What is an E Cigarette?

In case you have not yet overheard the term electronic cigarette, then it is an ideal time to learn what this small, smokeless device actually comprises of. In simple terms, an e cigarette is a device that acts as a regular cigarette but in reality, it is poles apart from its original and undoubtedly the ‘more popular’ cousin.

Is an E Cigarette a Smokeless Device?

An e cigarette is a smokeless device that permits smokers to experience the ‘nicotine hit’, which a smoker would usually experience while smoking a traditional cigarette, yet this device is free from all the harmful chemicals that are always present in a traditional tobacco filled cigarette. In fact, e cigs do not contain tobacco. Likewise, there is no emission of toxic gasses when you smoke an electric cigarette and all that emits is water vapor (which in turn is harmless).

E Cigs are Preferred Over Regular Cigarettes Because-

  • They are free from over 4000 highly toxic chemicals that are found in regular cigarettes
  • They are compact, convenient to use and less polluting
  • They are a cheaper option
  • They can be puffed even in public places

E Cigarette Regulation- What is It?

The hot topic of discussion is the regulation of electric cigarettes, which in turn has been proposed by none other than the European Commission. The UK Cancer Research institution has welcomed this proposal and so has the ASH, anti-smoking group. Interestingly, the question ‘are electronic cigarettes considered tobacco products’, is best answered by reading the small description about these smokeless wonders, which in turn has been mentioned above. Apparently, the FDA regulations of e cigarettes is yet to materialize, owing to which, the European Commission is of the opinion that it is time their organization did something positive in this aspect. The manufacturing, marketing as well as sales of tobacco products is proposed to be made more stringent in the near future.

Proposed E Cigarette Regulation by European Commission

Main Agendas Covered in the EC Regulations:

According to the Consume Policy and Health commissioner of the European Union, Toino Borg, “The Regulation of tobacco related products is a necessity as over here, a vast majority of tobacco users are killed by their addiction. Besides, tobacco is highly addictive in nature. Under age smokers (less than 18 years of age) comprise 70% in terms of the total percentile and this is a shocking fact indeed. Hence, the need to make tobacco products less attractive is the need of the hour.” If we are to discuss electronic cigarette vs regular cigarette, it would not be incorrect to state that the former is a much safer device as it does not contain tobacco and neither does it emit smoke.

Nonetheless, e cigarette review FDA 2011 has not changed or made a permanent decision in the year 2012 and proper formulation of regulations pertaining to e cigs is still pending. The main reason behind this lack of action is the absence of any harmful substance (apart from nicotine) in electric cigarettes, which in turn is vital to initiate an action against these smokeless devices. The electronic cigarette fda regulation is therefore on a temporary hold.

The Proposed Areas of Improvement

The Packaging Style- The European Commission is of the proposal that over 75% of the cigarette packs (front and back) should be covered by a health warning image. They also went on to state that member states have the option of opting for plane packaging as well. Information pertaining to the tobacco content, tar quantities as well as nicotine strengths shall be depicted onto these covers. At the same time, the warning sign stating that tobacco cigarettes contain over 70% chemicals that may cause cancer in humans, should also be included in the package.

Proposal for Electric Cigarette- Interestingly, the above mentioned regulations include those devices that are capable of delivering nicotine to consumers. In a nutshell, even a nicotine delivery system such an electric cigarette, is proposed for possible regulations by the European Commission. It is interesting to note that those e cigarettes that deliver very low nicotine levels shall not be regulated, while those e cigs that are delivering higher than prescribed quantities of nicotine levels shall be included under the regulatory category. Hence, all electric cigarettes that are delivering high nicotine levels shall be treated as medicinal products and they would be considered at par with the currently available nicotine replacement therapies.

The Flavors Used in Electronic Cigarettes- Another interesting aspect of these proposed regulations is pertaining to those e cig brands that manufacture tobacco flavored e-liquids. They shall not be permitted to use this flavor going forward. Even those flavors that may possibly increase toxicity levels shall not be permitted. This includes menthol flavor as well. Health warnings shall also need to be incorporated by those companies selling herbal cigarettes. Besides, all online retailers shall have to take necessary steps so as to ensure that cigarettes are not bought by minors. In fact, holograms as well as packaging of tobacco cigarettes shall be done in accordance with the EU directives.

Is E Cig Regulation Justified?

According to the president of ECITA, Katherine Devlin, “It is very clear that cheap e cigs do not contain tobacco and hence, they do not fall under the category that has been described under the Tobacco Products Directive. In fact, the commission seems to have understood this fact. Likewise, e cigs cannot be categorized as medical products. Hence, the scope of revisions and regulations does not apply here. Stopping free access to e cigarettes would not be a good move, as this would simply allow the tobacco industry (a multi billion pound enterprise) to gather speed, which apparently shall not be a good move. It is very evident that the traditional tobacco industry has suffered a huge dent in their market owing to the launch of cheap electronic cigarettes.”

According to the director of Tobacco Control in the UK (Cancer Research) Jean King, “The steps initiated by the European Commission are undoubtedly in the right direction, as this would help curb tobacco menace to a great extent. By incorporating images on cigarette packs, depicting the harmful effects of cigarettes, people shall think twice before starting to smoke cigarettes. Ideally, the main agenda should be to device ways and means of reducing the ill effects of smoking.”

Apparently, it is the tobacco industry that needs to be watched over and is in need for further reforms and not e cigarettes.