The tobacco industry in Europe received another blow as the
Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the
Members of European parliament reached a settlement on draft
legislation which could curb the growth of e-cigarettes
After months of negotiations Council of EU and the European
parliament, both sides agreed yesterday that the e-cigarettes,
with nicotine strength of more than 20 milligrams per milliliter,
would need authorization as a medicine if they can be proven to
have some form of curative or preventive action. E-cigarettes
below this level will face the same regulations as conventional
tobacco products if they cant be proved as a medicinal
The Council of EU and the health ministers have long been
demanding nationwide ban on e-cigarettes. However, the European
parliament, under pressure from tobacco biggies, held that
e-cigarettes helped in curbing tobacco smoking and deserved a
lighter regulatory touch. The current decision follows
hard-fought negotiations between the EU governments and the
E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular especially
among youngsters. These battery-powered devices turn a
nicotine-based liquid into vapor. They were considered less
harmful than tobacco products and therefore the major tobacco
players capitalized on them.
) subsidiary, Nu Mark LLC, introduced its first e-cigarette brand
- MarkTen e-cigarettes - in Indiana in August.
Reynolds American Inc.
) subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, is expanding the
distribution network of its tailor-made e-cigarette - Vuse.
) captured a leading position in the electronic cigarette
industry in the U.S. after it acquired e-cigarette brand Blu
e-Cigs in Apr 2012. Also, in November,
Philip Morris International
) announced its plans to foray into the e-cigarette business.
The parliament also drafted a new legislation on tobacco
products. The new regulations on packaging and warnings, stay
unaltered. In October, the parliament accepted the legislation
drafted by the EU health ministers that requires the tobacco
companies to include both pictorial and text alerts on the
cigarette packs to dissuade smokers.
Moreover, the law requires the warning to cover more than 65%
of both the front and back covers of the packs. As part of the
plan to ban the sale of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with
characterizing flavors, it has been decided that menthol
cigarettes will be banned totally by 2020.
We now await the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision
on the e-cigarette. The anti-smoking activists have requested the
FDA to impose restrictions on e-cigarettes. The FDA has passed a
rule compelling tobacco companies to print thought-provoking
images on cigarette packs inducing smokers to refrain from
smoking. Also, the governments of Australia and New Zealand have
made plain packaging mandatory for cigarette packs.
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