An EU Directive Has Been Launched on E Cigarettes
The European Union has just voted through amendments to the EU Tobacco Products’ Directive. This follows the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announcement that e cigarettes will be considered medical devices in the UK come 2016.
The EU Directive forces EU members to legislate for regulation of tobacco related products and in the specific case of e cigarettes it calls for any e cigarette product with more than 4mgs of nicotine to be regulated.
The UK and MHRA may have acted in anticipation of this vote from the EU but the result is the same either way. Access to vaping and electronic cigarettes is set to get a whole lot tougher in the coming years. If it was the case that only the UK regulated e cigarettes then it was entirely possible that people would switch to ordering e cigarette products online from other EU countries. This looks like an alternative that is no longer on the table for the hundreds of thousands of vapers around the UK.
What has happened in light of these regulations is a split between medical professionals. Many professionals have been calling for regulation of e cigarettes since they hit the market. Some feel it encourages smoking (despite it being the most used aid to quitting in the UK) and have worries about the quality control and ingredients in e cigarettes. While those in favour maintain that as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, given e cigarettes’ list of ingredients and construction that vaping simply cannot be as unhealthy as tobacco cigarettes. This has resulted in many doctors saying that restrictions placed on electronic cigarettes will do damage to the attempts of many people who are looking for an alternative to tobacco cigarettes.
Whatever happens, it looks like regulation is inevitable. However this regulation is still two to three years down the line. For the moment e cigarettes are still readily available and many people find them an enjoyable pastime. Even if their availability is restricted in 2016 if you switch now, that is still three years that you can be inhaling water vapour rather than tobacco smoke and tar. If you are looking for e cigarettes the usual warnings apply: do your research and any decent e cigarette company will stand over their product offering warrantees, guarantees and money back services.