The Daily Telegraph has reported about a leaked document from the European Commission which states that the European Union plans to treat electronic cigarettes like tobacco products and extend current anti-smoking laws to vaping.
A new tobacco directive will be put in place that will classify and regulate electronic cigarettes as “tobacco related products” starting 2017. The commission said there is a “risk that electronic cigarettes can develop into a gateway to normal cigarettes” in justifying its action.
The proposal will ban all electronic cigarettes that contain more than 20 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine, ecigs that use refillable cartridges, and e-liquids with flavors that taste like tobacco – essentially removing all the electronic cigarettes that are currently on store shelves.
According to the directive, “only flavors which are authorized for use in nicotine replacement therapies can be used in electronic cigarettes, unless such a flavor is particularly attractive to young people and non-smokers.”
Totally Wicked CEO Fraser Cropper accused EU officials of trying to go the back door route in introducing the ban, which has been previously overturned by the European Parliament.
“Behind closed doors in Brussels, unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats are drafting proposals that will deny millions of existing and former smokers access to a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes,” Cropper said.
Electronic cigarettes are currently unregulated across Europe because they do not contain tobacco and cannot be banned in public places and from minors like regular cigarettes. EU officials want to change that, citing that the devices “simulate smoking behavior and are increasingly used and marketed to young people and non-smokers.”