Ecigs, Michael Bloomberg and the London mayoral election
To many people Michael Bloomberg may be a name which sounds familiar but who is he, what has he done and what are his plans for the future. There are very strong rumours today that Michael Rubens Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, has been approached by the Conservative party to run for mayor of London in next year’s election. He has been put forward as a potential candidate to replace Boris Johnson and while many believe this would be a coup for the Conservative party, it may not be such good news for the electronic cigarette industry!
The UK electronic cigarette market
At this moment in time the UK authorities, both local and nationally, have not really laid down the law regarding electronic cigarettes. Much of this has been left to the European Commission amid plans to introduce an array of regulations in the coming years. These proposed regulations are being tested in the courts as we speak and while there are high hopes that the vaping industry will be able to dilute the current plans, the introduction of Michael Bloomberg to the mix could have a major impact on London!
Former Mayor of New York City
Despite the fact that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US has yet to formally put in place a new structure and regulations for the electronic cigarette industry, this did not stop former Mayor Bloomberg from introducing an array of restrictions. Indeed during his very last day in office he signed off a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes indoors much to the anger of the industry and the vaping community. It was no surprise in hindsight because of his aggressive campaign against not only electronic cigarettes but also tobacco products. However, let’s not forget that New York City is one of many authorities in the US which benefit significantly from tobacco taxes.
Could this be replicated in London?
It is difficult to predict how the introduction of a US heavyweight such as Michael Bloomberg would be received by the general public in London. The post of Mayor of London is one which attracts significant interest and one which many believe should be filled by a UK resident. While it would be wrong to suggest that Michael Bloomberg courted controversy at every turn during his tenure as mayor of New York City he certainly didn’t go out of his way to avoid it! Whether his high-handed approach would be accepted by the UK people and more specifically the residents of London is certainly a matter for debate.
The electronic cigarette industry
If, and it is still a big if, Michael Bloomberg was to be elected mayor of London in the 2016 election this would likely play into the hands of the anti-electronic cigarette groups. It is easy to forget the power of the Mayor of London unless you live in the area or follow this subject closely. There would be the power to ban electronic cigarettes in certain places, there would the power to introduce specific regulations and this is something which the vaping industry needs to be aware of.
The development, growth and acceptance of the vaping industry still have a lot further to go although it has to be said that an adversary in the shape of Michael Bloomberg could pose yet another hurdle. However, this is an industry which rose from the ashes at the turn-of-the-century, continues to grow, and all amidst a hostile and often blatantly biased political arena.