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 to ban menthol and flavoured cigarettes — the nation

The secretary general of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation (ASH Thailand), Dr Prakit Wathisathokkit, said governments of all 28 EU member countries would also be required to print warning images covering 65 per cent of total area of cigarette packs by 2016.

The EU governments are welcome to impose stricter measures on their local cigarette businesses, such as ordering that all cigarette packs be plain, or not carry any logo, images or trademarks, he added. Some 700,000 smokers die in EU countries each year. ASH Thailand once considered calling for a ban on the use of menthol in cigarettes but halted the plan after opposition by local and international tobacco companies. Prakit said menthol made smoking more popular because it eased irritation while being inviting to young smokers.