June 23rd, 2016: the UK votes to leave the EU, contrary to most expectations.
17,410,742 votes for Leave (51.9%)
16,141,241 votes for Remain (48.1%)
difference = 1,269,501
It now looks like a massive error by the EU to outrage 3 million UK ex-smokers and vapers with the imposition by force of insanely corrupt laws in the form of the TPD*. Virtually all of that group who vote will have voted Leave, and since the difference was only 1.2m votes, it looks as if trying to oppress a group of 3 million people for profit when they are highly motivated and understandably see this issue as a matter of life and death has backfired painfully on the EU.
* The Tobacco Products Directive rewrite of 2015 is the latest in a series of laws under this name that is designed to protect cigarette sales and ban any safer alternative. The 1992 TPD - now 24 years old at 2016 - enforced a ban on Swedish Snus that is now responsible for at least 10% of the deaths from smoking in the EU: in Sweden, where Snus consumption is allowed, the smoking-related death rate plunged - Sweden has the lowest figures in the EU for several smoking-related ('tobacco-related') disease and death rates. It is impossible that at least 10% of EU smokers would not have switched to Snus by now, given free access to the product and truthful information about the relative risks.
Now the EU are attempting a de facto ban on vaping, and it is clear that a significant number of UK voters are having none of it.
Inside information is that the TPD was written by the pharmaceutical industry and delivered to the EU Health Commissioner as a finished item to be implemented as written. The Commissioner was subsequently sacked for corruption, but all the laws he introduced are still on the books. The pharmaceutical industry is desperate to protect cigarette sales at any cost and by any means necessary.
A map of UK voting in the Brexit referendum, showing areas principally voting for Leave and those voting Remain. London, Scotland and NI voted to stay; the rest of the country voted to go.
Areas with more votes for Leave are shown in darker blue.
Source: The Guardian