The European Union ignores science and common sense by making proposals that will damage the health of smokers and vapers

By Dr Farsalinos

            You may all know that currently some intense negotiating procedures are underway within the EU concerning the regulation of e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, all these negotiations are performed behind closed doors; thus, the people mostly concerned and affected by such regulations, vapers and smokers, have no idea what is going on and how these procedures are evolving.

            I am afraid that the European Union is once again trying to destroy the e-cigarette as an alternative-to-smoking product by trying to implement regulations that constitute a ban for the majority of products. Not only do they ignore science but they also make decisions that are against the will and vote of the MEPs just 40 days ago. One should wonder why such regulations are proposed, what purpose they serve and where the benefit for public health fits into their thinking.

            In what should be considered as scandalous proposals, the EU Commission has currently prepared a proposal to:

1.      Ban all refill liquids

2.      Ban all refillable atomizers

3.      Ban almost all flavors

4.      Restrict nicotine levels to 20mg/ml

5.      Restrict nicotine content per cartridge to 10mg

At the same time, none will be able to get any nicotine-containing liquid himself since only single-use cartomizers (with a maximum of 0.5ml of 20mg/ml nicotine concentration liquid) will be allowed to the market. These proposals are made despite the fact that scientific studies have shown that:

1.      Variability of devices and flavors play a major role in vapers’ efforts to reduce or quit smoking

2.      Nicotine is an essential part of the success of e-cigarettes, especially during initiation of e-cigarette use

Such decisions are not only an insult to the millions of vapers who have successfully quit or reduced smoking with the use of e-cigarettes; it is also against any scientific finding and common sense. Besides being an issue of public health, it is also a serious political matter, a characteristic example of disrespect towards the vote of MEPs. With such proposals they are in fact implementing a ban on e-cigarettes, removing almost all (and certainly the most effective) products from the market. The result will be an elevation in smoking prevalence because a substantial majority of vapers will be forced to go back to cigarettes. Additionally, it will deprive smokers who are unable to quit with currently approved methods with the opportunity to use a significantly less harmful alternative to smoking which will have beneficial effects for their health. Finally, it will inevitably lead to the development of a huge black market of products with questionable quality and unknown health implications. At the same time, tobacco cigarettes will be sold everywhere without any restrictions, as they already are. Science is completely ignored and bypassed and decisions are made against public health interest. Scientists should raise their voices against such proposals and vapers should defend their right to protect their health. Such regulations are against the health of EU citizens and contrary to any kind of scientific finding. Common sense should prevail.

For more details, read: comment and proposals by Clive Bates 

 

The proposal is available for everyone to see HERE

 

 

 

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