Eu to lightly regulate sales of e-cigarettes – digital life – digital life

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Eu parliament rejects regulation of e-cigarette as a medical device – the information

Today the EU Parliament crucially voted against Amendment 71 of the Tobacco Products Directive, which would see e cigarettes legislated as medical products under restricted sale.

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) formed the basis for stricter control of all products containing either tobacco or nicotine, and sought to limit e cigarettes to pharmaceutical sales under this umbrella legislation.

The main argument for the inclusion of electronic cigarettes was that they purportedly promote smoking through the use of a similar form factor and their availability next to real tobacco.

MEPs have been lobbied by tobacco industry representatives and health campaigners, who argue that e cigarettes undermine years of forward progress in terms of anti smoking campaigns, and claim that young people are being “tricked into taking up smoking”.

ECITA spokesperson Katherine Devlin responded to these allegations, saying “There is no evidence that e cigarettes are a gateway if anything, it is the other way around”.

Presenting the proposals, Commissioner Borg maintained that “tobacco products should look and taste like tobacco products”.

However, information campaigns such as those by the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA) appear to have prevailed, as Amendment 71 was rejected by the European Parliament.

Meanwhile another proposal, Amendment 170, was passed. This includes measures for the restriction of nicotine strengths above 30mg/ml, in addition to the mandatory inclusion of health warnings and restrictions on advertising.

ECITA spokesperson Katherine Devlin said “The key aim of today was getting rid of medical legislation. However, from our perspective there is still a lot wrong with amendment 170, and over the coming weeks we will be ensuring that it is appropriate.

“There are already seventeen directives in place which apply to e cigarettes, including testing processes and safety measures such as child proof caps for e liquid, and electronics and battery testing for hardware.

“We have maintained our message for the last four years if we e cig users and proponents are to be regarded as legitimate, we must endeavour to take these aspects very seriously”.

The Labour MEP steering the legislation, Linda McAvan, has invoked her rights as rapporteur for a negotiating mandate.

This would allow for an agreement to be met between the European Parliament and national governments and is likely to start proceedings in December.