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ERS President Professor Francesco Blasi was in Brussels this week to present the ERS perspective in the debate surrounding electronic cigarettes.

MEPs called experts from across the continent to the Parliament to share their views on e cigarettes in a Workshop on Tuesday, 7 May.

The discussion centred on whether e cigarettes need to be regulated or not. Professor Blasi highlighted the lack of scientific evidence on the potential benefits and/or risks of e cigarettes and raised the issue that there are no long term studies showing effects of using the devices.

Professor Blasi called for more research on the positive or negative effects of these products, in particular medium and long term independent clinical trials, behavioural studies and individual/population level post marketing studies. He stated that until this strong scientific evidence exists, policymakers should proceed with caution.

Other speakers included European regulators and consumer associations.

Find out more about the workshop

  • More on this topic Electronic cigarettes Tobacco

European parliament imposes tough restrictions on e-cigarettes

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European Parliament Imposes Tough Restrictions on E Cigarettes

on February 27, 2014


Plan approved to ban e cigarette ads by mid 2016 in the European Union’s 28 nations. The advertising prohibition approved by the European Parliament matches the existing ban on ads for tobacco products. The new rules also call for e cigarettes to carry graphic health warnings. The amount of nicotine would be limited to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary cigarettes. Governments around the globe are grappling with how to regulate e cigarettes, which turn nicotine infused propylene glycol into an inhalable vapor. As sales of e cigarettes have ballooned, the debate over the public health implications has intensified. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue regulations for the devices soon, and some U.S. cities already have banned e cigarettes in public places. The New York Times

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U.S. Canadian agency calls for limits on the use of fertilizer around Lake Erie. The aim is to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water and creating a blanket of algae each summer, threatening fisheries, tourism and even drinking water. The agency, the International Joint Commission, said fertilizer swept by rains from farms and lawns was a major source of phosphorus in the lake. It recommended that crop insurance be tied to farmers adoption of practices that limit fertilizer runoff, and that Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania ban most sales of phosphorus based lawn fertilizers. The proposals are likely to encounter strong opposition from the agricultural industry and fertilizer manufacturers, which already have asked a U.S. appeals court to block regulation of farm related pollution along the Chesapeake Bay. The New York Times

Thirteen workers at underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico test positive for radiation exposure. Managers of the government site near Carlsbad initially said not any of the 139 employees working above ground when an accidental leak of toxic particles occurred on Feb. 14 were exposed to radioactive contaminants. That assessment was based on external testing of the workers’ skin and clothing. But new analyses of biological samples taken from the workers showed that 13 were in fact exposed to radioactive particles. A U.S. Energy Department official said it would be “premature” to “speculate on the health effects of these preliminary results or any treatment that may be needed.” He did not give details on the level of contamination detected. Reuters, The Associated Press

Sen. Rand Paul puts a hold on President Obama’s choice for surgeon general, citing the nominee’s views on gun violence. In a letter explaining his position, the Kentucky Republican said the nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, “has disqualified himself from being Surgeon General because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign. Although Paul criticizes Murthy s position that doctors should ask patients about guns in their homes, medical associations and children’s advocacy groups have taken similar stances. Despite Paul’s opposition, new filibuster rules will allow the Senate to take a confirmation vote on Murthy. ThinkProgress, The Washington Post

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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