By Martin Banks in Brussels 4:18PM BST 14 Jul 2013 The vote was intended to make tobacco smoking less attractive to young people through mandatory warnings, minimum pack sizes, and rules on flavourings. However, the revision of the EU ‘Tobacco Products Directive’ would classify most e-cigarettes as a medicinal product, despite the fact that in the UK alone 25 percent of all attempts to kick the habit are made using e-cigarettes, making them the most popular aid. The European Commission had proposed that e-cigarettes containing 4 milligrammes or more of nicotine must be classed as medicinal products but an EU parliamentary committee went further, voting to classify all e-cigarettes as pharmaceuticals, regardless of the nicotine content.
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Electronic cigarettes: No smoking, but lots of fuming
Other NRT methods include nicotine patches and nicotine gum, but e-cigarettes have surpassed these methods in popularity as they mimic a real cigarette in appearance and absorption method. E-cigarettes also enable those who want to quit for health reasons to retain smoking culture. E-cigarette proponents say the product facilitates smoking fewer cigarettes and may help users quit entirely, but a longitudinal analysis using population-level data show no difference in quit rates among e-cigarette users and regular smokers. “Controlled clinical trials and population-level observational cohort studies are needed to establish the utility of these cigarettes to facilitate smoking cessation. Research is also needed regarding the role of e-cigarettes in harm reduction, including reduced cigarette smoking and associated reduction of tobacco toxicant exposure,” Benowitz and Goniewicz recommended. Although e-cigarette vapor is likely less toxic than cigarette smoke, calling it safe is a stretch.
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FDA faces important decisions on regulation of e-cigarettes
Many vapers aren’t particularly worried that their habit might be outlawed in public places. “I don’t think it will affect me too much,” says Lee Madeloni, a musician who was trying flavors in the Vapor Spot, not far from UCLA, on a recent afternoon. “I’m pretty respectful anyway.” He already avoids vaping when dining with others, for example. And on an airplane, he sneaks a quick puff and blows the vapor down toward the floor — fellow travelers may not even notice. The bustling Vapor Spot attracts 18-year-olds to seniors, but mostly people in their 20s and 30s, Jenkins says. The blue-and-orange-walled store, which opened in 2009, was the first brick-and-mortar vape store in the country, he says.
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