If there is one thing the parties running in this week’s European elections are agreed on, it is that e-cigarettes need to be regulated, but not banned.
Vaping will be among the subjects the next European Parliament and Commission will have to consider, with the planned revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and the upcoming tobacco taxation system. The question goes right down to whether vaping products should continue to be included under tobacco-based rules, or have their own regulatory and tax regime.
A new ECigIntelligence report published this week revealed that while e-cigarettes have not been top of the campaign agenda, all the major EU parties broadly support the idea of regulation without prohibition.
The European Popular Party (EPP) told ECigintelligence the center-right was not in favour of banning the sale of vaping products, but rather endorsed the idea of a specific taxation system for them.
On similar lines, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) is against the prohibition of e-cigarettes but believes their impact on public health requires monitoring. The socialists said taxation was an effective tool for reducing tobacco use and could be applied similarly to e-cigarettes.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) confirmed to ECigIntelligence that their party doesn’t support the classification of e-cigs as medicinal products because it would increase the price of devices and e-liquids.
Outgoing health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has been hostile to e-cigarettes but the official outlook could change, depending on who is appointed as his successor by the next president of the European Commission.
Whoever follows Andriukaitis will be required to implement public health policies for the next five years, including the revision of the current TPD by 2021.
ECigIntelligence believes major changes could occur in the regulation of e-cigarettes at EU level, given the recent new approach to vaping products in other countries such as the US.