There are proposals afoot in the UK which could see Electronic Cigarettes put into the class of medicines, the same as the other stop smoking products on the market. UK authorities have already asked manufacturers and vendors to come forward voluntarily and get their products classified before any law comes into effect. As you can imagine these businesses are up in arms about any legislation which could reduce their profitability due to increased costs and a tighter rein on where and when they can sell their products.
The positives of such a move are that we could see e cigarettes being prescribed by doctors to people who find it difficult to give up tobacco with traditional methods. It would also probably mean users can get access to a higher quality product with a list of ingredients, and less chance of inhaling poisons.
The downside is that this fledgling industry could be handcuffed, decreasing the amount of innovation and limiting the choice available to consumers.
At the moment it looks like e cig companies are going to fight this as far as possible with most saying they will wait to see what the EU says about it. They argue that they are not selling a stop smoking product so should not be classed the same as the patches, gums and inhalers you can pick up at the drug store. The aim of vaping products is harm reduction with users switching to them from tobacco for long term use.
The problem is that the e cigarette industry at the moment is self regulated, perhaps not the best way to ensure the consumer is getting the best quality product available.
Ric from Honest E Cigarette Reviews reckons most companies out there at the moment aren’t going to take any rash decisions and will probably wait to see how the story pans out. “There seems to be a constant stream of stories about legislation in the vaping world so it’s hard to say whether the authorities are going to get their own way with this latest idea. I’d like to see some sort of testing of the safety of e cig use over the long term before governments make any decision about how to handle them legally.”
Whatever happens vapers in the UK can be thankful they are still free to enjoy their e cigs in public, unlike the French who have already implemented a ban.