The vote was intended to make tobacco smoking less attractive to young people through mandatory warnings, minimum pack sizes, and rules on flavourings.

However, the revision of the EU ‘Tobacco Products Directive’ would classify most e cigarettes as a medicinal product, despite the fact that in the UK alone 25 percent of all attempts to kick the habit are made using e cigarettes, making them the most popular aid.

The European Commission had proposed that e cigarettes containing 4 milligrammes or more of nicotine must be classed as medicinal products but an EU parliamentary committee went further, voting to classify all e cigarettes as pharmaceuticals, regardless of the nicotine content.

Users of e cigarettes (known as vapers) have protested, arguing that through e cigarettes they were able to kick the tobacco habit.

They say classifying them as medical devices will mean they must undergo a costly and protracted authorisation processes before marketing. Their availability would be restricted to certain pharmacies.

Related Articles

  • May boots out new plan for EU prosecutor

    14 Jul 2013

  • Sketch There’s no smoke without ire

    16 Jul 2013

  • We taught Europe what liberty means

    13 Jul 2013

  • Even Ukip has no idea how to get us out of the EU trap

    13 Jul 2013

  • European Parliament wants spending increase

    11 Jul 2013

Producers of e cigarettes said the vote could push many out of business and reduce choice for e cigarette users.

Fraser Cropper, chief executive of e cigarette company Totally Wicked, said “It will result in many smaller and more innovative producers of e cigarettes going out of business. Medicines regulation creates a default prohibition and requirement for approval, leaving deadly tobacco cigarettes as the only easily marketed source of nicotine.”

Martin Callanan, Conservative MEP, proposed an amendment that would see e cigarettes authorised in a similar way to other nicotine products.

He said, “”The world has gone mad when tobacco is less regulated than products designed to end tobacco use. Thousands of people have given up smoking thanks to e cigarettes. For the EU to over regulate them is completely counter productive and hypocritical.

“This vote is not the end of this process and we will be working with vapers to make other MEPs see sense and support e cigarette producers and users.”

Policy toward the new technology widely varies across the EU. Some countries such as Denmark have banned them, while in others such as Britain they are freely available for sale with no restrictions.

Anger over tobacco lobbyists as europe nears new rules on e-cigarettes

Winston cigarettes shop,buy cheap winston cigarettes online sale website wholesale.
Share this article

A new Tobacco Products Directive has been adopted by the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

There were 50 votes in favour, 13 against and 8 abstentions. The plenary vote will occur in September 2013. This updated piece of legislation aims to help smokers quit and prevent young people from picking up the habit, which kills about 700,000 Europeans each year.

The new Tobacco Products Directive will regulate cigarette packaging, covering 75 percent of the front and the back with graphic images and 50 percent of the side with written health warnings. It will also minimise the pack sizes to 20 cigarettes or 40 g for tobacco and regulate the pack to only allow flip top lids. The minimum cigarette diameter will be 7.5 mm, banning the slim cigarette, and promoting flavour will be banned, including menthol. The new directive will also regulate internet sales and electronic cigarettes, classifying them as medicinal in the European Union. This last decision has provoked a storm of activity on social networking sites with many people claiming that pharmaceutical and tobacco lobbyists have influenced this decision which will, they say, hinder the access to electronic cigarettes which may only be purchased in accredited pharmacies.

E cigs. We got beat 45 25 in committee, but that&#39 s 25 more that would have been got 6 months ago. Momentum is with us. #e cigs

Chris Davies ( ChrisDaviesMEP) July 10, 2013

This new revision has been contested by tobacco lobbyists whose companies might be affected by such changes. Before to the vote, tobacco lobbyists were reported to have tried influencing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The Corporate Europe Observatory detailed how tobacco lobbyist have been sending gifts, such as e cigarettes and invitations to drinks and dinners in order to sway MEPs.

On a scale of 1 to 10, they are 11 They re lobbying us to death, said a political advisor to the Corporate Europe Observatory.

The lobbying goes against a World Health Organization s law from 2005 that bans the tobacco industry from interacting with public health policy makers. An investigation by the Corporate Europe Observatory discovered there are 97 full time tobacco lobbyists in Brussels with an annual budget of around 5.3 million euros, outnumbering those lobbying on tobacco regulation from a public health perspective.

Press release from the the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Copyright 2014 euronews

More about

  • European Union
  • Tobacco Industry

Share this article