Bradford MP, David Ward MP has backed an electronic shisha company and the save e-cigs campaign over their concerns that the Government plans to over regulate the sale of e-cigarettes, making them harder to buy for current smokers.
The European Commission attempted last year to alter the regulation of e-cigarettes through the Tobacco Products Directive. The Commission wanted to change the classification of e-cigs from a consumer product to a medicine product, meaning that they could only be sold in a pharmacy or super store with a pharmaceutical licence.
However, this came under fire in the European Parliament by many MEP’s like Liberal Democrat Rebecca Taylor MEP who stopped these plans from going ahead.
Whilst some necessary regulation looks likely to go ahead, the European Commission has stated that the regulations on classification of sale will be left to member states.
It now appears the Department of Health and the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) plan to reclassify e-cigarettes as a medicine and anti-smoking device like nicotine patches rather than as a consumer product like other cigarettes.
This step would reduce the ability of smokers to buy e-cigs compared to normal cigarettes which are freely available in any shop.
Commenting David Ward MP said: “Let’s be clear, smoking cigarettes kills and has lasting detrimental health effects on smokers.
“Current evidence points to the fact that e-cigs may not have lasting health effects so they can be less harmful to smokers than normal cigarettes.
“I support sensible alternatives like the e-cigarettes for smokers not because I like them, but because they may help save lives.
“As a good liberal, if adults want to smoke then they should be allowed to but to make e-cigs harder to buy for smokers compared to normal cigarettes is ridiculous.
“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and e-cigs should only be marketed to current smokers. E-cigs need to be regulated properly the same as cigarettes with age restrictions, advertising bans and protections for consumers on product contents.”