And a number of anti tobacco advocates argue that the devices, which vaporize liquid nicotine for inhalation, are less a smoking cessation device than they are a tactic to lure in younger customers.

But now, in a move likely to rile up anti smoking advocates, the European Parliament rejected a proposed ban on the sale of e cigarettes alongside most other tobacco products. Advocates of the ban favored classifying e cigarettes as medicines, subjecting them to much harsher regulation. Had the ban succeeded, many countries would have only permitted their sale in pharmacies or even required a prescription.

On one side, advocates of e cigarettes decried and even protested the ban. Long time nicotine addicts say that making them more difficult to find will lead to more tobacco related deaths, by restricting access to what they say is a more healthy alternative.

In a move that almost calls to mind the now hilariously misleading advertisements from the 1950s, a coalition of French doctors denounced the possible ban, calling e cigarettes “infinitely safer,” and an important part of the country&#39 s tobacco cessation efforts.

But on the other hand, a lot of people, including the World Health Organization, are skeptical. (Let me reiterate that much more skeptical.) They say the health effects of the devices have yet to be determined, and need to be meticulously studied before their availability is allowed to spread.

Investing ideas

In light of the EU&#39 s decision, momentum seems to be pushing solidly against the anti smoking side. One of the biggest cigarette companies, Lorillard (LO) is buying up e cigarette brands like hot cakes.

Lorillard already owns Blu, one of the largest e cigarette companies in the US, and recently announced the purchase of another brand in the UK. Two companies that exclusively make e cigarettes are already trading on pink sheets.

The other big names in tobacco, Altria (MO), Reynolds (RAI), and British American Tobacco (BTI) have all bought patents for technology related to e cigarettes, and started working on brands themselves. And analysts are projecting that the market for e cigarettes will be twice the size in 2013 as it was in 2012.

That being said, e cigarettes are still relatively unstudied. Attorneys General from 40 states have started pressuring the FDA for details on how to move forward (although the government shutdown isn&#39 t making this very easy).

Given their status as a smoke less alternative to help you quit the normal ones a single study with negative findings on e cigarettes could send the whole thing up in smoke.

Epha: ‘public health must be at heart of eu regulation of e-cigarettes’ : eu reporter

The top electronic cigarette brands
EU Reporter Correspondent December 4, 2013 0 Comments

On 3 December, ahead of the Trialogue meeting between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) issued its briefing document on the regulation of Nicotine Containing Products (NCPs) in the EU, including e cigarettes. In this document, EPHA recommends a set of principles for EU wide NCP legislation, including important requirements for protecting public health.

As currently evidence on the health impacts of NCPs such as e cigarettes is lacking, we urge the Trialogue to adopt the precautionary principle to shape regulation of NCPs. Without a robust regulatory framework in place in the EU, e cigarettes are now hanging in a legal limbo. It is essential that this emerging range of products is urgently regulated to safeguard people s health, said EPHA Secretary General Monika Kosi ska. To achieve this, Brussels has to make sure that strict rules on advertising and sponsorship as well as market surveillance and monitoring are the corner stones of new legislation, whilst ensuring that the products are accessible to existing smokers.

As the EPHA briefing states, lack of strict regulation of NCPs, or maintaining long transitional periods which is equivalent to maintaining the status quo, has the potential danger to drive market developments that are detrimental to public health.

Although high quality NCPs have the potential to help smokers who are not otherwise ready or able to quit smoking, NCPs must not become a gateway to cigarettes, especially for young people, and must not re normalise smoking. The future legal framework must ensure that accessibility to NCPs for existing smokers is not hindered while ensuring that they are unappealing and inaccessible to minors.

Strict marketing limits similar to tobacco and medicine marketing rules are essential so that NCPs do not promote smoking behaviour either in a direct or indirect way, and appropriate measures put in place to allow a regulatory response to the future and fast development of this market, said Cornel Radu Loghin of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP).

“We have long argued for harm reduction in tobacco policy and for radical reform of nicotine regulation to enable effective alternative nicotine products to replace smoking. Regulation is needed to ensure appropriate standards of quality and safety, and to protect against market abuse arising from unscrupulous commercial interests. We therefore support proportionate regulation that enables smokers to access affordable nicotine replacement products as easily as possible while ensuring purity, safety and responsible marketing,” said Professor John Britton CBE, Royal College of Physicans (RCP).

Given the relative short market presence of some NCPs, in particular e cigarettes, regulation on NCPs will be based on incomplete evidence on the long term health consequences of their use. Appropriate monitoring and impact assessment mechanisms, including surveys and data on the health risks, benefits and unintended consequences of the use of NCPs, should be an essential part of the EU regulation on these products, stressed Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). The Commission must be empowered to adopt new legislation in order to maintain a high level of human health protection in this fast changing field,” concluded Luk Joossens of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL).

  • More information
  1. The future legislation of nicotine containing products (NCPs), including e cigarettes, is part of the ongoing discussion on the revision of Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
  2. EPHA Briefing Regulation of Nicotine Containing Products (NCPs) including electronic cigarettes
  1. A briefing from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) on electronic cigarettes is available here. Further information on the use electronic cigarettes in the UK is available here.

Tags ASH, Association of European Cancer Leagues, Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health, ECL, EPHA, European Public Health Alliance, featured, full image, NCPs, Nicotine Containing Products

Category Cigarettes, Electronic cigarettes, EU, Frontpage, Health