Scientists question ecig restrictions
By: Chris Balme | Senior Content Writer for www.silvereggmedia.co.uk / GrimmGreen.com contributor
The controversial European Union proposal that would see electronic cigarettes regulated as medicinal products throughout member states of the EU has been called into question by the scientists whose work was used as evidence.
Fifteen scientists have claimed in an open letter to the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of Ministers that the members who drafted the regulations have misinterpreted the scientific findings of their research into electronic cigarettes.
The scientists blasted the proposed regulations which they claim could have disastrous ramifications for the industry and vapers throughout the continent. The letter reads: “If wisely regulated, e-cigarettes have the potential to make cigarettes obsolete and save millions of lives worldwide. Excessive regulation, on the contrary, will [perpetuate] the existing levels of smoking related disease, death and health care costs.”
The proposal which is a part of the Tobacco Products Directive could become law in April, but the scientists are hoping that their letter will highlight the inaccuracies of the way in which the science has been interpreted and influence Members of the European Parliament to vote against it.
Among the scientific facts included in justifying the proposal is a report from a pharmacology textbook published in 1856 stating that 60 milligrams of nicotine is lethal. Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos of the University Hospital in Gasthuisberg, one of the signatories of the letter, debunks this science as myth: “This is not the case, and people have ingested 60 times higher, which only led to nausea and vomiting.”
This nugget of ‘science’ was used in the proposal to justify a limit on the strength of nicotine in e liquids to 20mg/ml. However, with an estimated 20-30% of all vapers using a stronger e liquid that this, it could prove to be an unpopular move.
The signatories of the letter have called for any proposals to be built around robust science rather than scare-mongering, influenced findings and wilful suppositions. The draft proposal has indicated that vapers would deliver consistent nicotine doses and act as a gateway for young people and non-smokers to tobacco cigarettes. The scientists are urging the European Parliament to give vapers enough credit to choose how much to use their electronic cigarettes. Furthermore, there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes have acted to increase cigarette use amongst young people and non-smokers.
A spokesperson from Joyetech explained: “Once again, here is an example of an agenda-led decision being formed by half-truths, misinterpretations and fallacies. We can only hope that the reasoning of the scientists who have produced first-hand research will be enough to reverse the initial decision.”
The proposal will be discussed again in March, by which time the scientists and European vapers will surely be wishing that the Members of the European Parliament have taken time out to read the letter and make an informed decision.