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Eu regulations on e-cigarettes and tobacco

What about electronic cigarettes? aren’t they safe?

As lead MEP negotiator, I am writing to clarify the outline EU agreement on e cigarettes (Deal could lead to EU wide ban on refillable e cigarettes, 18 December). The agreement, backed yesterday by 27 of the EU’s 28 governments, plus the majority of MEP negotiators, does not mean that refillable e cigarettes can simply be withdrawn from the market if three governments so decide. The law does contain a safeguard clause which says that if three governments withdraw a product from the market for safety reasons (which have to be demonstrated), then the European commission can look at proposing an EU wide ban, but any action would again need to be signed off by all EU governments and MEPs. The draft law also rejects initial European commission proposals that all e cigarettes need a medicines licence instead they will be treated like tobacco products. The proposals on e cigarettes are only a small part of a much wider law which will mean big changes in tobacco regulation, paving the way for standardised or “plain” packaging in Britain. It will mean 65% of cigarette packs will be covered by graphic health warnings and the kind of gimmick cigarettes flavoured and lipstick packs designed to attract young smokers will be taken off the market. British Conservative MEPs are criticising the agreement, but these are the same MEPs who have tried all along to block progress. The law has the backing of major UK healthcare organisations and doctors, and when the vote comes in February for a final signoff in the European parliament, Labour MEPs will be giving it strong backing.
Linda McAvan MEP (Labour)
Rapporteur, EU tobacco products directive, European parliament