Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Will changing politics at the European Parliament slow down electronic cigarette regulation?
The recent European elections have seemingly prompted a seachange in the European political arena with an array of fringe parties now holding the balance. There is a growing optimism that overregulation of industries such as electronic cigarettes could well slow in the short to medium term as current members of the European Parliament look to reconnect with the electorate and get them back onside.
Could the electronic cigarette industry really benefit?
There are many people with many different opinions about Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, but two things are certain, his love of electronic cigarettes and his ability to grab the headlines. Only a few months ago he made a very high profile and controversial video about electronic cigarettes questioning why they were not being promoted as helpful while attracting further regulations. It will be interesting to see whether politicians who were seemingly in favour of electronic cigarettes are able to flex their muscles in the new look European Parliament.
When you also take into account the ever-growing European vaping community it may well be that electronic cigarettes become something of a major test for European politicians. Will they continue their unabated project of introducing yet more hurdles for the industry or will they use this as an opportunity to reconnect with European voters and regain the confidence of the public?
Will we see a more democratic European Union?
Over the years we have seen many voters complaining about various issues within the European Union and the way in which business in the European Parliament is conducted. Some of these complaints have been valid, some have been borderline, although one thing is certain, the trust factor between the European Parliament and voters has been under pressure of late. The rise in fringe political groups over the last few days will certainly ensure that European politicians "think again" and yes, we may well be moving towards a more democratic European Union/European Parliament.
Is this too late for the electronic cigarette industry or will regulators now take a soft touch approach?