It's now been more than 12 weeks since we collectively chose to pull out of the EU. The economic uncertainties of this decision abound, but one thing is on the mind of many of us, and that's vaping, for one reason or another. Among those of us who are avid enthusiasts of vaping, there is a fervent desire to know what impact Brexit is going to have on our vaping.
Prior to the Brexit vote, a huge campaign was undertaken to get vapers to become "Leave" voters in large part due to EU-TPD's draconian ruling regarding e-cigs. The thing is that vapers were inclined to vote "Leave" even before someone organized that campaign. We knew all too well what the TPD meant, and what consequences we would have suffered if we had stayed within the EU. So, was anyone really shocked when over half of the vapers in the UK decided to "Leave" or that only around ten percent voted to stick around?
We were facing a two-fold situation that was unpleasant on both sides. Mean-spirited regulations and rules were being crammed down our throats, and to make things worse, we would have had no say about any of it. Still, a lot of vapers are wondering if things really would have been that bad. Would UK vapers have been powerless to haggle better conditions from the TPD?
Will We Ever Know?
A lot of individuals would make an understandably rational argument that we'll never actually know what might have been, and the only way to know would be through actual negotiations or just making an attempt at them. A lot of vapers who wanted to remain espoused this point of view. Their line of thinking seemed to be that we should have stayed and figured it out. However, vapers who wanted to leave had considerable pessimism about letting a group of policymakers who have no oversight be given that kind of power. It is actually possible to determine which group of vapers is more right?
In the long run, the answer is likely no, since nothing is permanent until someone makes a final decision. On the other hand, in the short term, one could say the answer is actually yes. A recent report that came out seems to confirm what the leavers were saying. The next big international conference focusing on tobacco control is set to take place in Delhi in November of 2016. A vaping lobby group, Vape Business Ireland, will be there, as will Simon Harris, the current Irish Minister of Health. Harris is refusing to schedule a meeting with Vape Business Ireland.
If that doesn't strike you as important, then let's take a closer look. The summit is going to be a meeting place of some of the biggest players within the tobacco and vaping industries, and the World Health Organization is going to be there too. It would not be much to expect Mr. Harris to give up just a few minutes to Vape Business Ireland considering the size of the vaping markets in both Ireland and the UK.
Of considerably more importance, Ireland has not been secret in voicing its disapproval about Brexit. Like Scotland, Ireland voted to "Remain." That implies that Ireland has no problems with the TPD, and that they approve of 'external' rules and regulations being handed down from Brussels. This implies that Ireland is going to follow in the TPD's footsteps with more rigidity than other regions of the UK, and that's going to impact thousands of vapers in Ireland.
Did Brexit spare UK vapers unneeded trouble? Given the growing approval and popularity of vaping within the UK as well as Ireland's Minister of Health skipping meeting an industry lobby, it seems we certainly have.