Following the decision to restrict electronic cigarettes made by the European parliament, supporters of these devices argue that they can in fact save hundreds if not thousands of lives while critics strongly believe that the devices could be potentially harmful to human health and are glamourizing the habit of smoking traditional cigarettes.
Various MEPs voted in favour of introducing new regulations that will manage what kinds of electronic cigarettes can be sold on today’s market. However, with an uproar of vapers all around the world arguing against these regulations, how effective will these regulations really be?
The BBC quotes that “for many smokers, they have been the key to them giving up as they replicate the smoking experience much better than nicotine patches, gum and sprays” however, many health experts and doctors alike fear that they may come with acute long-term health effects.
A handful of campaigners are also concerned that using these devices in public is normalising the act of smoking and could potentially lead to being a gateway drug to traditional tobacco products.
Due to the enforced restrictions, vapers will not be able to purchase certain kinds of refillable devices.
Christena Heseltine’s Story
Christena Heseltine has been using an electronic cigarette for up to five years now and she praises them for their capability to significantly improve her health while delivering an enjoyable experience. Kirsteen, her daughter and partner Ron, a sufferer of terminal oesophageal cancer, has recently become part of the growing community of vapers.
The BBC quotes that “It’s unclear whether smoking caused his cancer but vaping has allowed him to continue to enjoy nicotine without smoking.”
Christena has recently displayed her outrage at the decision made by the European Parliament and she is in strong belief that it will escalate the costs associated with vaping. She also went on to say that many current vapers will grow frustrated with the new regulations and as a result return to smoking traditional cigarettes.
“I’ll be forced to break the law, become a criminal and that’s scary,” Christena said.
“The vaping community has worked hard to make sure it’s as safe as possible. We have worked with trading standards to ensure the nicotine juices are safe and properly labelled. But now if I go to the black market, I won’t know whether the nicotine I’m getting is safe so the work we have done will have been for nothing”
However, not all vapers voted against the recent regulation change and MEP Martin Callanan says that he is disappointed that a majority of his colleagues were in favour of the changes.
“This is going in completely the wrong direction. E-cigarettes have the ability to convert thousands of smokers to vaping as they call it. That is a thousand times safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. As a harm reduction measure, we should be encouraging people to take up e-cigarettes not making it more difficult to obtain them. This is a very bad day for public health.”
Despite Callanan’s views, many believe that the measures are both sensible and sane.
Director of Fresh North East, Ailsa Rutter, strongly believes that the regulations won’t stop individuals obtaining the devices.
“These regulations are really quite light-touch. Elsewhere in the world, some people want them banned and Fresh certainly wouldn’t support that,” she said.
“What we want to see is them being even better quality and safer. We are concerned about children getting hold of them at the moment. Some may have very high doses of nicotine in them, in others people may be being ripped off, as they have no nicotine present at all. From a consumer perspective, this is a step in the right direction.”
How do you feel about the European Parliament’s decision to restrict the sales of electronic cigarettes? Would you have taken a different approach?by