ECTIA Responds to MHRA’s Statement on Regulating E-cigarette Under Medical License
ECTIA Opinion on Ban on E-cigarette by
Regulating it Under Medical License
In a move that comes as a blow to e-cigarette campaigners, the EU today declared
that electronic cigarettes are a medicine and henceforth should abide by regulations
due to its new status. The decision came from Tobacco Product Directive committee,
in Brussels, recently. This is a big disappointment since the personal legal aid of the
committee suggested otherwise prior to this declaration. The recent amendment
classifies electronic cigarettes in the European Union as having medicinal properties.
However, this is not the final word on the matter because there are divided opinions
and the recent amendment needs to go through few committees. After this, the final
vote takes place in October, which will decide the fate of this life-saving device for the
times to come.
Legal committee associated with EU decision initially declared such a move illegal. Yet
the decision-making body went ahead to seal the fate of this revolutionary product,
while giving a nod to free sale of the original tobacco avatar. Recent studies have
shown that by switching to e-cigs it is possible to save life of over 5 million Britons in
the coming times. Tobacco is the killer and the only way to curb the associated
damage is providing a healthier option as afforded by automated cigarette varieties.
This recent EU decision is going to complicate matters for electronic cigarette
manufacturers in the coming times. Presently, technological innovations that allow
compliance to medical regulations do not exist. Examples are available of companies
trying their best to get such compliance. Take the case of one manufacturer that
spent millions and over 2 years to make it happen. Even if compliance is possible, it
will relate only to the disposable varieties. Further companies will require a separate
license for each individual flavor associated with their e-cigarette brands.
An estimated cost of each license is over £ 1 million with annual renewal
requirements in place. Compared to complications associated with the electronic
variety, the tobacco counterparts are all set to continue with their brisk business with
a related tax filing of government coffers. Studies show that 1/3 to half of all the
smokers perish but the government is ignoring this overwhelming issue by rejecting
the healthy alternative.
Not everyone is happy with the decision and campaigners for electronic cigarettes are
going to continue with their debate and turn public opinion in their favor. Sir Francis
Jacob, former AG related to European Justice Court declared this verdict by E.U.,
“unreasonable measure”, which is going to face an annulment anytime soon. He cites
the reason that this decision falls contrary to nondiscrimination and proportionality
principles and as such, liable to be rejected.
With so much controversy surrounding this EU decision, one has not listened to the
last word on this debate as yet. The fight continues!