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Vapers For Britain: Why E-Cigarette Users Support Brexit

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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A new campaign group has come to the aid of those battling to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union — Vapers for Britain (VfB).

After a fraught renegotiation process, the British people have been given the opportunity to vote on their country’s membership of the EU for the first time in 40 years.

The referendum will be held Jun. 23 with Prime Minister David Cameron campaigning for a vote to remain in the EU. (RELATED: What is Brexit? Everything You Need To Know About Britain’s EU Referendum)

E-cigarette users’ concern about Britain’s EU membership is simple: EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) comes into effect May 20.

“From then on vaping businesses are going to be spending a fortune on filling in tens of thousands of meaningless forms, changing tank sizes to ones you don’t want and changing bottle sizes down to fiddly 10ml. The government says it will cost £1.3m for the entire industry to comply with the TPD. The industry says £988m – which is money that you will be paying,” says the VfB website.

“The Prime Minister told the House of Commons in December that vaping had got one million people to quit. Yet despite this stunning public health achievement, we are heading to the TPD Disaster starting on Black Friday.”

To avoid the damaging impact of the EU’s regulations, VfB recommended British vapers vote to leave the EU June 23.

Using a survey of 100,000 people across 40 companies in January, if TPD is implemented in full, VfB estimate more than half of vape stores would close and 56 percent of flavors would become unavailable. More than 80 percent of devices would be withdrawn and business would be slashed by almost 50 percent.

“The European Union directive governing e-cigarette regulation is a catalogue of poorly designed, disproportionate and discriminatory measures that will achieve nothing useful but do a great deal of harm,” says Clive Bates, former director of Action on Smoking and Health.

The EU’s e-cigarette industry has never faced any regulatory restrictions that come close the sweeping changes contained in the TPD, which include advertising bans, warning labels and banning certain nicotine strengths in e-liquids.

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