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You are Here: Home >> News >> Industry News >> E-cigarette decision passed to member states
E-cigarette decision passed to member states
December 17th, 2013
Provisional deal would allow refillables for now, but member states can impose national bans.
Members of the European Parliament and member states reached a provisional deal on revised European Union tobacco rules last night (16 December), with a tentative settlement on the controversial issue of e-cigarettes.
The e-cigarette agreement goes beyond the negotiating mandate given to the Lithuanian government, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers, and must be approved at a meeting of member states tomorrow (17 December). It is possible the provisional deal could be rejected, according to Council sources.
The deal would allow e-cigarettes with a nicotine content below 20mg/ml (or 18mg per unit) to be regulated for general sale, rather than treating them as medicinal products as proposed by the European Commission – according to sources who were at the meeting.
This was a key demand of the European Parliament, as member states were demanding a limit of 3mg/ml. However, individual member states will be free to regulate all e-cigarettes as pharmaceuticals if they so choose.
The deal would allow refillable cartridges, but they must be in self-contained packets that would avoid spilling. Cartridges could have a maximum size of 1ml containing up to 20mg of nicotine, roughly equivalent to one pack of cigarettes.
However member states will be free to enact national bans on refillable e-cigarettes, as long as these bans can be justified on safety grounds. If more than three member states choose to do so, then the Commission can impose an EU ban in order to maintain the integrity of the single market. This would not need the approval of the European Parliament or member states. The Commission will review the situation in 2016.
EU national governments have been concerned about the future health impacts of 'light touch' regulation of these new products and favour a heavily restrictive approach. This has been resisted by the European Parliament, which has been under intense pressure from the makers and users of e-cigarettes who say draconian restrictions would kill off a valuable tool for quiting smoking......