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German court rules that liquid nicotine is not a medicine

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5739 (Published 20 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5739
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

A court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has struck down a state health ministry regulation classifying liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes as a medicine1 comparable to nicotine plasters, which in Germany can only be sold in pharmacies.

The court ruled that liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes is not a medicine and therefore its sales cannot be regulated by Germany’s pharmaceutical laws.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister, Barbara Steffen, said that the ministry would review the ruling before determining whether …

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