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European parliament refuses to classify e-cigarettes as medicines

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6106 (Published 09 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6106
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

The European parliament has strongly backed moves to make smoking less attractive to young people but has rejected the health commissioner’s call to have electronic cigarettes classified as medicines.

The MEPs’ vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday 8 October came after months of lobbying by major tobacco manufacturers to try to water down and delay the European Union’s attempts to strengthen the existing legislation on tobacco products.

MEPs agreed that in future clear health warnings should cover at least 65% of both sides of a pack of cigarettes. At present they must cover at least 30% of the front of a pack and 40% of the back. The warnings would be placed at the top of the packet, with the brand name at the bottom. Packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes would …

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