SFATA on EU's 'Landmark' E-Cig Decision

Industry group hopes announcement will spark discussion with global legislators

Published in Tobacco E-News

By  Melissa Vonder Haar, Tobacco Editor

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Yesterday, Members of the European Parliament rejected health officials' proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes and other vaporizing devices as medicinal devices. While the U.S. Court of Appeals has held that electronic cigarettes are tobacco products, not drug or medicinal devices, many speculate that the EU's decision could influence how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chooses to regulate the segment. ( Read the full story here)

Despite being based in the United States, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) applauds the move and hopes it will spawn a global discussion.

"We applaud the European Parliament's landmark decision," SFATA's executive director Cynthia Cabrera said in a written statement to Tobacco E-News. "Such regulation would misclassify the products, subjecting them to regulations intended for a very different category. It would also potentially limit the industry's ability to continuously improve its products through technology innovation."

Cabrera said her organization was also in favor of the EU's move to restrict sales of electronic cigarettes to minors.

"We support any effort--domestic or otherwise--made by legislative agencies and organizations to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of underage consumers," she said. "Electronic cigarettes are intended for and should only be available to adults."

While it's unclear whether the EU's decision will ultimately influence legislation in the United States, Cabrera is hopeful that it's a step in the right direction.

"SFATA remains optimistic that other legislative bodies around the world, including here in the United States, will continue to engage and communicate with the vaping and electronic cigarette community so that these highly popular and innovative devices will continue to evolve, improve, and offer an affordable, high-quality alternative to consumers and growth to the thousands of employees who work in the industry," she said.