Mark Keenan: Will EU ruling take the puff out of e-cigarette revolution?
IN a landmark ruling, the UK has decreed that electronic cigarettes are to be reclassified and regulated as 'medicine'.
Ireland will follow next year with December's EU Tobacco Products Directive, calling for similar action by 2014. The rush to regulate the e-cig follows a surge in usage – sales doubled last year in America to $1bn for the first time, prompting a leading analyst to predict that they'll outstrip regular cigarettes within a decade.
E-cigs are a battery powered device which deliver a propylene glycol based nicotine vapour. No burning takes place and unlike cigarettes there is no tar, carbon monoxide, fomaldehyde, arsenic or lead. Cigarettes contain more than a thousand carcinogens, while e-cigs have just a handful.Smokers switch to e-cigs where gum and patches have failed – in the belief that e-cigs offer a far less damaging method of taking nicotine.