Why are we concerned about e-cigarettes?
These devices directly undermine the effects and intentions of existing legislation including the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated products designed to replicate smoking behaviour without the use of tobacco. Some look like conventional cigarettes, while others appear more like an electronic device.
They use heat to vaporise a liquid-based solution containing nicotine into an aerosol mist and have been proposed as a way to help smokers quit the habit.
They are subject to limited regulation, and are not licensed as a medicine in the UK.
At the BMA's annual meeting, our members agreed that e-cigarettes should be included in the ban on smoking in public places.
Progress in European Parliament
In October 2013, the European Parliament passed a draft law to introduce a raft of measures aimed at curbing tobacco's appeal to young people, including regulation of e-cigarettes.
- E-cigarettes would be regulated, but not to the same rules as medicinal products unless they are presented as having curative or preventative properties
- E-cigarettes for which no such claims are made should contain no more than 30mg/ml of nicotine, carry health warnings and should not be sold to those aged under 18 years
- Manufacturers and importers would have to supply a list of all ingredients
- E-cigarettes would be subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco products.
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