A Big Win for E-Cigs in Europe
Electronic cigarette manufacturers are heartened by a decision by the European Parliament, which will not classify e-cigarettes as medical devices. If the decision had gone the other way as EU medical officials had wanted, it could have vastly reduced the sale and availability of the products throughout the Euro Zone. In some countries, it could have restricted sales to the point where ecigs could only be sold in pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. E-cigarette companies had lobbied hard against the proposal, and are calling it a victory for public health and the people who are switching from cigarettes to e-cigs.
It wasn’t all good news for e-cigarette companies, though; the Parliament did vote to impose much tighter restrictions on the advertising and sale of e-cigs. Those limits are basically the same ones that apply to tobacco cigarettes, including bans on most forms of advertising, and bans on sales to those under the age of 18.
The EU decision must still be approved by two other European government branches, and then the individual member countries will have several years to bring their own laws into compliance.
The European action comes as electronic cigarette companies await a promised decision from the U.S Food and Drug Administration later in October, on how it plans to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. In 2010 a U.S Appeals Court gave the FDA the ability to regulate e-cigs under the umbrella of tobacco products.