The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a press release stating that electronic cigarettes would be regulated as a medicine in 2016. The media did respond with a few stories and e-cigs made headline news, as you probably heard or saw on the TV.
The e-cig is becoming more and more popular, and adult smokers like these electronic devices because they simulate the ritual of tobacco smoking, giving nicotine on inhalation but without the tar or 4,000 or so chemicals associated with tobacco. In fact, research suggests that around 1.3 million smokers and ex-smokers in the UK have made the switch to e-cigs and we believe this can only be a good thing, as they are the healthier alternative. They are also about 80% cheaper than tobacco cigarettes!
E-cigs are not medicines, and not ‘quit smoking products’; they are a like-for-like alternative to smoking and they are for adult smokers, not for children. We believe there can be no moral, ethical or legal justification for restricting access to these products to adult smokers and that they have the potential to save millions of lives.
The coverage implied that e-cigs are unregulated. This is not the case, they are regulated as consumer products and we comply with the law and the government enforces the law. What we would like to see is better enforcement of the existing consumer protection law, and with many new entrants entering the market, ensuring that they meet our industry standard for quality.
We believe that these knee-jerk reactions, such as the ‘proposal’ from the MHRA to effectively ban all electronic cigarettes used by smokers today, can only serve to damage public health.
Liberro is a member of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Association (ECITA) and they will be representing our industry when discussions take place in the EU in 2014. The decision from this will determine if e-cigs are to be medical licensed devices. If they are, then this will be implemented in the UK in 2016. If you would like to support the campaign and put your own e-cig experience forward, we would recommend that you write to your MP and MEPs. Here is a link with some tips on the information you should include.
www.liberro.co.uk Customer services on: 0800 111 4753
Blog supplied by Simon Christou