Posted by Vranks on December 20, 2013 Under E Cigarette Legislation

After hard fought negotiations, the European Union has struck a deal on the new tobacco directive, choosing to regulate electronic cigarettes as consumer products, but leaving the door wide open for individual member countries to regulate them as medicines if they so desire.

Back in October, e cigarettes scored a major legislative win, after the EU Parliament decided to vote against proposesd medical regulations, but it was just the beginning of a war to keep these innovative products freely available to consumers, so they could truly provide an alternative to smoking. Their decision didn’t stop the EU Commission from still pushing for a ban on electronic cigarettes, as a leaked internal document clearly showed, a few weeks ago. On December 17th, the 28 Governments of the European Union and the EU Parliament finally reached an agreement for the new tobacco directive, one that clearly favors big tobacco companies and threatens the future of the e cigarette industry as we know it.

According to the new deal, electronic cigarettes with a nicotine content below 20mg/ml will be regulated as consumer products, rather than medicines. That sounds like good news, considering the 28 Governments had originally proposed a 3mg/ml threshold, but member countries will be free to individually regulate e cigarettes as medical products if they so desire. To make matters worse, the EU could enforce a general ban on refillable e cigarettes if at least three member countries choose to prohibit them on health grounds.

“This will lead to another ridiculous ban from the EU on the majority of e cigarettes which are better for the health of smokers and for British manufacturers of e cigarettes,” said Nigel Farage, an MEP and leader of a UK political party. “The EU should not be putting restrictions on a safer alternative to smoking.”

Another Member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Taylor, thinks the very possible ban on refillable e cigarettes could push vapers back to tobacco. “This the exact opposite of what the tobacco directive is supposed to achieve. The fight is now on to show that it would not be justifiable to ban refillable cartridges on health and safety grounds,” she said. Martin Callanan, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, agrees “This is a perverse decision that risks sending more people back to real, more harmful, cigarettes. Refillable e cigarettes would almost certainly be banned, and only the weakest products will be generally available. As many smokers begin on stronger e cigs and gradually reduce their dosage, making stronger e cigs harder to come across will encourage smokers to stay on tobacco.”

You might be tempted to think the new tobacco directive scheduled to come into effect in 2016 threatens the entire e cigarette industry, but it’s really great news for the tobacco companies, who only sell weaker disposable models. Lorillard already controls over half the US e cigarette market with its Blu brand and is set to expand in Europe, after acquiring UK based SKYCIG. R.J. Reynolds has been testing its own VUSE electronic cigarette in the state of Colorado and is preparing to launch it on a national level, while Altria is preparing to do the same with its NuMark e cig.

The recent EU decision has already caused outrage within the vaping community. There is currently an online petition you can sign to convince European Union officials to reconsider their proposals.

Sources The Guardian, Financial Express

E-cigarettes could save lives, european conference told – ny daily news

Cigarettes online Blog Archive Start with electronic cigarettes, how to choose the brand for you.

Switching to e cigarettes could save millions of smokers’ lives, a conference on the rapidly expanding use of the devices heard Tuesday, though some delegates warned more research on the health effects is needed.

The merits of e cigarettes were thrashed out at a one day gathering of scientists, experts, policymakers and industry figures at the Royal Society in London.

The use of electronic cigarettes pen sized battery powered devices that simulate smoking by heating and vaporizing a liquid solution containing nicotine has grown rapidly.

Sales have doubled annually for the last four years and there are an estimated seven million users across Europe.

Many delegates merrily “vaped” away throughout the conference sessions, including one man with a luxuriant moustache puffing away on an e pipe.

“Cigarettes are killing 5.4 million people per year in the world,” said Robert West, a health psychology professor and the director of tobacco studies at Cancer Research UK.

He said switching to e cigarettes could save millions of lives, but the debate was about “whether that goal can be realized and how best to do it”.

The professor said almost a third of attempts to quit smoking involved e cigarettes.

Doctor Jacques Le Houezec, a consultant in public health and tobacco dependence from France, told delegates that while e cigarettes contained some harmful substances, the levels of toxicants were nine to 450 times lower than in cigarette smoke.

He said the exponential growth of e cigarettes was being led by smokers, not scientists.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the Action on Smoking and Heath (ASH) pressure group, said e cigarettes could be a leap forward for public health but warned that not enough was known about their effects and pointed out that the tobacco companies are snapping up the e cigarette manufacturers.

“ASH thinks that e cigarettes have significant potential. They are a lot less harmful than smoking. Clearly smokers find them attractive, primarily as a way of quitting and moving away from smoking, which they know will kill them,” she told AFP.

“But at the moment I think the jury’s out and these products need regulating because there’s a real concern that their safety and effectiveness is not guaranteed without regulation.

“The tobacco companies are moving in. For them it’s potentially a ‘Kodak moment’ because if everyone moved to e cigarettes, they’d lose their market so they’ve got to be in there. A lot of the bigger e cigarette companies have already been bought up.”

She warned “If there are carcinogens in there, you won’t see an immediate effect but 10, 15, 20 years down the line, people will be dying from that.

“The development of e cigarettes is definitely running ahead of the science.”