The UK based electronic cigarette company, E-Lites, has overturned an attempt by a European government to have electronic cigarettes classified as medical devices.
The Administrative Court in Estonia last week found in favour of Zandera Ltd, owners of the E-Lites brand, and against the Estonian State Agency of Medicines.
This decision comes at a time when the EU is proposing to classify electronic cigarettes as medicinal products under the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
It follows similar recent court decisions in Germany, the Netherlands and the US. All refused medicinal classification for electronic cigarettes.
“We are delighted common sense has prevailed,” said Michael Ryan, chairman of Zandera, in welcoming the decision in Estonia.
“E-Lites are not designed as a medicine; they’re designed as an alternative consumer product choice for smokers.
“We welcome the Estonian Court’s decision and we hope it will persuade other governments and regulatory bodies to review any similar proposals.”
The TPD, as drafted, would have the effect of removing from the market, pending medicinal authorization, virtually all electronic cigarettes, despite the fact they are proving a popular alternative for smokers and are increasingly widely recognised as being safer than cigarettes are.
“We are confident e-cigs are an exciting breakthrough and potentially ‘transforming’ product and we want to work with governments and regulators across Europe to agree the appropriate regulatory framework,” said Ryan.
“Public health experts are proclaiming the significant contribution to tobacco harm reduction e-cigs are already making and we desperately want that to continue.”