July 10, 2013

Lawmakers at the European Parliament on Wednesday approved a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as part of broad legislation that will sharply restrict how tobacco products can be sold across the 28 nation European Union.

Lawmakers at the European Parliament on Wednesday approved a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as part of broad legislation that will sharply restrict how tobacco products can be sold across the 28 nation European Union.

The legislation would also require most “electronic” cigarettes battery powered devices that turn a liquid nicotine mixture into an inhalable mist to be regulated like medicines. That could subject the increasingly popular devices, used primarily by smokers to help quit, to extensive safety testing in some EU countries where they are now unregulated.

The rules add another barrier to the sales efforts of tobacco giants such as British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco Group. Governments around the world are cracking down on tobacco products. Australia has arguably been most aggressive, with rules that went into effect this year banning all logos or brand imagery on cigarette boxes, replacing them with gruesome images of tobacco related diseases.

Wednesday’s vote, in a key committee of the parliament, means the ban on flavored cigarettes is likely to become law, since EU national governments also banned menthols as part of their version of the legislation last month. The entire parliament must now vote on the law, though the result will be similar, people following the legislation said.

The legislation targeted flavored cigarettes because experts believe they hold a special appeal for children.

But there are other differences between the parliament and the national governments that must be resolved before the new rules can become law and enter into force over the next three years.

Among them is a ban on “slim” cigarettes that was backed by the parliament but not by the national governments, which chose instead to ban slim cigarette packaging designed by cigarette makers to look like lipstick or perfume in an effort to appeal to younger women.

Also, the parliament’s version of the legislation would require that 75% of the surface area of cigarette packaging contain pictorial health warnings. The version backed by national governments calls for just 65% of cigarette packaging to contain the warnings.

Menthols account for about 5% of the EU cigarette market and slims about 6%, according to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

“We still believe that elements of the proposal, such as enlarged health warnings and a ban on various products consumed by many millions of adults, remain disproportionate are unlikely to succeed in addressing public health objectives and potentially breach European Union Law,” a British American Tobacco spokesman said.

Packaging restrictions aren’t the most effective measures to cut smoking, said Rey Wium, a tobacco industry analyst at Renaissance Capital in London. Indoor smoking bans have a bigger impact, he said.

“The best way of curbing smoking is through excise tax increases,” Mr. Wium said. “The biggest risk to the companies is abnormal, or ‘shock’ excise tax increases, substantially above inflation.”

“The tobacco industry has been operating in a dark environment for quite some time,” he added. “I don’t think this European directive will make life extraordinarily different for them.”

Source The Wall Street Journal (July 10, 2013)

Increasing support for electronic cigarettes in eu

Discount smoke shop site map affordable cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, and liquor

Based on the majority of news articles that we can read on the internet, it is safe to say that electronic cigarettes are heavily attacked by their detractors. These detractors endlessly argue that ecigs are not safe, are not studied, and are not regulated. Thus, it is quite refreshing to read and hear about instances when these products are advocated, supported and promoted not only by ordinary users, but by experts and professionals.

Support For Electronic Cigarettes In Italy

Surprising, though, as it may seem to his colleagues who think that the products deserve not to be highly esteemed Italy’s past health minister, Umberto Veronesi, has actually disapproved of the approach of his government in treating ecigarettes.

According to him, these are tobacco free options that have the potential in saving about 30,000 lives per year. If all smokers of traditional cigarettes would decide to use electronic cigarettes, about 30,000 Italian lives could be saved each year and additional 500 million lives throughout the world.

Veronesi is now the scientific director in the IEO or European Institute of Oncology. This tumor specialist called upon the government to deal with serious smoking health implications. He argued that for quite a long time, the government has focused only on the economic side of cigarette trading.

He said that the debates on tobacco free cigarettes have all been focused on the market mainly on who are selling them and other obscured interests on the economic side of the products. Only few have actually expressed concerns over what is more important, which is the health of the public.

It is to be recalled that earlier in the year, there was a proposal in the legislative body to tax electronic cigarettes with 58.5% levy. He said that this proposal has, in fact, forced many producers to already abandon their ventures. Fortunately, the government scrapped this proposal.

Apart from ecig health benefits, the industry of electronic cigarettes has already provided about 5,000 jobs in the country. Many small scale entrepreneurs have also attained success from their opened shops, which by now are around 2,000 in number. If the industry was taxed, the government could have earned 35 million, but many might have lost their jobs.

Ecigs Can Improve Public Health

If the government was not too eager on the possible economic issues, it probably would not fail on seeing the products as a chance to improve the health of the public. He said that through monopoly on the cigarette packets, the state is actually earning money from the tragedy being brought upon by cigarette smoking.

The government prefers this instead of fighting for what are better options since scientific research is readily at the disposal of those in position. It is the moral duty of the government to research on these electronic cigarettes and Veronesi stated that he intends to discuss it with Beatrice Lorenzin, the Health Minister.

Support From French Doctors

During the early part of October, the European Parliament has decided to reject the proposal to treat electronic cigarettes as drugs. If this was approved, the products would have been very limited and restricted that users could have been forced to simply smoke cigarettes again.

This decision was described as wise by the French doctor who led a group of other doctors in supporting the ecigs.

The EU Parliament decided that the products will not be sold to minors and ecig advertising would also not be allowed.

The group of 10 French doctors was led by Dr. Philippe Presles and said that this is a good decision. Presles is a tobacco specialist from the Insitiut Moncey.

He said that this decision made it possible for research and studies to be continuously performed to make ecigarettes and e liquids better products. He and his colleagues believe that ecigs have demonstrated great potentials in helping people to quit smoking.

He said that if debates and doubts on whether ecig ingredients are safe or not persist, these allegations must be opposed by the presentation of definitely and confirmed risks from using tobacco cigarettes.