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Conservative reply
24-07-2013, 05:33 PM
Post: #3
RE: Conservative reply
Thank you for your email regarding the proposed legislation to amend current European law concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products ('the Tobacco Products Directive').

Various novel products have been brought into the scope of the proposed legislation, many of which make no use of tobacco. Among these novel products are e-cigarettes. Some in the European Parliament wish to follow the European Commission in classifying e-cigarettes as medicinal products and would regulate them under the Medicines Directive (2001/83/EC and associated legislation). This is inappropriate.

To classify e-cigarettes as medicinal products would limit their availability when a lethal alternative remains available in every corner shop. Classification of e-cigarettes as medicinal products would raise costs, reduce product diversity, slow down innovation, inhibit creativity and make the products less appealing to the very people we hope will switch to them. Tobacco product manufacturers would be protected from genuine competition and smokers would continue to die unnecessarily - surely an undesirable outcome.

It is not the case that E-cigarettes are currently unregulated. All products introduced to the EU single market must comply with an extensive framework of general consumer protection and safety legislation. This covers slight variations on old products and products which are genuinely new. It is incongruous to propose that the Tobacco Products Directive should set the legislative framework for a product which contains no tobacco. It is also inappropriate to propose that a product which makes no medicinal claim should be classified as a medicine and not as the general consumer product that it is.

The draftswoman leading this legislation through the European Parliament, Linda McAvan MEP, has come down heavily in favour of a burdensome and intrusive legislative framework. In contrast to this, British MEPs from the Conservative party have fought for a more sensible approach, submitting amendments that make the case for more appropriate legislation to reduce smoking rates and to save British lives. The Conservative and Liberal groups jointly submitted an Amendment to the legislative proposal calling for a light-touch regulatory approach to e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, this amendment fell in a Committee vote last Thursday 10th July. A rival amendment which favoured a medicinal approach to e-cigarettes drew sufficient support from the Socialist, Green and far-left groups to pass.

The dossier will now be voted on by the entire European Parliament in the autumn. It will be possible to submit amendments at this stage and Conservative MEPs will be working to gain support to ensure a sensible approach to legislation. Unfortunately, our own government's Department of Health supports the European Commission's approach to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines. It is vital that we build and demonstrate public support for e-cigarettes to change the policy of the Department of Health. To this end, I would encourage you to write to your Westminster MP to make your position on e-cigarettes known.

I can assure you I will continue to work to maintain the widespread availability and low prices of e-cigarettes.

Yours sincerely

Julie Girling
MEP for the South West of England & Gibraltar
Chief Whip of the UK Conservative Party Delegation in the European Parliament
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment, Public Health & Food Safety
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Messages In This Thread
Conservative reply - Ratfinkz - 04-05-2013, 07:50 PM
RE: Conservative reply - BlackwaterVaper - 11-05-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: Conservative reply - dnglos - 24-07-2013 05:33 PM

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