Lawmakers in Europe Aggressively Reject Strict Restrictions on E-Cigarettes
The European Parliament rejected proposals by health officials demanding stricter restrictions on e-cigarettes, according to the NY Times.
Health officials have earlier proposed that e-cigarettes only be used and regulated as medical devices. This sparked debates in the United States specifically over the extent of the said regulation. European lawmakers endorsed a permissive approach to the sale of the e-cigarette.
The United States' Food and Drug Administration claimed that it wants to issue regulations on nicotine delivery services as soon as possible. However, the expected regulations by the end of October will be pushed further because of the partial government shutdown that has left the FDA offices without workers.
Europe's electronic cigarette measure was widely watched because the use of e-cigarettes, specifically by smokers who are trying to steer away from their smoking habits has skyrocketed. The same trend applies in the United States. Now, instead of smoke burning from tobacco, smokers ingest the nicotine in the form of vapors or heated liquid. This alternative to smoking is called vaping.
The stigma attached to smoking tobacco has lessened ever since the concept of vaping was introduced. Now, smokers can use e-cigarettes in places where actual smoking is normally prohibited. However, the European Union Legislation did not address the issue of where vaping is actually permitted, leaving this decision to local and national jurisdictions.
"This is a fantastic result for public health and the millions of smokers around Europe who are switching to e-cigarettes," said Charles Hamshaw-Thomas, corporate affairs director of Britain's biggest e-cigarette brand by sales volume, E-Lites. "Common sense has prevailed."