Save E-Cigs Campaign, an EU-wide lobby group for e-cigarette users, is planning to deliver an open letter to MEPs tomorrow (3 September 2013) urging them not to regulate e-cigarettes as medicinal products.
MEPs will vote on revisions to the Tobacco Products Directive on 10 September 2013 and will be faced with the choice to support or reject the medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes.
The Save E-Cigs Campaign letter has been signed by several thousand former cigarette smokers from across the EU, their friends and families. It states: “E-cigarettes for us have been a revelation. Since our friends and family members made the switch to e-cigarettes, it is now a pleasure to be around them. They are healthier, happier people, and we do not have to suffer indirectly as a result of them smoking.”
According to the lobby group, e-cigarettes provide a viable alternative to smoking cigarettes throughout the EU. They have enabled millions of people to leave smoking behind, either on a full or part-time basis. But what is often forgotten in this debate are the friends and family of smokers, who also benefit when a smoker switches to e-cigarettes, it said. They are no longer putting their own health at risk through passive smoking and most importantly, they no longer have to worry about their friend or family member dying prematurely.
Medicinal regulation will impose limitations on e-cigarettes, making them less attractive to cigarettes, and will limit their availability, raise costs, and reduce innovation, campaigners claim. The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee stated this would effectively ban e-cigarettes, supporters said. Those who currently use e-cigarettes would be left with no option but to go back to smoking cigarettes and those still smoking would be denied the opportunity to switch, the Campaign said.
Prior to the handover of the letter, the Save E-cigs Campaign will hold a press conference at which a number of leading European public health professionals will speak out against the medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes.