South West MEP welcomes electronic cigarette regulations

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: South West MEP Graham Watson says regulation of electronic cigarettes is welcome but more should be done to maintain freedom to choice South West MEP Graham Watson says regulation of electronic cigarettes is welcome but more should be done to maintain freedom to choice

A EURO-MP representing the Standard's region has broadly welcomed a tentative agreement between the European Commission and MEPs on the regulation of electronic cigarettes but says more needs to be done to maintain “the freedom to choose”.

During late night talks, the European Commission backed down on demands for a heavy regulation of electronic cigarettes, commonly known as ‘e-cigs’ or ‘vaping’.

Plans for the product to be controlled by pharmacies, restricting the sale on the open market, have been stopped.

A minimum nicotine content has also been set at 20mg/l, far higher than the 3mg the Commission had originally hoped for. 20mg/l is closely comparable to that of conventional cigarettes.

Plans to potentially restrict the sale of refillable units remain within the proposals despite opposition from MEPs. From 2016, a review of their sale will come into effect which could lead to restrictions.

A decision on flavoured e-cigs will be left to national governments to decide rather than Brussels.

Sir Graham Watson, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West and campaigner for more freedoms within the electronic cigarette market, broadly welcomed the news.

“We have not got everything we wanted, such is the way of compromise. However, major concessions have been made by governments and the Commission which will see e-cigs being widely sold, not just in pharmacies. But unfortunately the work does not stop here. We have three years to persuade governments and the EU to find a way to keep refillable cartridges open to consumers.

“Up to 60,000 lives could be saved in the UK by switching away from conventional to electronic cigarettes. Surely this is motivation enough to allow consumers to freely choose for themselves and to have an open market.

“It would be madness to see heavy regulation imposed on products which can prevent deaths and ease the burden on our healthcare system.

"I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents whose lives have changed because of this invention and I will continue to stand up for their freedom choose.”

Matthew McMinn, CEO, of Lucky 8s Electronic Cigarettes, a Broadway based cigarette firm, said: “It goes without saying we believe that regulation would be better for everyone. If the MHRA were not involved and it looks like the European Parliament agree for now. But I don’t think this is the end of it. The vote was close, it’s a contentious issue and a lot will change over the next couple of years. I hope that whatever regulation is imposed will still give smokers a choice.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:21pm Thu 20 Feb 14

equiton says...

Article 18 of the tobacco product directive ( the new EU regulation of electronic cigarettes) is a farce not a compromise. The document uses 4 scientific studies to justify the regulation. The authors of 3 of those studies have complained about the inaccurate use of their work and said the regulation is inept. It introduces pointless technical but very expensive testing to do with consistency of delivery, yet does not introduce a simple control of ingredients. This effectively shuts out small innovative businesses and hands the industry to the giants who can afford these tests and delays. The financial markets are see the regulation as a gift to the tobacco smoking industry. the regulation on electric cigarettes will be far stricter than cigarettes.
The document would be a joke with its basic numeracy errors, miss use of scientific data except this could be one of the most important pieces of public health regulation passed in many years. It is rushed, no impact studies have been done, its justifications are irrational and it smells of too much influence from the wrong lobbyists. All experts on this subject (none of whom have been consulted) think its inept regulation.
MEP's need to step back a bit and give this matter the time it merits.
Article 18 of the tobacco product directive ( the new EU regulation of electronic cigarettes) is a farce not a compromise. The document uses 4 scientific studies to justify the regulation. The authors of 3 of those studies have complained about the inaccurate use of their work and said the regulation is inept. It introduces pointless technical but very expensive testing to do with consistency of delivery, yet does not introduce a simple control of ingredients. This effectively shuts out small innovative businesses and hands the industry to the giants who can afford these tests and delays. The financial markets are see the regulation as a gift to the tobacco smoking industry. the regulation on electric cigarettes will be far stricter than cigarettes. The document would be a joke with its basic numeracy errors, miss use of scientific data except this could be one of the most important pieces of public health regulation passed in many years. It is rushed, no impact studies have been done, its justifications are irrational and it smells of too much influence from the wrong lobbyists. All experts on this subject (none of whom have been consulted) think its inept regulation. MEP's need to step back a bit and give this matter the time it merits. equiton

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree