The e-cigarette company Gamucci is concerned about the way in which the European Commission’s draft Tobacco Products Directive is being handled and was quick to react to news yesterday that the European Parliament had agreed to delay the vote on the directive from Sept. 10 to Oct. 8.
Many MEPs, Gamucci said, had expressed concerns that Linda McAvan, the British MEP in charge of piloting the draft directive through parliament, seemed to be attempting to rush through her own amendments without acknowledging the serious impacts they could have on the fast-growing e-cigarette sector.
McAvan wanted to force all e-cigarette products to be regulated as medicines.
“Her draconian and unjustified proposals would impose significant and—for some—potentially insurmountable barriers on a sector that is increasingly successful in encouraging adult smokers to switch away from traditional combustible tobacco products,” Gamucci said in a press note.
“There are already an estimated 12 million electronic cigarette consumers across Europe who fear that such regulation could drive them back to smoking traditional tobacco products.”
Meanwhile, Gamucci’s Jacqueline Burrows made the point that very many health professionals believed the evidence was clear (1).
“Electronic cigarettes provide smokers with the positive benefits and pleasures of nicotine without the risks associated with traditional burning tobacco and its smoke,” she said. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).
“Many MEPs who have taken the time to study the facts and listen to those who have already made the switch recognize that it is the pharmaceutical companies and existing tobacco companies which would be the main beneficiaries of medicinal regulation of electronic cigarettes.” (7) (8).
Burrows added that this was the time to work together and agree on a sensible, proportionate, regulatory framework. It defied common sense that electronic cigarettes should be subjected to a more draconian regulation than that applying to existing tobacco products.
- Gerry Stimson, Clive Bates, Konstantinos Farsalinos, M.D. and Jacques Le Houezec, September 2013: “The impact of e-cigarettes on public health will vastly overshadow all other measures in the TPD” http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1499
- Drexel University, August 2013: “Chemicals in e-cigarettes pose no health concern for users or bystanders”
- Hajek, Lancet, July 2013: “The chemicals that make cigarettes dangerous are either absent or present only in trace concentrations”
- Inhalation Toxicology, October 2012: “The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions”
- Robert West, University College London: “The risk is negligible, and compared with smoking there is no contest”
- John Britton, Royal College of Physicians: “If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes, we would save 5 million deaths”
- Wells Fargo, January 2013: “Within 10 years there could be more e-cigarette users than cigarette smokers”
- Polosa, June 2013: “E-cigarettes help users stop smoking tobacco”: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066317#s4