The European Union is going to regulate the sale of the electronic cigarette: the product will have to adhere to rules for medication and tobacco products, while the latter will get even stricter rules.
Harmful or not?
The e-cigarette has been a talking point for quite a while and even within the European Union, there still are diverging opinions. Parliament had labeled it as an aid to quit smoking, while several member states warned it might be a way for youngsters to pick up smoking. Both sides have now agreed that the sale will be regulated more tightly.
Worse news follows for tobacco producers: menthol cigarettes will no longer be allowed from 2020 onwards and a cigarette pack can no longer have fewer than 20 cigarettes. With fewer cigarettes per pack, tobacco companies tried to lower the price per pack to counter higher taxes.
The Dutch House of Representatives had already decided earlier this month that e-cigarettes could no longer be sold to anyone under 18 years old. The RIVM (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) had also published a report which proved that certain materials in an e-cigarette were indeed harmful and even carcinogenic.
(Translated by Gary Peeters)