Future of e-cigarettes in question on european crackdown — businessweek

Just when smokers thought it was okay to inhale again, a debate over the safety of electronic cigarettes is threatening to cut off their nicotine.

Smokeless and odorless e cigarettes are catching on, touted in the U.S. and Europe as less harmful than real ones because they don t contain tar, arsenic and other cancer causing toxins. Yet a U.K. government decision this week to treat the steel tubes as a medicine and a plan by France to ban them from public venues raises questions about what health risks the devices carry.

E cigarettes, on the market in the U.S. and Europe since 2006, are battery powered devices that deliver vaporised nicotine and light up when puffed. Faulty e cigarettes have been known to explode, causing second degree face burns, U.K. health regulators said earlier this week. And because e cigarettes give a dose of nicotine to users, there s growing concern that the device can become addictive.

Current controls look at battery safety, electrical safety, but they don t focus on what s in the product and how it s delivered, said Jeremy Mean, a risk management official at the U.K. s drug regulator.

That s a warning shot for the small yet fast growing e cigarette market. The sector will approach $2 billion in sales by the end of 2013, and may exceed $10 billion by 2017, according to Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York. Demand for the smokeless devices may surpass that of traditional cigarettes in the next decade, Herzog said.

As manufacturers and tobacco companies step up their e cigarette advertising in the U.S. and as the device gains popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, the biggest concern among British and French health officials is so far unproven that e cigarettes could lead users to graduate to the real thing.

European Template

E cigarettes must become an aid to quit smoking, not a tool to enlarge the number of smokers, said Jean Louis Touraine, a Socialist lawmaker, doctor and expert on health care policy. They are becoming a fad, and many young people are being attracted to them.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration intends to propose a regulation that would expand its authority over e cigarettes, though no time table has been set, according to Jenny Haliski, a spokeswoman for the agency. Regulators in Europe are moving more quickly. And the U.K. decision will probably serve as a template for a European Union ruling, said Erik Bloomquist, an analyst at Berenberg Bank.

In the U.K., the devices will be licensed as medicines by 2016 and overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which will require manufacturers to present data on the quality of their products, on how they deliver nicotine to the body and on how they compare with other nicotine replacement products, the agency said June 12.

Reduced Cravings

E cigarettes have been shown to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, leading some people to cut down on smoking. And existing research has found no connection to heart disease.

Still, the devices use ingredients that can irritate the airways and cause allergic reactions, the German Cancer Research Center noted earlier this year. A study by scientists at the University of Athens found that they trigger an increase in airway resistance that lasts 10 minutes, making it harder for participants to breathe.

French Healthcare Minister Marisol Touraine said May 31 she plans to ask the country s highest administrative court to look at the legality of banning the devices in public places. Touraine cites the potential long term health impact, nicotine content and possible introduction to smoking as reasons to regulate devices that strikingly resemble cigarettes.

Some public health experts say the urge to take the safe route with e cigarettes risks is causing more harm than good.

Hand Grenades

We should be doing everything to encourage smokers to shift to new nicotine products, said Gerry Stimson, an emeritus professor of health behavior at Imperial College in London. The desire to make them safer is leading to over regulation and it will in effect turn them into a medicine and make them harder to obtain than cigarettes. It s a shame.

Many former smokers agree. This is effectively condemning people to going back to smoking cigarettes, says Dave Dorn of Sunderland, in northeast England, who adopted the smokeless tubes four years ago. Dorn, who produces an Internet broadcast program on e cigarettes called Vapour Trails that features ads for the devices, says none of those currently for sale will meet the U.K. s new regulations.

Poor Comparison

Adrian Everett, chief executive officer of closely held Zandera, says e cigarettes should be viewed as a tobacco alternative, not a smoking cessation tool. He objects to drawing parallels with the real thing.

To compare electronic cigarettes to tobacco cigarettes is like comparing playing football with juggling live hand grenades, he said in a telephone interview.

Amid evidence that more customers are adopting the product including Hollywood celebrities such as Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan tobacco companies are also investing to counter declining sales of traditional cigarettes.

Lorillard Inc. (LO US) based in Greensboro, North Carolina, last year acquired Blu Ecigs for $135 million. Altria Group Inc. (MO US) of Richmond, Virginia, has said it plans to introduce an e cigarette later this year.

The U.K. decision may give tobacco companies and larger e cigarette companies the upper hand by mandating a costly level of product scrutiny, according to Berenberg s Bloomquist.

It s clearly a benefit for tobacco companies, he said. It will put in place requirements that they meet certain regulatory standards and they are the ones that will be able to do that.

Vapoteur Tips

In France, the product has struck a chord with people from Paris cafes to the old Mediterranean harbor of Marseille, where converts can be found sharing stories, drinks and tips on new e cigarette products and flavors.

More than 1 million people in France are now regular users, compared with 500,000 at the end of last year, according to a government commissioned report published last month. The country has more than 150 dedicated shops, according to the report, a number expected to double by year end. And users have coined a new verb to describe their smokeless puffing, the French vapoter.

Amaury Delamaire, a 20 year old student at the Sorbonne in Paris, says freedom to indulge in public places is a reason he switched.

There is no way I ll stop, Delamaire said as he popped into the AlterSmoke store in the Latin Quarter, one of the dozens of dedicated shops that have sprouted on Paris streets, for a refill. I ll just have to be more discreet.

Others aren t so sure.

Why switch to electronic if you can t use them in places where regular cigarettes are forbidden, said Marilyn Kaye, an American writer living in Paris. Regulators want to deny the right of people to enjoy themselves in a way that does not harm others. It s ridiculous.

To contact the reporter on this story Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1

To contact the editor responsible for this story Phil Serafino at pserafino

'european parliament approves tough rules on electronic cigarettes' diff viewer (2/3) — news sniffer

Version 2 Version 3 European Parliament Approves Tough Rules on Electronic Cigarettes European Parliament Approves Tough Rules on Electronic Cigarettes 2014 02 27 00 20 09 UTC 2014 02 27 00 55 04 UTC (35 minutes later) PARIS The European Parliament on Wednesday approved rules for the region s fast growing market for electronic cigarettes, regulations that could help set a benchmark for standards around the The European Parliament on Wednesday approved rules for the region s fast growing market for electronic cigarettes, regulations that could help set a benchmark for standards around the world. Beginning in mid 2016, advertising for e cigarettes would be banned in the 28 nations of the European Union, as it already is for ordinary tobacco products. E cigarettes would also be required to carry graphic health warnings and must be childproof. The amount of nicotine would be limited to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary in mid 2016, advertising for e cigarettes would be banned in the 28 nations of the European Union, as it already is for ordinary tobacco products. E cigarettes would also be required to carry graphic health warnings and must be childproof. The amount of nicotine would be limited to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary cigarettes. Governments across the globe are grappling with how to regulate e cigarettes, which turn nicotine infused propylene glycol into an inhalable vapor. As sales of e cigarettes have ballooned, the debate over the public health implications has across the globe are grappling with how to regulate e cigarettes, which turn nicotine infused propylene glycol into an inhalable vapor. As sales of e cigarettes have ballooned, the debate over the public health implications has intensified. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is soon expected to issue regulations for the devices some American cities have already acted independently to ban e cigarettes in public places. In Europe, the tobacco legislation just needs the final approval of member states something that appears all but certain. It is expected by April. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is soon expected to issue regulations for the devices some American cities have already acted independently to ban e cigarettes in public places. In Europe, the tobacco legislation just needs the final approval of member states something that appears all but certain. It is expected by April. The regulation of e cigarettes in Europe is part of a broader overhaul of the region s tobacco rules, which have been in place since regulation of e cigarettes in Europe is part of a broader overhaul of the region s tobacco rules, which have been in place since 2001. The rules adopted on Wednesday go further than United States laws. Along with the e cigarette changes, they will require that the top 65 percent of all cigarette packs be covered with health warnings and pictures of things like diseased lungs. They would ban all tobacco products specifically targeted at children, like chocolate cigarettes, as well as cigarettes that come in packages designed to look like lipstick or perfume containers. Menthol cigarettes would also to be prohibited, after a four year rules adopted on Wednesday go further than United States laws. Along with the e cigarette changes, they will require that the top 65 percent of all cigarette packs be covered with health warnings and pictures of things like diseased lungs. They would ban all tobacco products specifically targeted at children, like chocolate cigarettes, as well as cigarettes that come in packages designed to look like lipstick or perfume containers. Menthol cigarettes would also to be prohibited, after a four year delay. But the new rules stop short of an earlier proposal to regulate e cigarettes as medicines. Such oversight would have moved them out of the specialty shops that have sprouted across Europe and into drugstores, where they would have been subject to the same regulatory regime as pharmaceuticals. The European rules also stop short of the uniform packaging mandated in Australia, instead allowing tobacco companies to maintain their branding and logos on the bottom third of cigarette boxes. But the new rules stop short of an earlier proposal to regulate e cigarettes as medicines. Such oversight would have moved them out of the specialty shops that have sprouted across Europe and into drugstores, where they would have been subject to the same regulatory regime as pharmaceuticals. This is a victory, said Linda McAvan, the British Labour Party member of the European Parliament who guided the legislation through the chamber in the face of determined opposition from the tobacco industry. The original proposal was stricter, and I would have voted for that, but the new law is anyway a huge step forward in tobacco control. This is a victory, said Linda McAvan, the British Labour Party member of the European Parliament who guided the legislation through the chamber in the face of determined opposition from the tobacco industry. The original proposal was stricter, and I would have voted for that, but the new law is anyway a huge step forward in tobacco control, she added. The fight will probably continue as Big Tobacco and e cigarette start ups looks to protect their business. For example, the tobacco companies case has previously been taken up by countries like Ukraine, Cuba and Indonesia in a challenge to Australia s rules at the World Trade Organization, arguing that the regulations constitute technical barriers to trade and violate the companies intellectual property fight will probably continue as Big Tobacco and e cigarette start ups looks to protect their business. For example, the tobacco companies case has previously been taken up by countries like Ukraine, Cuba and Indonesia in a challenge to Australia s rules at the World Trade Organization, arguing that the regulations constitute technical barriers to trade and violate the companies intellectual property rights. I m totally confident that we ll be taken to court by the tobacco companies, Ms. McAvan said, adding that it was worrying that they may try to abuse trade treaties. I m totally confident that we ll be taken to court by the tobacco companies, Ms. McAvan said, adding that it was worrying that they may try to abuse trade treaties. Drago Azinovic, president for European operations at Philip Morris International, said in a statement on Wednesday that the revision to European law represents a worrying departure from the E.U. s basic standards of proportionate, evidenced based policy making, which will further erode intellectual property rights and undermine the E.U. charter where these rights are protected. Drago Azinovic, president for European operations at Philip Morris International, said in a statement on Wednesday that the revision to European law represents a worrying departure from the E.U. s basic standards of proportionate, evidenced based policy making, which will further erode intellectual property rights and undermine the E.U. charter where these rights are protected. The question of how or even whether to regulate e cigarettes has divided the policy making bodies of the European Union, just as it has the medical community. The devices deliver the addictive nicotine of tobacco via a vapor and without the tar and other toxic chemicals of regular cigarettes. Some people claim that e cigarettes are effective in helping smokers to quit, but there is little reliable question of how or even whether to regulate e cigarettes has divided the policy making bodies of the European Union, just as it has the medical community. The devices deliver the addictive nicotine of tobacco via a vapor and without the tar and other toxic chemicals of regular cigarettes. Some people claim that e cigarettes are effective in helping smokers to quit, but there is little reliable data. The European Commission, the Union s executive body, had originally called for a much tougher line on electronic cigarettes. That proposal had the backing of the 28 European Union member states. But in October the Parliament, one of the three main v
oices in European policy, voted to keep the products regulated as tobacco, after intense lobbying from the tobacco industry and tens of thousands of vapers, or people who smoke European Commission, the Union s executive body, had originally called for a much tougher line on electronic cigarettes. That proposal had the backing of the 28 European Union member states. But in October the Parliament, one of the three main voices in European policy, voted to keep the products regulated as tobacco, after intense lobbying from the tobacco industry and tens of thousands of vapers, or people who smoke e cigarettes. Ms. McAvan said the question of whether e cigarettes were classified as medicines or tobacco products was really beside the point. We needed a framework to allow them onto the market so we can see how it works, she McAvan said the question of whether e cigarettes were classified as medicines or tobacco products was really beside the point. We needed a framework to allow them onto the market so we can see how it works, she said. She noted that, in theory, the final agreement allows member states the option of classifying e cigarettes as medicines if they choose to do so. But she said that would prove complicated in practice. E cigarette companies could also choose to claim medical status for the devices, she said, which would allow them to be advertised as smoking cessation noted that, in theory, the final agreement allows member states the option of classifying e cigarettes as medicines if they choose to do so. But she said that would prove complicated in practice. E cigarette companies could also choose to claim medical status for the devices, she said, which would allow them to be advertised as smoking cessation aids. Despite the determined battle by industry players, the final rules in Europe passed easily. The Parliament, which was meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted to adopt 500 63, with 60 abstentions. Despite the determined battle by industry players, the rules in Europe passed easily. The Parliament, which was meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted to adopt 500 63, with 60 abstentions. Still, it was far from , it was far from unanimous. This was a very bad agreement, said Martin Callanan, a British Conservative Party politician who said he opposed e cigarette regulation on the ground that the products help people stop smoking. It s a massive loss for public health in Europe. This was a very bad agreement, said Martin Callanan, a British Conservative Party politician who said he opposed e cigarette regulation on the ground that the products help people stop smoking. It s a massive loss for public health in Europe. Mr. Callanan, who backed most of Wednesday s tobacco law reforms, said the details on e cigarettes were still very murky and added, I m sure a lot of this will end up in the courts. Mr. Callanan, who backed most of Wednesday s tobacco law reforms, said the details on e cigarettes were still very murky and added, I m sure a lot of this will end up in the courts.