EU Proposal To Classify E-Cigs As Medicine Voted Down
The results are in and European Union lawmakers have voted down a proposal to classify electronic cigarettes as medicine. The proposal was pushed by public health and anti-smoking groups arguing that the new products could be just as dangerous as the real thing. But it seems those voting on the bill simply didn’t believe there was enough reason to let it pass.
The final vote was 298 for and 362 against. The new classification would have started in 2014 and affected the individuals’ ability to buy, sell, and manufacture e-cigs across the 28 countries that make up the EU.
Other proposals did move forward however. Most importantly, lawmakers did push forward proposals that will place safety controls and regulations on the marketing and advertising of the devices. It’s unclear how this will look in the longterm, but it seems the primary focus of these proposals is to prevent marketing and advertising that might appeal to or target kids and teens.
The primary reasons for rejecting the classification of e-cigs as medicine seem mostly focused on small business and anti-smoking opportunities. Many parliamentary representatives felt strict health-based regulation of the market would force all small businesses to shut down and leave the market. Many also felt electronic cigarette offered promise to those looking to quit smoking — even if the science is still catching up.
It will be interesting to see how things play out moving forward. There is no question, however, as to whether or not this was a victory for the industry and its community.