alex Bailey

    Ban the vape!

    Many kids who would have avoided smoking the real thing seem to be picking up vapes because it's seen as the "in thing". Its bad enough having to still walk through clouds of tobacco smoke because people stand in office and shop doorways to get their fix but to have to put up with sickly-sweet vape clouds too... enough is enough.

    1. DasWezel

      Re: Ban the vape!

      And I'll bet you spend more time in the fug than you would otherwise by taking a few moments to berate the user. Lawks.

    2. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Ban the vape!

      Yes, lets ban the option that's less harmful to the user, and yourself walking past, and keep them all smoking.


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