Why vaping in Europe should not be linked to what is happening in the United States.

In recent weeks, the vaping industry has undergone a real media frenzy. A frenzy that is actually a knock-on effect, as the debate originated in the United States.

Critics of electronic cigarettes point the finger at American medical warnings to defend their attempts to discredit the European vaping industry, which is professional, and most importantly, independent of the tobacco industry.

While tragic, the recent events in the USA could not happen in Europe.

In fact, Europe is provided with regulations on vaping products which are particularly effective in controlling the composition of products available on the market: the TPD or Tobacco Products Directive (A European Directive on Tobacco Products). This directive imposes a certain number of rules on manufacturers of e-liquids containing nicotine when marketing their products:

  • An obligation to declare the composition of all products containing nicotine on the EU Common Entry Gate (European platform)
  • An obligation to inform consumers of the potential risks linked to the consumption and the use of nicotine-based products
  • A limit on the volume of vials containing nicotine to 10ml
  • A child resistance cap protection
  • A limit on the amount of nicotine to 20mg/ml
  • An obligation to wait for 6 months between declaring a product and marketing it
  • A ban on advertising
To date, the United States has no specific regulations encompassing vaping products:
  • The amount of nicotine is not limited, something which could eventually encourage the development of addiction to this substance, particularly among young people
  • Advertising is permitted in numerous states
  • The composition of products is free and non-controlled

It is in this context that cases of lipoid pneumonia have occurred on the other side of the Atlantic. In addition, it is now admitted by the scientific and medical community that the dramatic cases of death recently recorded in the United States are mainly due to misuse of the electronic cigarette, with it being used as a medium for dangerous substances which are banned in Europe. The suspected products are not comparable in any way with the e-liquids available in Europe.

This is the reason why it is necessary to remind ourselves of the primary use of the electronic cigarette:  to quit smoking.

In this respect, VDLV, which is among the French leaders of e-liquid producers, expresses its support for vape shops, distributors and resellers who put themselves at the service of smokers to assist them in their daily struggle to quit smoking. It is also important to mention that France is the first country in the world to have set standards which guarantee the quality and traceability of an e-liquid to consumers: voluntary standard XP D90-300 part 2. Certified since 2016, VDLV carries out a rigorous selection process on all of its raw materials on a daily basis.

The professionalism of the European vaping industry, specially the French market, should not be called into question following a series of events, which are not connected to the methods of manufacturing and standards of the European market.

Reacting with disproportionate legislation such as in India or weakening the industry as we see recently in the United States would be counter-productive in defeating the single problem which is still killing more than 6 million people per year in the world: traditional cigarettes.

On the eve of a tobacco-free month in France, VDLV wants to highlight that for the first time in decades France has observed a record reduction in the number of smokers. If public health policy led by the government has a definite influence on these figures, it is indisputable that vaping is the main reason for this success. Today, it is the most-commonly used smoking cessation tool in France. Condemning vaping without a trial as is currently happening may lead to sending the 3 million vapers in France back to a fate of smoking again and millions more around the world.

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