Electronic cigarettes won’t be tightly regulated as medical devices in Europe, lawmakers there decided.

Officials had proposed restricting direct sales to consumers, classifying the devices alongside nicotine patches and other smoking cessation products that require a prescription.

The European Parliament struck down that proposal, though, voting Tuesday to regulate them much as they do conventional cigarettes, with only the usual marketing, packaging, and 18 and older age restrictions.

While the lawmakers also voted to tighten restrictions on smoking tobacco packaging and menthol flavoring, e cigarettes were considered the main question.

In the U.S., the FDA is also weighing how to deal with the increasingly popular nicotine vapor devices

The agency has said it will issue proposed regulations on e cigarettes soon, a move that was widely expected by the end of October but may be delayed by shutdown related furloughs at the chronically understaffed agency.

It tried to regulate e cigarettes as medical devices but acquiesced in 2011 to an appeals court ruling that as long as no health claims are made for the products they only fit under the agency’s authority to regulate tobacco.

Individual European Union member states have attempted to quash sales through tight regulation or outright bans, but these have typically been struck down by legal action.

The amended Tobacco Products Directive now has to be agreed upon by E.U. government ministers and voted on again by the parliament, but no meaningful opposition is expected.

These moves have been carefully watched as other public health agencies around the world are trying to get a handle on e cigarettes, which are often targeted to smokers wanting to quit.

A recent study indicated the devices were at least equal to nicotine patches in that regard, although other studies show there still is an impact on lung function despite elimination of carcinogenic tobacco smoke.

The FDA has previously warned e cigarette manufacturers against making claims that the devices help smokers quit.


Crystal Phend

Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

American cigarettes “different”? your observations, please…

Discount cigarette & wireless – gilroy, ca
Re American Cigarettes “Different”? Your observations, please… Hi. I just got a message from a friend who is traveling through the UK this month, Olympics, sight seeing, etc. She is in her 60’s, and was stationed there overseas with her husband years ago.

Anyway, the thing she mentioned she found odd, was the effect the smokers have on her there in the UK, vs. here in the USA. She said normally it really bothers her a lot (health wise) when smokers pass by and are blowing smoke. She said over in England, it hasn’t bothered her at all, as if there’s something different about the smoke, or the air? I just found that interesting and wanted to see if anyone else had any ideas. Are our cigs worse, is our atmosphere different in some way over here? What say you?

Quoting Anonymous Coward 21201441

LM O as the eurO cigarettes ARE STRONGER

biggest bunch of moronic asshole LOSERS are the true BELIEVERS of second hand smoke KILLING or even HARMING ANYTHING.
where ARE ALL THE LEGIONS of DEAD bartenders ? waiters? waitresses ? market register/check out employees ?

she’s SIXTY ? so what DID DHE DO BACK WHEN ?

and don’t waste my time with the asthMa tales as they’d ALL have BEEN STATISTICS BACK WHEN.

being ON A VACATION made for a DIFFERENT mind set.
most likely she’ll be gaggin immediately after disembarking from the jet and waiting to get through customs INHALING JET FUEL FUMES.