The European Parliament on Wednesday approved rules for the region s fast growing market for electronic cigarettes, regulations that could help set a benchmark for standards around the world.

Beginning in mid 2016, advertising for e cigarettes would be banned in the 28 nations of the European Union, as it already is for ordinary tobacco products. E cigarettes would also be required to carry graphic health warnings and must be childproof. The amount of nicotine would be limited to 20 milligrams per milliliter, similar to ordinary cigarettes.

Governments across 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 soon expected to issue regulations for the devices some American cities have already acted independently to ban e cigarettes in public places.

In Europe, the tobacco legislation just needs the final approval of member states something that appears all but certain. It is expected by April.

The regulation of e cigarettes in Europe is part of a broader overhaul of the region s tobacco rules, which have been in place since 2001.

The rules adopted on Wednesday go further than U.S. laws. Along with the e cigarette changes, they will require that the top 65 percent of all cigarette packs be covered with health warnings and pictures of things like diseased lungs. They would ban all tobacco products specifically targeted at children, like chocolate cigarettes, as well as cigarettes that come in packages designed to look like lipstick or perfume containers. Menthol cigarettes would also to be prohibited, after a four year delay.

But the new rules stop short of an earlier proposal to regulate e cigarettes as medicines. Such oversight would have moved them out of the specialty shops that have sprouted across Europe and into drugstores, where they would have been subject to the same regulatory regime as pharmaceuticals.

This is a victory, said Linda McAvan, the British Labour Party member of the European Parliament who guided the legislation through the chamber in the face of determined opposition from the tobacco industry. The original proposal was stricter, and I would have voted for that, but the new law is anyway a huge step forward in tobacco control.

The fight will probably continue as tobacco firms and e cigarette start ups look to protect their business.

Read the full story here.

Source The New York Times

Posted February 27, 2014

Farage lobbies for ‘remarkable’ e-cigarettes in video after donation from maker – telegraph

Coles importing cheap cigarettes from germany and selling them at discount prices

Nigel Farage appeared in a video urging the European Parliament not to legislate on e cigarettes after his party received over f30,000 in donations from a British manufacturer of the product.

Ukip accepted a donation of f25,000 from Pillbox 38, the Blackburn company behind electronic cigarette brand Totally Wicked in May 2013.

The party then accepted a further donation of f11,000 from Jason Cropper the founder of the group in July, the electoral commission register shows.

Months later, on the day that the EU was to legislate on the sale and manufacture of e cigarettes, Mr Farage appeared in a You Tube video extolling their virtues.

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Totally Wicked has been fighting planned regulations from the European Commission which would ban refillable nicotine cartridges that are used in their cigarettes.

In the 90 second video Mr Farage tried out a larger e cigarette similar to the type that Totally Wicked makes and then on an e cigar.

Mr Farage says that smaller, non refillable cigarettes that are not going to be banned by the commission are mostly made by the “big pharmaceutical lobby and by big tobacco.”

The Ukip leader described the larger cigarettes of the type make by Totally Wicked which were recommended for a ban, “remarkable” and made by “a whole host of entrepreneurs.”

Mr Farage continued “I have to say, as a smoker, frankly I haven t yet given up but I could do very easily and there are 1.8 million people in this country using these things, it s cutting down tobacco use massively.

“Yet these are due to be banned I want to see the British government stand up and say, we, under no circumstances, will we accept this.”

Following a debate the European Commission decided to impose bigger health warnings on cigarette packets and cap the amount of nicotine allowed in e cigarettes rather than impose a ban.

Mr Farage told The Telegraph “Ukip have supported the freedom to smoke e cigarettes for a very long time. I have been extremely careful on the issue of donations and only accepted these because the public position of UKIP on E cigs was already very clear.”

Mr Cropper s brother Fraser, who took over as chief executive of Pillbox 38 said MEPs from other parties had been more “tenacious” than Mr Farage in standing up for the company in Brussels.