TVECA Upsets E-Cig Community By Supporting Harsh EU Regs
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) sent a letter to representatives of the European Union today outlining its support of several provisions aimed at controlling sale, distribution, and use of electronic cigarettes throughout the EU. This has upset a lot of e-cig industry business leaders and community members as the letter seems like a ploy to support regulations that gives a leg up to certain e-cig companies (members of TVECA) over others.
Europe-based e-cig advocate Clive Bates covered the letter in his blog right here. As well, CASAA supporter Carl Phillips covered the release of the letter here.
The letter certainly seems like a subversive effort to set up the marketplace in a particular way best suited for themselves, but even Bates finds it hard to believe TVECA can justify all the provisions they support. Most appear strictly bad for everyone — not even “less bad” for some.
This is not the first time TVECA actions have been called into question — or even viewed with outright confusion. Founder Ray Story has perpetually provided sound bites for years as a “representative of the industry,” but often his efforts have appeared to the community to be influenced by what will get his relatively small groups of member companies the best competitive advantage over others.
Already, some community members are calling for boycotts of TVECA member companies in response to the letter.
The problem with a letter like this is that it really does look like the industry as a whole of offering support for these regulations. Along with the letter came a short note claiming that it’s not just from TVECA, but from a coalition of e-cig industry associations across France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. This sounds like a dubious claim. Perhaps TVECA actually has formed a coalition, or maybe it has at least one member company from each country and has created local associations from those very small slices to sound much bigger, or maybe they just made the whole thing up.
It seems likely a lot of people will be kicking the tires on that claim and we’ll know soon whether it’s legitimate. We’ll see what we can find too.