All electronic cigarettes that are currently on sale in Britain would be banned and removed from the shop shelves under new European Union proposals.
A confidential negotiating document drafted by the European Commission seeks to overturn a vote by MEPs that rejected outlawing them in their present form. Brussels officials fear that there is a “risk that electronic cigarettes can develop into a gateway to normal cigarettes”, according to the paper, and want to include the smoke free alternative under a new EU “tobacco products directive” despite the fact that they contain no tobacco.
The bid to ban e cigarettes drew anger from suppliers in Britain, where some 1.3 million of the current 10 million smokers have switched to the electronic devices.
Fraser Cropper, the chief executive officer of Totally Wicked, an e cigarette supplier based in Lancashire, accused EU officials of wanting to introduce a ban by the back door in defiance of the European Parliament.
“Behind closed doors in Brussels, unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats are drafting proposals that will deny millions of existing and former smokers access to a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes,” he said.
Welsh e cigarette ban all you need to know about ‘vaping’
02 Apr 2014
E cigarettes to be banned for under 18s
25 Jan 2014
The U turning Tories are making their lack of conviction obvious
28 Nov 2013
Electronic cigarettes will they make life insurance cheaper?
29 Oct 2013
E cigarettes all you need to know
13 Oct 2013
EU bans packets of 10 and menthol cigarettes
08 Oct 2013
The proposal came as a town in northern France became the first to impose an electronic cigarette ban in public buildings.
Francois Digard, mayor of Saint Lo in La Manche region of Normandy passed a decree this month outlawing electronic cigarettes, after receiving several complaints from residents.
France, which has an estimated 1.5 million e cigarette users, is currently mulling a ban but the mayor apparently decided to jump the gun after several non smokers said they were unhappy about the devices being smoked in public libraries.
“The e cigarette is not neutral in the immediate environment. With it emitting odour and a bit of smoke it can really bother some people,” Mr Digard told local radio station France Bleu Cotentin.
In Britain, the pub chain JD Wetherspoon and some train operators have already banned the devices.
As cigarette smoking has been increasingly stigmatised and banned in public places, the sale of electronic cigarettes has risen dramatically.
E cigarettes consist of a battery, a cartridge containing nicotine, a solution of propylene glycol or glycerine mixed with water, and an atomiser to turn the solution into a vapour.
The nicotine is delivered without a flame and without tobacco or tar and e cigarette users describe the experience as “vaping” rather than smoking.
They are widely considered a healthier alternative to their tobacco counterparts, though some health officials have begun to question that assumption.
The Dutch public health institute on Wednesday published a policy paper claiming that electronic cigarettes are as harmful as ordinary cigarettes, warning they are addictive and contain poisonous substances.
Because the products are new and do not contain tobacco, they are outside EU law and are more or less unregulated in Britain and across Europe.
But officials in Brussels want that to change, saying the devices “normalise the action of smoking”. “Electronic cigarettes are a tobacco related product and should be regulated within this directive. They simulate smoking behaviour and are increasingly used and marketed to young people and non smokers,” said the commission negotiating paper, seen by the Daily Telegraph.
The commission proposals would ban, by 2017, e cigarettes that produce levels of nicotine above 20 mg per ml, those with refillable cartridges or those designed to taste like tobacco. Suppliers say that all e cigarettes currently available would fall foul of the prohibition.
“Only flavours which are authorized for use in nicotine replacement therapies can be used in electronic cigarettes, unless such a flavour is particularly attractive to young people and non smokers,” said the commission document.
According industry estimates, if current growth rates continue, by 2017, when the EU ban would come into force, there could be nearly five million former people using electronic cigarettes rather than smoking tobacco.
“Forcing e cigarettes off the shelves would be crazy. It would remove a valuable support for people desperate to stop smoking and thus could potentially lead to needless deaths,” said Martin Callanan, a Conservative MEP.
“The commission failed to get their way in their first attempt to put the squeeze on e cigarettes. This attempt is not acceptable either.” The EU legislation will also ban the sale of cigarettes in packets of 10 and outlaw menthol flavoured tobacco as well as requiring graphic health warnings, including colour photographs of tumours, to cover 65 per cent of packaging.
“I never comment on leaked documents,” said a commission spokesman.
Pentagon considering banning cigarette sales on ships and bases
Sep. 26, 2011 U.S. soldier smokes a cigarette while manning his post in a bunker in eastern
If you re a member of the military, easy access to cigarettes could soon go up in smoke.
The Department of Defense is considering banning the sale of cigarettes on ships and bases in an effort to get service members to stop smoking.
The Pentagon says no final decision has been made about banning sales to the troops, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, himself a Vietnam vet, explained why he has asked for a review.
“The costs, health care costs, are astounding. Well over a billion dollars, just in the Department of Defense, on tobacco related illness and health care, Hagel explained Monday during a Pentagon press conference before leaving for a 10 day trip to Hawaii and Asia.
Now, the dollars are one thing, but the health of your of your people, I don’t know if you put a price tag on that. So I think it does need to be looked at and reviewed.
A March 14 Defense Department memo issues guidance to all the service chiefs
“Although we stopped distributing cigarettes to our Service members as part of their rations, we continue to permit, if not encourage, tobacco use. The prominence of tobacco products in retail outlets and permission for smoking breaks while on duty sustain the perception that we are not serious about reducing the use of tobacco.”
The memo was signed by Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.
Already, there is push back from Capitol Hill. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R CA, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, said it is politics, not the health of the force, that is driving the DoD consideration.
I think because they want to turn the Marine Corps into a Job Corps or the Peace Corps basically, Hunter told Fox News. I kind of see this you know, for lack of a better term, the unmanning of the US military.
Hunter argued some of the traits that are unhealthy in society at large are the traits of a good warrior. He wrote a letter to U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has taken the lead in pushing the idea of banning tobacco sales on ships.
Having spent time around Marines and sailors through multiple deployments, I believe there are far more immediate priorities for the Navy and the Marine Corps, all of which require your leadership and attention, Hunter wrote to Mabus on March 28. I want to express my strong opposition to this idea.
In an interview with Military Times, Mabus said it was a matter of protecting the health of the force.
“We demand that sailors and Marines be incredibly fit,” Mabus said. “We know tobacco hurts that fitness. We know the cost of health care far exceeds any profits we could possibly make selling that.”
Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Cathy Wilkinson added in a statement, “Tobacco use costs the DoD an estimated $1 .6 billion annually in medical costs and lost work time. We estimate 175,000 current active duty service members will die from smoking unless we can help them quit.”
Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel . She joined FNC in October 1999 as a Jerusalem based correspondent.
FOX NEWS FIRST NEWSLETTER
Daily must read stories from the biggest name in politics
Today Americans for Prosperity hits Landrieu with Iraq vet ObamaCare victim Subscribe Get the full text emailed to you daily