Ask EP By / March 11, 2014

New rules on electronic cigarettes

3 other language versions available in pdf: E-Zigaretten: Was will das Europäische Parlament? Qu’a fait le PE concernant les cigarettes…

© Gianluca Rasile / Fotolia

3 other language versions available in pdf:

E-Zigaretten: Was will das Europäische Parlament?
Qu’a fait le PE concernant les cigarettes électroniques?
Wat heeft het EP gedaan op het gebied van elektronische sigaretten?

Logo AskEP
Logo AskEP

Parliament’s vote on the directive on tobacco and related products spurred consumers of electronic cigarettes to write to the European Parliament. Many citizens voiced their concern about the scientific evidence on which the rules applied to e-cigarettes were based. Some ex-smokers indicated as a possible consequence of these stronger regulations that e-cigarettes consumers would start using tobacco again.

The European Parliament has not taken this decision lightly. A lot of thought has gone into the proposed rules concerning e-cigarettes. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have listened both to consumers and to experts in the field. On 25 February 2013 the EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) held a public hearing on Tobacco Products and a public workshop on electronic cigarettes on 7 May 2013. Meeting documents and proceedings of both hearing and workshop are freely available on the EP website.

New rules on electronic cigarettes
© Gianluca Rasile / Fotolia

On 8 October 2013, the EP adopted its original position on the European Commission’s proposal for a new directive concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. According to the EP resolution, e-cigarettes should have been regulated, but not been subject to the same rules as medicinal products unless they would have been presented as having curative or preventive properties. Those for which no such claims were made should have contained no more than 30mg/ml of nicotine and should have carried health warnings. Manufacturers and importers would also have had to supply the competent authorities with a list of all the ingredients that they contain. Finally, e-cigarettes would have been subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco products.

The negotiations with the Council of the EU were successfully concluded on 18 December 2013. Many of the EP’s original proposals concerning electronic cigarettes are still part of the compromise agreed with the Council. Changes include the lowering of the maximum nicotine concentration to 20 mg/ml and fixing the maximum size of single use cartridges at 2 ml. The final text of the agreement is available on the EP website.

The compromise reached between Parliament and Council was adopted in plenary on 26 February 2014 with 514 in favour, 86 against and 58 abstentions.

The agreement is aimed at helping smokers to quit while preventing any incentive for young people to start smoking.

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  • Terrific post however I was wondering if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful
    if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!

  • These new laws will do nothing but hurt the industry and push many people back to tobacco cigarettes and hinder others from even trying electronic cigarettes. It’s sad.

  • In order to minimize waste produced and favor ecological approaches:

    The various parts that constitute an ecig device and wear-and-tear at varying speeds should be independently replaceable. The three main parts are: the battery, the liquid container and the heating element.

    Sellers should provide a reasonable supply of these spare parts and ensure they can be easily replaced rather than forcing the purchase of an entirely new set each time a single one of these elements wears down.

    Similarly, manufacturers of disposable electronic cigarettes must set up a program to collect and recycle the full body disposable ecigs.

    • Just a precision: last sentence, I mean: manufacturers must set up a program to collect and recycle the *single-use* components or devices.

      Additionally, the return rate of this program should be monitored by the manufacturers and regulation authorities to ensure at least 80% of the single-use components are effectively recycled, with associated penalties in case of failure.

  • “Some ex-smokers indicated as a possible consequence of these stronger regulations that e-cigarettes consumers would start using tobacco again.”

    As you are aware of this possible danger,can SANCO be sued by any ecig user who reverts to tobacco when the TPD is implemented?

  • Bonjour, Avec votre directive il apparait que demain je ne pourrai plus trouver facilement le matériel et les liquides qui m’ont fait abandonner le tabac sans aucuns efforts depuis 8 mois. Je n’aurais plus comme solution que de retourner à la cigarette ou aux substitus nicotiniques qui pour moi n’ont jamais été éfficaces à moyens termes … donc je suis condamné à retouner sur le tabac avec aussi à moyen terme une mort précoce ou dans le meilleur des cas une santé fortement altérée.
    Je ne vous remercie pas

  • Rather than making up new rules, at least for devices, the existing basis for cookware should simply be applied to ecigs hardware, because they are no more than that:

    Regulation should be inspired from the regulation of electric boilers, coffee makers and the like: they should be fairly robust, and resist a minimal amount of mishandling; they should made of materials that don’t emit significant levels of metals or toxins (ban alloys that degrade under heat and plastics too close to the near the heated core). Under accidental misuse, they should not create fire or various other hazards. Also, replacement components should be fairly well normalized, so that I can have guarantees that my battery will work with my atomizer when I replace either one.

    This is about all we need at the device level, because it is nothing more than a kind of *cookware*.

    For e-liquids,, I am not competent in this area, but what I can say is that if there is no nicotine at least, it should be the same kind of regulation that exists for *food*, not the regulation of tobacco products.

  • How many actual users of electronic cigarettes were permitted to attend the “workshop” on May 7th’13?
    Why is the nicotine content limited to a lower strength than nicotine patches and who thought 10mil bottles would be anything other than a health and environmental disaster?
    Disastrous, derisory protectionist legislation.

  • Pourquoi avoir mis des restrictions bien plus importantes sur les composants de la cigarette électronique alors que le tabac reste libre d’accès, par exemple, avec les études prouvant l’inocuité des composants (ecig) alors que le tabac n’a pas à prouver son inocuité ?

    Quel est l’avenir des arômes dans les eliquides en sachant que c’est une composante essentielle dans la réussite du passage du tabac à la cigarette électronique ?

    Pourquoi avoir limité les flacons de e-liquides à 10 ml sachant que les études récentes prouvent que le risque lié à la nicotine a été surévalué depuis des années ?

    Pourquoi favoriser les cigarettes électroniques scellées (comme celles vendues par les fabricants de tabac) et non les autres générations qui sont bien plus efficaces pour se libérer du tabagisme ?

    pourquoi ne pas avoir tenu compte de l’appel des associations francophones sur les restrictions qui ont été votées et qui risquent de tuer le marché et au final, faire retourner au tabac tous les vapoteurs ?

    Pourquoi le vote s’est il déroulé dans un tel chaos qu’il était impossible de savoir ce qui était voté, l’article 18 devenant l’article 20 au dernier moment ? même les députés qui suivent ce dossier de près depuis le début n’y ont pas compris grand chose !

    Ne trouvez vous pas qu’il y a comme un énorme paradoxe à proposer à chaque état de mettre la cigarette électronique soit en produit du tabac, soit en médicament ? Pourriez-vous expliquer la logique de cette décision totalement aberrante ?

    Je vais m’arrêter là pour l’instant, en attendant avec impatience vos réponses.

  • Est-ce une volonté délibérée de l’UE d’avoir interdit les ecigs de 3ème génération, les seules qui sont efficaces pour de gros fumeurs, avoir fortement restreint les 2ème génération, pour ne privilégier que les ecigs de 1ère génération qui sont fabriquées par Big T (et qui sont compètement inefficaces pour arrêter le tabac)?

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