October 14th, 2013 Dustin Erickson Comments

It was a big week for European e cigarette users. People waited with nervous anticipation to see whether the European Parliament would decide to regulate e cigs as medical devices and many e cig critics were sure a victory was right around the corner. But luckily, things turned out well for Europe s vaping population. According to the New York Times, the European Parliament rejected proposals to regulate e cigs and only moved to limit sales to people under age 18.

While e cig critics had lobbied to have the products banned or at least regulated, the lawmakers ultimately cracked down in tobacco cigarettes instead. They voted that all cigarette packs would have to include health warnings with both text and photos covering 65 percent of each cigarette pack. They also voted to ban menthol flavored cigarettes beginning in 2021.

The Parliament did not even address where e cigs could legally be used, so this will be ultimately up to individual countries to decide. While some jurisdictions have already banned e cig use in nonsmoking areas, others are still undecided. By leaving e cigarette rights mostly untouched, the Parliament offered a victory for European ecig brands. E Lites representative Charles Manshaw Thomas was thrilled with the ruling and told the press that Common sense has prevailed.

The only major change for Europe s e cig industry will be in advertising. The Tobacco Product Directive does place some limits on e cig ads as a safeguard against drawing more young people towards nicotine use. By implementing stricter advertising rules, e cigs will mostly appeal to older smokers looking to stop using tobacco rather than nonsmoking young people interested in trying out trendy nicotine products.

While the European Parliament s decision was widely celebrated, it was not without criticism. One Swedish parliamentarian remarked that e cigarettes are not a path to giving up smoking but a gateway to starting smoking. Still, the majority believed that e cigs did not need to be regulated at this time.

British e cig supporter Chris Davis spoke against the Swedish parliament member s statements, saying, You are missing the big picture these are a potential game changer in the fight against tobacco. He contended that the whole point of making e cigs available was to reduce tobacco related deaths, which are around 700,000 per year in Europe.

The debate over e cigarettes will undoubtedly continue among European leaders as each nation determines its own approach to handling the unregulated devices. The next step is for the assembly s public health committee to finalize the Tobacco Products Directive negotiations to fully implement this week s decision from the Parliament. The directive is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

For now, it s a time to celebrate for Europe s millions of e cig supporters. Many gathered to support the industry this week and displayed banners and shouted out praises for the devices that helped them stop smoking. Brice Lepoutre was among the supporters and he told reporters that e cigs had been life life changing for him. E cigarettes liberated me from tobacco they saved my life.

Do you think that the European Parliament s decision will cause any major change for e cig revenues? How will this effect the future of vaping?

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Electronic Cigarette Blog

Why the eu will ban e-cigarettes

Euobserver / meps restrict child-friendly tobacco products

A Swedish newspaper has argued that the EU lied to justify it’s ban

The European Commission announced that most member countries are saying a firm no. But DN’s review shows that there is in fact strong support for making snus freely available on the market.

Source Newspaper Translation

If the newspaper and the MEP correct, e cigarettes could very well be the next alternative to smoking to be banned in Europe.

The result?

An early death for many of the smokers who would otherwise have used electronic cigarettes.

What can you do?

The EU is already reviewing e cigarettes.

If enough people show they care, the EU might just reconsider banning e cigarettes.

Click here to join thousands of other e cigarettes users in signing a petition to keep e cigarettes legal and available in EU. And share the word with other people who have benefitted from e cigarettes.

Note Thanks to David Atherton for sending me the link to the YouTube video above.