FINALLY – Some countries get it! According to a recent Reuters news article, “the United Kingdom endorses e-cigs for the first time,” saying they are 95 percent safer than tobacco equivalents and even suggesting doctors should be able to prescribe the ‘game-changing’ devices to tobacco smokers who are trying to quit.
Do you hear the angels singing?
In December 2012 the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the European Union Tobacco Products Directive, which included proposals to introduce restrictions on the use and sales of e-cigarettes. Ten months later the European Parliament voted down the Commission’s proposal to introduce medical regulation for electronic cigarettes, and introduced a series of marketing and advertising restrictions (formally approved in February 2014) for e-cigarettes that are similar to tobacco products. The restrictions involve maximum concentrations of nicotine in liquids, child-proof packaging, purity of ingredients and disclosure of ingredients and nicotine content.
But wait … in October 2014, UK-based e-cigarette manufacturer Totally Wicked won the right to challenge the directive at the Court of Justice of the EU. The hearing is expected to take place in 2015 – so stay tuned!
In April 2014, the FDA proposed new regulations which were similar to those in Europe for tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. The FDA-proposed regulation would also ban the sale of e-cigarettes with nicotine to any individual under 18 years of age. With the absence of federal regulations, many states and cities have adopted their own e-cigarette regulations, most commonly to prohibit sales to minors. Some states permit e-cigarettes to be taxed as tobacco products and have extended their indoor smoking bans to include e-cigarettes.
What’s Canada’s take on e-cig vaping?
In Canada, anti-smoking groups are calling for tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes, including The Canadian Lung Association, calling them “a gimmicky, unproven method” of tobacco smoking cessation, and urging tobacco smokers to use other cessation methods. In August 2015, Health Canada weighed in with the following gem, “To date there is not sufficient evidence that the potential benefits of e-cigarettes in helping Canadians to quit smoking (tobacco products – sic) outweigh the potential risks.”
It would be wonderful, if not downright sensible, if Canada and the USA would fully legalize e-cigarettes as have the following civilized and reasonably sophisticated countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
“If we get all tobacco smokers to switch from regular cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, we would eventually reduce the US death toll from more than 400,000 a year to less than 4,000, maybe as low as 400.” – Dr J Nitzkin, American Association of Public Health Physicians, aaphp.org, 2010-04-02.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in. We want to hear what you think …