Political parties that participated in last week’s European elections seem to agree that electronic cigarette products and devices should be properly regulated, rather than banned altogether.
Electronic cigarettes will be one of the topics discussed by the European Parliament this week, including the planned revision of the Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) and the forthcoming tobacco tax system. Discussions will also include whether vapes still apply tobacco-based rules or whether regulatory measures and tax regimes should be developed separately.
Meanwhile, a new report by ECig Intelligence, a leading independent data analyst for the tobacco alternative industry, shows that although e-cigarettes are not the top issue on the campaign agenda, all major political parties in the EU generally support the idea of proper regulation of vape rather than complete prohibition.
The European Popular Party (EPP) told ECig Intelligence that the Rightists were not in favour of a ban on the sale of vapes, but rather supported the development of a specific tax system for them. Similarly, the Socialist and Democratic Progressive Alliance (S&D) opposes banning these products, but believes that their impact on public health should be monitored.
Socialists also support the idea of levying an e-cigarette tax, and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) told ECig Intelligence that its party does not support the idea of regulating e-cigarettes as medical products because it would raise the price of e-cigarettes.
Members opposing electronic cigarettes are leaving office
Meanwhile, outgoing health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has been hostile to e-cigarette products. In a speech in Athens last February, he attacked the vape devices, saying he feared that more and more young people in Europe were using electronic cigarettes. “We can’t deny the reality. When we see so many young people starting to vape, we can no longer assume that vape is to quit smoking.”
This prospect may change dramatically, depending on who the next European Commission president will appoint as his successor. The new Commissioner will have to implement public health policies within the next five years, including the revision of the current TPD by 2021.