Europe to Regulate E-Cigarettes

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Europe to Regulate E-Cigarettes

The European Union voted to regulate nicotine delivery devices such as e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine through vapor. These new developments are highly interesting considering the FDA’s intent to introduce regulations in regards to e-cigarettes here in the US as well. The New York Times article below from March 1st, 2014 sheds light on the news in more detail;

REGULATING ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES
By  

“European lawmakers last week adopted strong tobacco regulations that will increase government oversight of electronic cigarettes. The rules should serve as a model for the Food and Drug Administration, which has said that it also intends to regulate the nicotine-delivery devices.

The use of battery-powered electronic cigarettes is growing across Europe and the United States because they allow users to inhale nicotine vapor without also ingesting tar and other cancer-causing substances present in traditional cigarettes. Some users say the devices have helped them quit smoking, which makes them a potentially useful tool in combating the dangers of tobacco use.

But health experts are rightly worried that these devices might make it easy for teenagers to develop an addiction to nicotine, which can be toxic at high doses and impairs brain development in children. Lab tests by the F.D.A. have also found that some electronic cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals that are used in antifreeze.

That is why an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament voted to ban advertising of electronic cigarettes and limit the amount of nicotine in each device to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary cigarettes. Makers of these devices, which now include large tobacco companies, will also have to put warning labels that include information about their addictiveness and toxicity on their packaging and must make electronic cigarettes childproof. The rules, which will go into effect in 2016, also regulate the purity of the nicotine liquid in the devices.

These rules strike a good balance. Smokers who want to quit with the aid of electronic cigarettes will still be able to do so with the knowledge that the devices are not contaminated and do not contain excessive, harmful doses of nicotine. At the same time, the marketing restrictions should make it less likely that they will be used by children.

American regulators should quickly follow with their own rules. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the use of electronic cigarettes is growing among American teens. And there is increasing evidence that the electronic cigarette industry is targeting children and young people who have never smoked before.

For example, electronic cigarettes are available in a range of child-friendly flavors like “French vanilla” and “banana cream.” One maker recently used Santa Claus in its advertisements. Unfortunately, just 26 American states are known to have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to people younger than 18, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Electronic cigarettes might be useful to some people who are addicted to nicotine and want an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. But regulators still have a duty to make sure that these devices are not causing harm, especially to children.”

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