A French member of the European Parliament has asked the European Commission whether it intends to review the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in the revised Tobacco Products Directive, given the benefits that these products offer.
In a preamble to her question, Joëlle Mélin said that Directive 2014/40/EU laid down the new regulatory framework for tobacco products in the European Union, which would need to be incorporated into the member states’ legal systems.
‘The economic environment within which those in the electronic cigarette industry are trying to make progress is becoming increasingly complex,’ she said. ‘Although electronic cigarettes and the liquids they use do not actually contain any tobacco, the electronic cigarettes themselves and the products associated with them are included in the directive.
‘Placing electronic cigarettes – which do not burn or contain tobacco – in the same category as traditional cigarettes only dissuades smokers from turning to less harmful alternatives, which could amount to a direct contradiction of the Commission’s stated objective of public health protection.’
Mélin asked: ‘Given, then, that Commission studies (COM (2016) 269) have shown that “vaping” is not dangerous, that more than 21 percent of users have managed to cut down on their tobacco consumption, and 14 percent have given up tobacco altogether (2016 Eurobarometer survey), does the Commission intend to review the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in the Tobacco Directive?’