MAKERS OF ELECTRONIC cigarettes could face tough new measures restricting how much nicotine the products contain.
The measures are proposed in draft plans by the European Commission, and come ahead of further negotiations next week on revising the EU’s laws on tobacco.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated products that turn nicotine into a vapor inhaled by the user.
According to the Brussels-based European Voice newspaper, the leaked text suggests banning e-cigarettes that produce nicotine levels above 20 milligrams per ml of vapour or 10 milligrams per unit, and those with refillable cartridges or tanks.
Under the plan, e-cigarettes designed to taste like tobacco would also be banned.
Health Minister James Reilly ordered a review of how electronic cigarettes were being sold and marketed in Ireland earlier this year. He said he was particularly concerned they were being promoted on flights.
During the summer, the British regulatory authority said it was to control the sale of such products by classifying them as medicines and making them available over-the-counter.
The European Commission had initially proposed taking a similar approach, but that idea was rejected by MEPs last month.
Manufacturers have argued that the product is useful to smokers attempting to wean themselves off the habit, however health campaigners are divided on the issue.
The Irish Cancer Society has said it can’t recommend the products as an alternative to tobacco until regulation is introduced.