Perspectives on E-cig regulations in different countries
E-cigs aren’t just popular in the US and the UK (though these are some of the largest markets for them in the world). As it turns out, a lot of countries have accepted electronic cigarettes on one level or another – but with new, strict regulations coming into effect in both the US and the EU, many other countries are looking on with curiosity.
How are the rules going to affect the E-cig industry? Are other countries planning to pass similar laws? And perhaps more importantly, how will regulations affect the accessibility of electronic cigarettes on a global scale?
These are all important questions – and in a recent article published on thestar.com.my, high-profile representatives of the vaping movement from different countries were asked to weigh in on their thoughts surrounding vaping and legislation.
Here are some of the highlights of what was said.
The TPD – What does it mean and what affect will it have?
In Britain, the TPD has already come into effect – and while the UK adopted the barest minimum set of restrictions, it still promises to have an impact on the vaping market, especially for manufacturers and importers.
Gerry Stimson, who is a professor at Imperial College London (who also helped Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence with their guidelines on tobacco harm reduction), said this in a recent interview regarding the TPD.
“The TPD is meant to harmonise the market but there’s disharmony in its implementation and enforcement.”
He also said that he expects the TPD to lead to an E-cig industry mostly dominated by larger companies. As a result, there will be fewer companies, less diversity, and less information. He also had some things to say about the ‘Deeming Rule’ getting ready to come into effect in the US, which is arguably a worse, more destructive version of the TPD in terms of what effect it could have on local vaping businesses.
He basically said that the deeming rule was a ‘magnification’ of the problems presented by the TPD.
As far as the TPD is concerned, however, some changes in the UK will doubtlessly have a drastic effect. Advertising on TV, radio, and in print are no longer going to be allowed, for example.
How will the TPD affect other countries?
In Greece, the TPD has also come into effect. Here’s what a doctor by the name of Dr. Farsalinos said in a recent interview on the subject.
“The TPD isn’t ideal nor is the EU ready to regulate the industry but at least there’s something in place.”
There were also words said about the fact that there is not yet a submission system for product analysis. There were also some restrictions in the TPD, he said, that seemed unnecessary.
He said that he agrees that the TPD will likely slow down innovation in the industry – but also believes it to be much more realistic and sustainable than what the US is enacting. He describes the TCA as basically a ‘ban’ on vaping, and didn’t seem surprised to hear that many companies are taking the government to court over it.
Poland will also face some changes. According to a doctor by the name of Dr. Miroslaw Dworniczak, Poland is one of the three largest E-cig markets in Europe.
Dr. Dworniczak is a scientist who smoked for 35 years before switching to vaping. He now runs a vaping blog – crediting as being ‘the first vaping blog in Poland’, which he started 6 years ago.
Poland has certainly benefited from a booming E-cig industry – but it turns out that a lack of regulation has likely contributed to this a great deal.
When asked about the TPD and Poland’s new e-cig regulations, this is what he had to say.
“The law should be as short as possible but the EU loves long legislations.”
His opinion was that the TPD should have only banned the sale of E-cigs to minors, listed requirements for E-liquid analysis, and given instructions for proper labelling.
Unlike the UK, however, Poland is not only enacting the TPD – but is also passing its own legislation that goes even further. The country aims to be nicotine-free by 2030 – and the E-cig industry is getting ready to undergo some massive changes. Soon, every part of an electronic cigarette, ranging from the liquids to the battery, will need to be registered in order to be sold. But approval will take at least 6 months – a waiting period that will likely stifle innovation and keep new technology from hitting the shelves.
What’s really going on in the United States?
In the US, the E-cig marketplace is getting ready to change a great deal (unless something changes), thanks to the TCA and the new ‘deeming rule’ that will effectively regulate E-cigs in the same manner that it has cigarettes. Patricia I. Kovacevic, who is a general counsel and chief compliance officer for a prominent American e-liquid and e-cig manufacturer (she also sits on the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum advisory board), had this to say about the TCA in the US.
“It’s not realistic. Many will go out of business as innovation comes to a screeching halt.”
She went on to say that, in her opinion, the FDA wasn’t concerned with making products safer – but to take most of the products available now off of the market. She also talked about how there are currently 5 different lawsuits in the works against the deeming rule, and that how the courts proceed with those decisions could dictate how the deeming rule proceeds in the US. There is still a chance that it could be thrown out.
Information! Many in the US believe that the FDA is making a political decision with the TCA and the deeming rule – not a public health benefit decision, and that seems to be what is frustrating people the most.