European Vape News

Posted 29th December 2016 by Mawsley
2017 and full implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) are both looming on the horizon. Researchers in Scotland are still seeking smokers who want to quit with vape products. Belgium is set to make vaping legal and Italy is going to allow prisoners to vape. Meanwhile, the shadow of taxation hovers ever larger across Europe.

In Scotland, smokers who can attend the Clinical Research Facility at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow are still being hunted by researchers. The aim is to investigate the short-term effects of electronic cigarettes on the blood vessels and lungs and compare the results to NRT patches. The British Heart Foundation funds the study.

British Heart Foundation Scotland’s James Cant said: "We all know smoking tobacco raises our risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. Electronic cigarettes have been hailed by some as a great way to help smokers quit but little is actually known about their impact on our heart and circulatory system which is why we are funding this research to help us better understand the effects on our health."

Researcher and vascular surgeon Daniele Kerr is running the study. She added: "Every day, myself and many other healthcare professionals ask patients to stop smoking. The evidence shows the public currently choose to use electronic cigarettes as their preferred method to help them stop smoking, despite not being currently available on the NHS."

In Belgium, the adoption of the TPD, by Royal decree, means that vaping will become legal on the 17th January, 2017. Electronic cigarettes and eliquids currently occupy a confusing quasi-banned status as medical products – but anything not containing nicotine was exempt from the need for a medical licence. National vaping associations aren’t exactly overjoyed with the change in circumstances and see it as making life difficult for independent vape businesses. There are murmurs that they could seek to challenge the TPD-inspired legislation in court, we will have to wait till 2017 to find out more.

In Italy, a country that imposed a vicious crackdown on vaping, has bent to the will of prisoners and allowed vaping to take place in prisons. The Department of Administration of Penitentiaries has noted the recent statement by the Ministry of Health that vaping offers a much safer alternative to smoking, and that there is no good reason to ban vaping from taking place in open places. We have previously covered the move to adopt specially designed electronic cigarettes in British prisons.

And finally, ECigIntelligence are reporting that the European Commission is continuing their investigation into taxing vape products. “The public health and economic rationale for taxing e-cigarettes remains in dispute,” writes Philip Gambaccini. “Raising the price of vapour products through taxation reduces the incentive for smokers to experiment with lower-risk alternatives. While governments are concerned about declining tax revenues from traditional tobacco products, the ability of e-cigarettes to generate offsetting excise revenue is largely unproven.”