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SFATA Encourages Maryland E-Cigarette Business Owners to Fight CB-91-2013

Following other counties and cities in the United States, a council member in Prince George’s County in Maryland has recently introduced a bill titled CB-91-2013 that would outlaw the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars and public and senior housing units.

Many outsiders are claiming because people are not allowed to smoke traditional cigarettes in public places (i.e. bars and restaurants), the same theory should apply for e-cigarettes. The Smoke Free Alterative Trade Association (SFATA) dispels this comparison by pointing out that e-cigarettes produce no smoke and do not possess tobacco or the nearly 3,000 known carcinogen chemicals that traditional tobacco cigarettes contain.

The electronic cigarette is an innovative technology that delivers nicotine from a cartridge in the form of water vapor. The e-liquid inside of an e-cigarette generally contains nicotine, Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). Both PG and VG are FDA approved substances and can be found in several toothpaste and shampoo products at your local grocery store.

Prince George’s County Council Member Ingrid Turner is responsible for proposing this new Maryland bill, claiming that she is trying to make Maryland ‘more healthy.’ SFATA is encouraging County Council Member Turner to learn more about this innovative product and the overall industry before imposing severe regulation that could negatively affect her local constituents. If you are an e-cigarette business owner or advocate who lives in Prince George’s County, we encourage you to reach out to Ingrid Turner via email to express your concerns as to why this bill should be revoked. For more e-cigarette industry updates and news, follow SFATA on Twitter and “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Fan Page.

The European Union Votes to Classify Electronic Cigarettes as Medicine

UK E-Cig Regulation SFATA

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), the United Kingdom’s government health agency responsible for standards of safety, quality and performance, voted in July to classify and regulate electronic cigarettes as ‘medicine.’ Once the law is implemented, the UK, comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will require all electronic cigarette manufacturers and sellers in those countries to obtain a license to sell products to UK citizens. Under this regulation, citizens will also be required to visit a doctor and receive a prescription for electronic cigarettes.

Many e-cigarette users and sellers have noted once this regulation becomes law, it will likely drive up e-cigarette costs and disrupt the industry as many users will be frustrated by the additional time and money they will have to allocate to visit a doctor and get a prescription. “We are still not clear whether e-cigarette users in the UK will only have to get a prescription once a year or once a month, which could have a huge impact on the industry in the UK,” said Cynthia Cabrera, Executive Director of SFATA.org.

The MHRA said in a statement that they wanted to “regulate all nicotine-containing products – some such as gums, patches and mouth-sprays already are – because it could not at the moment guarantee their safety and efficacy.” Many leaders in the electronic cigarette industry have mixed feelings about this new law because with the new law implementation, e-cigarettes will be allowed to be marketed as a means to cut down or quit traditional smoking, a tactic currently looked down upon and not allowed.

As electronic cigarettes have become more and more popular globally, many countries around the world have rushed to study and regulate the industry in an effort to collect taxes on e-cigarette products and provide guidelines and safety regulations for both e-cigarette users and sellers.

Many experts believe one factor leading to electronic cigarettes becoming classified as medicine in the UK has derived from pressure from big tobacco companies. “Increased regulation on e-cigarettes is a sign the government has caved into the bullying tactics of Big Tobacco, which risks sending out the wrong message that e-cigarettes pose a greater threat than smoking,” said Diane Abbott, health spokesperson at Action on Smoking and Health, a non-profit located in the UK dedicated to eliminating the harm caused by tobacco.

Many e-cigarette advocates are arguing that electronic cigarettes are receiving stricter regulation than traditional cigarettes. Although this ruling has not gone into affect yet, the UK government is campaigning for EU legislation to be introduced with the specific rules & guidelines by 2014, with the expectations to become law by 2016.

For more updates regarding the global electronic cigarette industry and e-cigarette matters affecting the UK, follow SFATA on Twitter and like its official Facebook Fan Page.