Given the apparent health study results and user’s anecdotal testimony that they are “healthier” than regular tobacco based cigarettes, are there any justification to classify e-cigarettes as a pharmaceutical product?
By: Ringo Bones
During a recent European Union discussion via the powers-that-be at Brussels on whether to enact proposals to classify e-cigarettes as a pharmaceutical product and to restrict their sale only through pharmacies, may in the EU are now quite surprised on “why now”? After all, e-cigarettes had been freely sold in supermarkets and kiosks that used to sell conventional tobacco based cigarettes for years now. Even Katherine Devlin, head of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association was quite surprised by the recent proposal by Brussels.
For those unfamiliar with the product, electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes turn a nicotine laced liquid into vapor via a built-in battery powered heater. For a number of years it has been used around the world by smokers who are trying to avoid the harmful effects of regular tobacco-based cigarettes – i.e. from the carcinogens found in tobacco like tar, polonium, etc. Given that e-cigarettes for all intents and purposes a way of taking nicotine - i.e. a nicotine delivery system - for those who are chronically addicted to this tobacco derived alkaloid, shouldn’t e-cigarettes – like other nicotine delivery systems like nicotine patches and gums - be classified as a pharmaceutical product and be sold only in government licensed pharmacies like most tobacco smoking related pharmaceutical products?
Even tough pro and anti smoking activists are still divided over the long term effects of e-cigarettes, the powers that be in the European Union’s main headquarters at Brussels are proposing for a more stringent health study on the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes. And also, Adrian Everrett, C.E.O. of e-lites says so far thoughout the world, nobody has yet died of e-cigarette use so far. Though there had been isolated reports of unscrupulous retailers selling e-cigarettes to minors who are not old enough to buy and / or publicly use conventional tobacco cigarettes.