Theresa Griffin MEP supports advertising ban of e-cigarettes

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England has responded to the recent challenging of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) by the Totally Wicked company before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Speaking from Brussels, Ms Griffin commented that “Four thousand British children start smoking each week – that’s a staggering 200,000 new childhood smokers a year.

“We must ensure that young people do not start smoking, the TPD regulated e-cigarettes for the first time. It’s hard to believe that products such as this could have existed on the market completely free from regulation for long.”

“Cigarette companies can produce chocolate and menthol or strawberry cigarettes. These can be a soft entry point for young people into cigarettes and can lure children into taking up a lethal addiction” she said.

The TPD does not ban the sale of e-cigarettes. They can continue to be sold freely as long as they meet certain safeguards.

The initial negotiating position of the European Council was for each e-cigarette to require a licence. The European Parliament did not support this position and the final stance, as voted by MEPs in February 2014 was that e-cigarettes can continue to be sold in the same manner as cigarettes.

If an e-cigarette manufacturer wishes, they can apply for a medical licence and, provided their product meets safety standards, they can be sold freely and can advertise their products.

“I would invite Totally Wicked to apply for this licence” Ms Griffin commented.

“It is important that consumers can be confident that they products they buy are tested and that they are safe. The TPD ensures that any e-cigarettes on the market are safe for use.

“We must also ensure that e-cigarettes do not create a new generation of smokers. Preventing cigarettes and e-cigarettes from advertising can help to remove the association and may help prevent young people taking up smoking.”