Electronic Cigarette trade body fights US regulation

Now that the NHS Stoptober smoking cessation campaign is over for another year

Smokers may have noticed an increase in adverts for electronic cigarettes in the media.

The government and EU are in talks about stricter regulation for electronic cigarettes, including restrictions on use and also advertising to bring them into line with tobacco products.

In the US, the body representing the e-cigarette industry, The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, is due to meet with representatives of Congress and senior legislators for the first time on 4/5 November. It is thought the meeting will cover how regulation can be applied to the electronic cigarette industry without damaging its progress in the marketplace.

The US Food and Drug Administration has drafted proposals for the regulation of e-cigarettes which could well see them treated on a par with tobacco products for the purposes of regulation, which The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) feels could impact unfairly on the sale of tobacco-free products.

The executive director of SFATA, Cynthia Cabrera, said:

“While our industry understands reasonable and appropriate regulation is needed, it is vital our young industry not be grouped with combustible cigarettes as federal guidelines are developed for these products.

“Excessive regulation could limit adult access to e-cigs and stifle growth and innovation in the segment.”

Many of those lobbying for more regulation of e-cigarettes have cited the addictive properties of the nicotine in e-cigarettes, as well as the fact they could act as a gateway to smoking tobacco, especially among youngsters. E-cigs have developed a new, cool image thanks to celebrity use, with prominent figures such as Simon Cowell and Leonardo Di Caprio being snapped using e-cigs. Football clubs such as Glasgow’s Celtic and Rangers have also signed sponsorship deals with e-cigarette companies.
The NHS Stoptober campaign in 2012 saw 160,000 smokers in the UK completing the challenge and staying tobacco-free for 28 days, giving them a five-fold better chance of quitting smoking for good. As many as 50% of chronic smokers are estimated to die prematurely and those who quit for good will also save as much as £2,500 annually on the cost of enjoying nicotine. As well as the realistic experience of smoking which electronic cigarettes offers to smokers trying to quit, using e-cigs reduces the cost of enjoying nicotine by approximate 50%, with a liquid nicotine refill being the equivalent of 20-40 cigarettes (depending on “puff”) and costing as little as £2.99.

It is estimated that as many 1.3 million smokers in the UK have now made the switch to e-cigarettes and despite the anti e-cig lobby trying to push for more regulation, the stark facts about smoking tobacco speak for themselves. The UK government’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies says:

“Half of all smokers die as a result of smoking: this is the single biggest cause of premature death, taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK and costing the NHS up to £2.7 billion each year. Life is precious and you can gain up to seven days for every 28 you remain smoke free.”

E-cigarettes enable smokers to take control of their craving for nicotine by offering liquid nicotine refills in measured doses from zero to 36mg (per litre of nicotine liquid, giving a 3.6mg dose). Some smokers begin by using the same level of nicotine as their cigarette habit and cut down gradually until they have reduced their daily nicotine intake. It is possible to mix different strengths of nicotine liquid until the correct individual dose is achieved to satisfy cravings.

Many ex-smokers manage to cut right down to zero nicotine, and find that the experience of using an e-cig can eventually be enough to quell cigarette cravings, as handling the e-cigarette is so similar to the experience of smoking a cigarette that the nicotine element become less vital to enjoyment. It is also possible to alternate a low strength of nicotine refill with a higher one to meet individual needs, so smokers trying to quit never experience that terrible feeling of not being able to handle a cigarette. Not being able to inhale is also not an issue with e-cigarettes, as it may be with other smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches or gum.

The sale of e-cigarettes in the UK has risen by 30% since 2012 figures were released, and despite health lobbyists, the tobacco industry and government ministers pushing for more regulation, and issuing warnings about the potential safety of e-cigs, more smokers are making the switch. Electronic cigarettes have been around since 2003 and since then no death linked to e-cig use has been recorded. Any regulation of electronic cigarettes as a result of the redrafting of the EU Tobacco Products Directive is likely to come into effect by 2016 and so smokers who have been trying to give up tobacco still have a few years to make the switch to e-cigs and save their health, as well as reduce the cost of enjoying nicotine by quitting cigarettes and giving up tobacco for good.

Magnifecig’s liquid nicotine refills start from as little as £2.99 for 10ml or £6.99 for 30ml or cheapest UK deal around for 5 x 10ML e liquid for £9.99. Magnifecig’s starter pack including three liquid nicotine refills is currently on offer for just £9.99 (RRP £22.99), making giving up tobacco much cheaper. This is a special offer for Stoptober which has been extended for a limited period to help more smokers quit tobacco and enjoy nicotine without the dangerous smoke and tar that accompanies a tobacco habit.

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