BLACKBURN, United Kingdom The days of electronic cigarettes could be numbered if proposals from the European Commission that would effectively take all current e cigarettes off the market move forward.

According to documents obtained by Totally Wicked Ltd., an electronic cigarette company based in the United Kingdom, the European Commission drafted proposals as part of the negotiations taking place in Brussels, Belgium, to revise the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Among other things, the commission proposes a ban on all refill liquids, a ban on refillable atomizers, a ban on almost all flavors, and restrictions on nicotine levels.

“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,” said Fraser Cropper, CEO of Totally Wicked. “These proposals are based on a total lack of knowledge of how an electronic cigarette functions and, more importantly, these proposals are being drafted without any consultation with the people who rely on these products to prevent them returning to tobacco cigarettes.”

Taken together, according to the company, these proposals represent a ban on all currently available e cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes have been the subject of debate in the European Union lately. In early October, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted against regulating e cigarettes as medicines. Instead, e cigarettes will be regulated along the same lines as tobacco products.

In June, the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said it will treat e cigarettes as medicines, “so that people using these products have the confidence they are safe, are of the right quality and work.” The agency will regulate other products containing nicotine in a similar fashion however, cigarettes are exempt from the rule, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Health officials and the e cigarette industry in the United Kingdom are now seeking to clarify what the European Parliament’s moves mean.

Tobacco additives buy european made cigarettes – web analysis
Next Question 7. Do additives make tobacco more attractive?

Additives can make smoke look more attractive for other people as well as the smoker and reduce lingering odours, as well as mask the smell of smoke. They can make it easier to start smoking by making the smoke, cooler, sweeter, and less harsh to the throat. Harshness can be altered by changing the ratio of nicotine to tar, and also by adding flavourings which give the impression a particular cigarette brand is smooth .

It is very difficult to identify the role of individual substances in enhancing attractiveness. There is most information about menthol, used in cigarette brands which are popular in the USA. Menthol reduces harshness and may encourage deeper inhalation of smoke. In the USA a much higher proportion of African Americans than European Americans smoke mentholated cigarettes.

The available data do not allow drawing any conclusion on the overall effect of additives on the use of tobacco products. The prevalence of smoking (i.e. the number of smokers) is stable or in decline in most EU Member States. 2006 figures indicate that 27.5 per cent of adults smoked in the EU 33.2 per cent of men and 21.8 per cent of women roughly the same levels as in 2002. Smoking is more common, on average in Eastern European Member States.

Flavourings may be used to target young people, and there is evidence that younger smokers are more likely to use flavoured cigarettes. However, UK data suggest that brand preferences of child and adult smokers are quite similar. There are also indications in the UK market, which is dominated by domestic brands, that cigarettes marketed as additive free may become popular.