Legislation For E-Cigarettes Advances


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The E.U. recently started regulating electronic cigarettes, currently under its standard consumer laws but in coming years the jurisdiction of this nascent industry is expected to shift to the Tobacco Products Directive.  In other countries like the U.S., they have yet to be regulated either as a tobacco product.  In contrast, some nations have made a novel push toward including them under the umbrella of medications.  The argument is that they possess the function of correcting a health problem, e.g.. addiction to cigarettes, through pharmacological activity.

The stakes are high.  Depending on how electronic cigarettes, firms will take on different types of marketing tactics.  If they are considered tobacco products, then they are subject to the same rules that constrain cigarette advertising, one of the most highly regulated forms of marketing.  If they are considered medications, then firms will be able to market them more broadly, without the same warnings, and as health products.  We asked our experts on Electronic Cigarette Canada and they reported electronic cigarettes are legal in Canada but rules constrain on how they are to be imported, sold and advertised.

Some people believe that cigarette companies are actively trying to suppress the sale of e-cigarettes because it turns smokers away from tobacco.  However the truth is that most companies view it as a growth opportunity, as it allows them to enter a new market marked by a different set of less restrictive rules.  Further, it sheds their image as purveyors of products which have contaminants and carcinogenic byproducts unlike e-cigarettes.  In fact, tobacco giant Philip Morris in 2013 partnered with Altria to enter the market itself.

For people interested in quitting via the e-cigarette route, a starter-kit is probably the most economical way to switch.  A simple starter kit includes both accessories and consumables.  Batteries and charger/adapters are needed to supply electricity.  Cartridges provide nicotine infused liquids that are vaporized to produce inhalable water mist.  A pro starter kit is more flexible and includes accessories such as travel cases, charging cases, and USB cables.

(Photo Credit: Pixelblume / Creative Commons)

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