E-cigarettes and Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive
15 September 2015
From 2016, e-cigarettes will face additional regulation under Article 20 of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Given that non-smokers have so far shown little interest in e-cigarettes, critics argue that discouraging ‘vaping’ amounts to encouraging smoking and that some of the new regulations will damage health by raising prices and reducing the appeal of products which, if smokers switched to them, would save lives. However, Member States have some latitude in implementing the TPD. They should therefore work to mitigate the economic and health damage that Article 20 will bring about. Any ‘gold-plating’ by Member States, such as banning flavours, extending advertising restrictions or demanding medical regulation for vaping products, is likely to protect the incumbent nicotine industries (pharmaceutical and tobacco) against this relatively new, disruptive technology.