Miss Sinclaire added “Thousands upon thousands of e cigarettes users have contacted me in despair at the thought that e cigarettes could be taken off the market.

“For many of these people, this has been the only way of effectively quitting cigarettes other stop smoking methods simply have not worked.

“What isn’t surprising is how hard the tobacco lobby is pushing for a ban on e cigarettes. The tobacco industry will benefit from an e cigarette ban.

“Here in the West Midlands I also see e cigarette retailers opening in every area a ban on e cigarettes would also kill off these thriving businesses.”

Mr Makry added “Obviously I’d be against a EU wide ban. There are a lot of people that are going from 40 a day smokers down to zero.

“I believe that people that come back in to see us look a lot healthier for vaping. You can see it in their skin, its more hydrated.”

Kidderminster based charity Forces Support, which offers the bereaved families of servicemen and women assistance, raises money from the sale of e cigarettes due to its partnership with Bromsgrove based E Lites.

E Lites donated 10,000 worth of stock to the charity and is also sponsoring a fund raising football tournament in May.

Forces Support founder Bill McCance said “It’s a much appreciated donation. From what I understand from the research I’ve done, they are not harmful.

“If there was anything harmful in there we would have said ‘no thank you’. If that changes, we would change too.”

The charity has so far raised 3,000 from the sale of the E Lites at its eight shops across the West Midlands.

Miss Sinclaire, who is one of seven MEPs representing the West Midlands, is also calling on e cigarette users to lobby their MEPS on the issue.

French shop banned from selling e-cigarettes after tobacconist complaint – telegraph

E-cigarettes could become ‘medicines’ available on nhs

A French tobacconist won a landmark court case on Monday to stop a nearby shop selling e cigarettes after a court ruled it was unfair competition as the devices amounted to tobacco products.

The ruling has infuriated e cigarette vendors after months of heated debate in France and Europe over the legal definition of the devices and how freely they should be sold.

It could see a rash of court cases from among France’s 27,000 tobacconists, many of whom already sell e cigarettes but want the exclusive right to do so.

In the landmark case, Annie Pontus, the plaintiff who runs a tobacconist in the town of Plaisance du Touch near Toulouse, south west France, had sued a nearby shop, called Esmokeclean, which opened in June.

She accused its owners of breaching the legal monopoly on the sale of tobacco products in accredited outlets by promoting their wares in their shop, on Facebook and on their internet site.

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“We don’t have the right to advertise but these people, who sell nicotine based products, do,” she said, arguing that this was unfair.

Her lawyer said that e cigarettes and their liquids contain nicotine, and thus should be placed in the same legal bracket as tobacco products.

She also called on the government to limit the sale of the devices exclusively to tobacconists, as in the case of cigarettes.

Esmokeclean argued that e cigarettes are currently in a “legal vacuum” and therefore should not fall under the tobacconist’s monopoly.

But on Monday, the Toulouse court ruled that despite containing no tobacco, e cigarettes were substitute tobacco products. As a result, they should be subject to France’s state imposed monopoly on tobacco, which stipulates cigarettes and other products can only be sold in registered outlets.

The store’s lawyer announced an immediate appeal meaning for the moment the court’s judgment is not applicable. But it could eventually see the distribution of e cigarettes limited to a state imposed monopoly on tobacco sales.

Pascal Montredon, the president of the French confederation of tobacconists, welcomed the ruling as “excellent news”.

But Benjamin Echalier, lawyer for Reynald Pirat, one of the store owners, denounced it as “absurd and abhorrent” and one that “goes against what is tending to be decided on a European level”.

CACE, a body representing e cigarette vendors in France, slammed the verdict as “scandalous”.

“The e cigarette is an everyday consumer product and not a tobacoo product.

“The (court) has thus overstepped its powers by applying the status of tobacco product to the electronic cigarette,” it said, adding that it was confident that the ruling would be quashed on appeal.

This is the latest chapter in an increasingly acrimonious battle between those selling conventional tobacco cigarettes and battery powered electronic cigarettes, which release vapour.

It comes after the European Parliament recently ruled that e cigarettes were not in fact medicinal and could therefore remain on open sale, not just in tobacconists.

There are an estimated 1.5 million users of e cigarettes in France and almost one in five French adults has tried the device, according to a recent poll.