Smoking is a habit that dies hard. Smokers are so used to inhaling the smoke that living without it distracts their mind and they cannot work properly. The smokeless electronic cigarettes have become a popular tool that has helped thousands of people get rid of the injurious habit of smoking tobacco. Despite of their helpful role in preventing people from smoking, the EU has decided to get the e-cigarettes listed as medicinal products. The European e-cigarette lovers have raised cries of protests but to no avail so far. It seems that the future of e-cigarettes and their makers is gloomy, at least in Europe.
The vote was arranged to determine ways in which EU would control the smoking habits of Europeans. Some of the measures discussed by EU members are decreasing the size of cigarette packs and spreading the health related warnings more stringently. The European Parliament was a bit more lenient towards e-cigarettes than the EU Parliamentary Committee. The European Parliament wanted to group the e-cigarettes containing 4 percent nicotine as medicinal product but the EU decided to make all e-cigarettes come under this category.
Protests have been made by the e-cigarette users because listing the e-cigarettes as medicinal products would make them costlier and they won’t be available at all pharmaceuticals. The companies that produce e-cigarettes would have to pay more for authorization of their products. It is also being feared that some of the small e-cigarette makers would have to stop production. According to the CEO of the e-cigarette company Totally Wicked, Fraser Cropper, there are many small yet very intelligent companies who have come up with innovative e-cigarettes loved by many. With the step taken by EU they will probably go out of business.
It takes a lot of formality to get a product listed officially as medicinal. The legalities and formalities take several sessions of inspection and lots of monetary resources. As the small companies producing e-cigarettes will go out of business the only easily available option for the smokers will be the tobacco cigarettes. A Conservative MEP, Martin Callanan, has said that it is ‘hypocritical’ of EU to make the harmless substitute of e-cigarettes less available than the tobacco ones. He has asked for an amendment of the regulation which will make the e-cigarettes available in the same way that other products containing nicotine are available in the market.