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Lancashire MEP voices strong opposition to proposed MHRA regulations.

chris davies

Liberal Democrat MEP for East Lancashire Chris Davies has strongly criticised the proposal by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to re-classify electronic cigarettes as medicinal products. Mr Davies plans to fight the proposed regulations and aims to have them reversed before 2016, when they are due to come into action.

Mr Davies is concerned that these regulations will limit the availability of electronic cigarettes and penalise the millions of people who enjoy e-cigarettes as an alternatives to traditional tobacco products. Chris Davies has written to the MHRA proposing amendments to their plans.

Regulating electronic cigarettes as medicinal products would subject the entire industry to lengthy and costly trials, proving too costly for many and forcing many manufacturers and suppliers to cease operation. Furthermore, the restrictions and regulations imposed would make the products less appealing to the consumer and potentially reduce interest.

“In an ideal world, no-one would be addicted to nicotine but we don’t live in an ideal world and e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking.  I’ve been working with my fellow Lib Dem Rebecca Taylor MEP to get a sensible EU approach to making sure that e-cigarettes are safe and not marketed to children but also making sure they are at least as available as tobacco. 

“I’m shocked that the MHRA have now come up with this proposal that would see tobacco on sale in supermarkets but e-cigarettes potentially restricted. Hundreds of ex-smokers have written to me to say how e-cigarettes have improved their lives and got them away from tobacco. 

“I’m sure the MHRA have good intentions but the outcome of their over-regulation would be more people smoking tobacco.”

The proposed regulations have been described as draconian and have baffled many experts in the industry who are concerned that electronic cigarettes are being penalised whilst traditional cigarettes are retailing as normal.

1st July 2013, 14:20