Will eu bureaucrats kill artificial cigarettes off?

Government plans on licensing electronic cigarettes have been delayed even further amid fears for the future of the embryonic industry in Britain. Worryingly the European Union is also proposing a regulation requiring devices containing more than 4mg of nicotine to be regulated as a medicinal product.

By Pat Harrington

MEPs are expected to vote on it in September. Katherine Devlin, president of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA), claims that supporters of reclassification have a vested interest in rival pharmaceutical products. She is lobbying MEPs to reject the EU proposals. «The plans would effectively kill the industry,» she said.

In a position paper prepared for the European Parliament, ECITA states

1. The Electronic Cigarette Industry was created and developed entirely separately from the Tobacco and/or Pharmaceutical Industries. It is made up of consumer driven SMEs, not giant multi national corporations, and provides local employment, economic growth and tax revenues. The proposals as currently drafted would give a significant boost to the Tobacco Industry, by driving our millions of customers back to smoking.

2. Reclassifying these consumer products as medicinal products would have a negative impact on public health, because it would require a change in the operation and performance of the products, and would reduce their appeal and effectiveness for consumers. It is also illegal, as demonstrated very clearly by 4 specific case precedents, and several others from other sectors, across the EU.

Ecigs are designed to operate as a like for like replacement for smoking. This makes them a poor fit for medicines regulation which is largely concerned with controlled dosage and specific means of administration. Just as people don t smoke in the same patterns, so ecigs are used in an individual manner. Making them more like a medicine would make them less like smoking, thereby reducing their appeal and effectiveness.

3. One UK company has tried to get a Marketing Authorisation (MA) for its product, specifically wanting to make the medicinal claims about quitting. Their experience has made both the industry and the consumers very worried about this approach. This company has been engaged in the process for over 3 years now they declared last year that they had spent 2m so far and they still have not received a MA.

«If the revised TPD were adopted concerning ecigs, the products would have to be removed from the market until the MA is granted. Consumers and distributors are worried, therefore, that medicinal regulation will restrict availability. Indeed, the vast majority of EU consumers view medicinal regulation as tantamount to a ban on the products

Nick Griffin, MEP, commented «The proposal is likely to effectively ban a useful product. I am very much opposed to this measure and support the industry in opposing it. It is another unwarranted attempt by the EU to fix something which is not broken

Eu parliament rejects regulation of e-cigarette as a medical device — the information daily.com

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.