European union passes tighter eu laws on electronic cigarettes

Despite widespread criticism and opposition, the European Union has this week passed tighter regulations on electronic cigarettes.

Opponents had warned the EU that the proposed electronic cigarette regulations in the updated Tobacco Products Directive would be counter effective, and have the opposite effect to the group s objective of reducing the number of smokers in member states.

Lobbying and remonstrations by sympathetic MEPs, vaping groups and even the scientists whose work was cited by the EU as evidence, fell on deaf ears when the Parliament passed 14 pages of new regulations.

The new rules will come into effect by 2016 if not overturned, and will place a number of different restrictions on vaping and vapers. E liquid bottles that exceed 10ml in volume are to be banned, even though this restriction will increase production and packaging costs and will causing damage to the environment. Additionally, e liquids with nicotine concentration levels higher than 20mg/ml will need a medical licence.

Refillable electronic cigarettes could be under threat if three member states choose to impose a ban of the same device. Furthermore, manufacturers will be forced to wait six months before putting new products on the market. Both of these measures could prove to be incredibly damaging to electronic cigarette innovation and development.

Electronic cigarette publicity will also face a ban which is a major obstacle for an industry that has significantly increased its marketing activity in the past 18 months. it will be under the same restrictions as tobacco advertising.

The French electronic cigarette group Association Independante Des Utilisateurs de Cigarette Electronique have roundly criticised the move and already stated their intent to challenge the ruling at the first legal, valid opportunity.

The group has described the decision as not only illegal, but draconian and contrary to the interests of public health. It will seriously slow down and in many cases stop the development of new products very different from conventional cigarettes. The total ban on advertising will serve only the interests of the tobacco industry whose customers will be deprived of the opportunity of discovering a far less harmful alternative. The regulation imposes onerous restrictions unsupported by any serious research and driven only by the demand of powerful pharmaceutical and tobacco lobbies to protect their industries from their most formidable competitor ever.

Manufacturing cigarettes — from the tobacco atlas

There are well over 500 cigarette factories spread around the globe, each responsible for thousands of premature deaths and massive, avoidable costs to society. These factories collectively produce nearly 6 trillion cigarettes every year, roughly 13% more than a decade ago. In 2010, cigarettes were produced in the majority of countries worldwide, and about a million cigarettes were manufactured every five seconds. That year, 41% of the world s cigarettes were produced in China, followed by Russia (7%), the US (6%), Germany (4%), and Indonesia (3%).

Where are these cigarettes manufactured, wrapped, and boxed for shipment? Cigarette factories are located in every corner of the world, concentrated in Europe and China, and new ones are still being factories are often hidden from sight behind high walls, given vague titles like manufacturing facility or production center, and serviced by unmarked trucks. That is not true in China, however, where smoking is much more socially acceptable than in other countries factories are highly visible and prominently featured in their communities.

With advances in satellite imaging technology, projects such as Stanford University s Cigarette Citadels now make it possible to locate hundreds of these factories online. For instance, Internet users can view one of the world s largest cigarette factories in Bergen op Zoom, near the Hague, Netherlands. This facility, built by Philip Morris in the 1980s, currently manufactures about 96 billion cigarettes annually, with most exported to other European countries and Japan. About 90,000 people could die prematurely every year as a result of consuming cigarettes manufactured in this single facility.