If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.
Professor John Britton, chair of the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians Source: BBC
Unfortunately, the EU chose not to listen to Professor John Britton, or their own legal committee which advised that EU plans were illegal, and voted today to make electronic cigarettes a medicine while allowing cigarettes to be freely sold.
(Above, balloons being burst to signify the lives lost if a ban goes ahead. Taken from Dick Puddlecote’s account of his trip to Brussels to protest against the ban.)
- electronic cigarettes, which could save five million British lives, will be restricted and regulated as a medicine
- the technology to comply with medical regulations doesn’t exist, although one company spent two years and millions of dollars trying to comply
- if a product can be created which complies, it will probably be a disposable type with a single flavour (each flavour will require a separate licence, which could cost over a million pound each, and will have to be renewed yearly)
- tobacco cigarettes, which scientists estimate kill between one third and half of all users, will continue to be freely available
Chris Davies, who with Rebecca Taylor and many other British MEPs had campaigned hard against the legislation, tweeted:
The Fight Goes On
Let’s not forget that the EU’s own legal opinion is that this legislation is illegal.
The EU legal committee voted against the legislation for that reason, and Sir Francis Jacob QC, former Advocate-General to the European Court of Justice describes the proposed ban on e-cigs as:
an unreasonable measure which is liable to be annulled as being contrary to the principle of proportionality and/or the principle of non-discrimination.
So the fight goes on!
Also see: EU Committee Moves Forward to Medicinalize eCigarettes (page since removed)