The original proposal from the Commission was that e-cigs should be treated as medicines, which would have restricted sales. But the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (the Group to which our Liberal Democrat team belongs) argued that they had a major role to play in reducing tobacco-related deaths. The amendment did require e-cigs to meet safety standards and for advertising to be restricted.
We have received comments from two of our MEPs who have been actively involved in this issue.
Chris Davies says:
E-cigs can be a game changer in the fight against smoking. Hundreds of former smokers have written to tell me that they have helped them give up cigarettes when nothing else worked.
They are successful because they are not medicines but products that smokers enjoy using as an alternative to cigarettes.
Every year 700,000 people in Europe die of smoking-related disease. We should not do anything that makes e-cigs harder to obtain than tobacco cigarettes.
Rebecca Taylor says:
Many smokers have already quit tobacco by switching to electronic cigarettes; today’s vote will help more of them to do so.