Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 1

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34 tobaccoasia Defining the Future Are the Skies Opening for E-Cigarettes? Two recent regulatory decisions in Europe, and the US and even bigger rulings to come in the next few months, mean 2014 could be a defining year for the e-cigarette industry. And as the politi- cal and social climates take shape, the big tobacco companies have been very active, rapidly increas- ing their stake in the nascent sector. In December, New York City passed a bill that bans e-cigarette in restaurants, bars and clubs, bringing their use into line with the same restric- tions placed on smokers of regular cigarettes. His- tory has shown that where New York leads on this type of legislation, the rest of the country follows. After the city's ban on regular cigarettes in places of work was enacted in 2003, the practice soon became common across the US. In a possibly more influential move, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a new rule it says will allow it to regulate "additional categories of tobacco products". The proposal wasn't due to be published for public comment until early in 2014, but it is widely thought to be aimed at bringing e-cigarettes under similar con- trols to those that govern the sale and advertising of tobacco. The FDA currently only regulates de- vices marketed as drugs or other health aids, and e- cigarettes can be freely advertised, whether or not they deliver a dose of nicotine. Above: RJ Reynolds Vapor will expand its Vuse products across the US in 2014 "If e-cigarettes can reduce, even slightly, tobacco-related deaths, trying to force them out of sight is counterproductive" In the last weeks of 2013, the EU passed its first legislation on e-cigarettes. This is due to be formally approved by EU ministers and the full parliament this year. Amid what one European MP described as "unprecedented lobbying", and despite strong opposition, the commission ruled that the majority of e-cigarettes – those with nic- otine content below 20mg/ml – will be sold as consumer products. This avoids the devices being defined as medical products, which are subject to much stricter regulations. BY Mike Phillips

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