Why is there a pending ban for e-cigs in the EU?
Most E-cig users are aware of the pending E-cig ban decision in the EU… though information about this possible ban and how likely it is to succeed is ‘sketchy’, to say the least. The UK government has already declared it illegal for those under the age of 18 to purchase electronic cigarette products, but this is not the ban that people are talking about when they talk about the EU ban.
If this ban were to pass, it would have much wider and farther-reaching implications for E-cig users. If this new ban were to pass, then all electronic cigarettes that are currently for sale in Britain would actually be removed from store shelves.
The main concern behind the ban is that young people will pick up electronic cigarettes and then move onto real cigarettes. There is also concern about young people seeing adults smoking electronic cigarettes, which would then make smoking seem ‘normal’ to them and possibly cause them to give it a try.
Of course, many agree that this is a stretch, and that it is even insulting to both young people and electronic cigarette manufacturers. Opponents of the ban argue that electronic cigarettes help people to quit smoking, and that they offer a safer alternative to traditional tobacco-filled cigarettes that could drastically cut down the future number of smoking-related deaths in the EU.
Of the approximate 10 million smokers in the UK, about 1.5 of them are currently using electronic cigarettes… though the industry is growing quickly. In fact, some say that within just a few short years there will be as many as 5 million people using the devices. The big question then becomes this… do electronic cigarettes really put young people at an increased risk for cigarette and tobacco use, or do they actually help by providing a safer, cleaner alternative and an easier means to quitting?
Of course, another issue at hand is the fact that since electronic cigarettes are not currently monitored or regulated, it can be difficult to determine what risks they might pose to the public’s health. Some even say that there is no way to be sure that E-cigs will not pose long-term health risks to users because they have not been adequately tested and proven to be safe. But then, on the other hand, you also have the side that supports E-cigs, who agrees that inhaling atomized e-liquid might not be as clean as breathing in pure air, but that it is significantly cleaner than breathing in tobacco smoke.
There is actually quite a bit of evidence to support this side, as e-cigs across the board have been shown to be devoid of some of the more harmful and dangerous chemicals (such as tar) and toxins. But then again, some E-cigs have been tested and have been found to contain trace amounts of toxins and carcinogens… and most can be bought with nicotine added into them, which is part of what makes them a popular substitute for regular tobacco use.
In the end, a lot of people believe that this ban will have a hard time passing, mostly because it would require an over-turning of a vote by MEPs that already rejected the outlawing of E-cigs in their present form.
Since such an idea was overturned before, there are some who say that there is little reason to expect that such a law would pass this time around. But there are also a lot of e-cig users and manufacturers who are nervous about it. There are also a lot of people who would say that the proposal just simply isn’t sound or fair. Many would argue that there is not enough evidence to support the idea that E-cigs will draw younger users into tobacco use simply because the two appear to be similar.
Of course, there is really no way to know exactly what is going to happen until the vote takes place. In the meantime, dedicated E-cig users are keeping their fingers crossed, and even some health professionals are sticking to the belief that E-cigs are, in fact, a useful tool in the fight against tobacco-related death and illness because they offer a cleaner, safer alternative to its use.