Very recently, the European Parliament members have rejected the proposal of health officials to treat electronic cigarettes (including other vaporizing instruments) as medicines or medicinal products. This ecig regulation decision was applauded by the SFATA or Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association.
The Ecig Regulation Decision
This was a very critical decision awaited for by everyone in the ecig industry. How the European Parliament will decide could have an effect or influence on other countries’ decision to tackle electronic cigarettes, particularly in the US.
Rather than approve the proposal to treat ecigs as medicines, the European lawmakers decided to endorse a more lenient approach in keeping the industry under control.
If the parliament members approved ecigs as medicines, the products would have been very limited. Ecig users would have needed to obtain a prescription from a health care provider first before the product can be purchased. If approved, the devices would have been more difficult to access than cigarettes that are readily available on store counters.
Ecigarettes are popular among smokers looking for a better alternative or for a more effective smoking cessation option. Sales have been skyrocketing not only in the US and Europe, but in other countries worldwide. In a decade or so, analysts foresee them to beat traditional cigarettes.
The European Parliament said that these electronic cigarette need to be regulated, but not the way medicinal products are subjected to; unless they are presented to have preventive properties.
In a press release, the Parliament also said that those products with no such claims must not contain more than 30 mg/ml of nicotine; must come with health warnings; must be sold to consumers 18 and above. Manufacturers of these products also need to submit to authorities their contained ingredients. They also are subjected to the same advertising restrictions for tobacco.
Some European country governments have already attempted to regulate or ban ecigarettes in the recent past, but only brought about court actions filed against them by ecig companies.
In the US, different groups and organizations have also been pushing for the stricter measures of these products. The FDA is expected to give its own decisions concerning its plans on ecig regulation.
EU’s Ecig Regulation Approved BY SFATA
The trade association might be based in the US, but it still expressed its appreciation of the European Parliament in its decision on how ecigarettes should be monitored.
Along with this applause is the hope of the association this ecig regulation decision would be followed by other countries.
Executive Director of SFATA Cynthia Cabrera said in a statement that they applaud European parliament for its landmark ecig regulation decision.
If they have approved the proposal details, the regulation might have misclassified the products and subject them to very inappropriate policies. This misclassification would have led to a potential limitation of the ability of the industry to constantly improve ecig products via technological innovation.
Cabrera added that SFATA is also in support of the decision of EU Parliament on restricting sale of ecigs to underage consumers. Any efforts made by organizations and legislative agencies to get these products away from the hands of minors is supported by SFATA because they believe that the products are intended only for adult use.
It is not yet clear whether US will follow in the footsteps of EU in formulating laws for electronic cigarettes, but Cabrera said she anticipates that the US lawmakers will also do the same.
She said that their association is optimistic that other legislative bodies all over the world will continue communicating with the community of vapers and electronic cigarette industry to allow the highly popular devices to continue evolving, improving and offering high quality, affordable alternatives to consumers. With this, thousands of employed people in the ecig industry will be supported and allowed to grow in numbers.