Now that the European Union has decided to take measures to regulate electronic cigarettes, it is important for the industry to make a clear delineation between e-cigarettes and e-liquid. That delineation is necessary in order to fully understand the new EU regulations.
According to EU Commissioner of Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg, e-cigarettes with a nicotine content reaching a certain threshold will now be regulated as medicinal devices along the same lines as nicotine replacement therapies. He said products with lower levels of nicotine would continue unregulated for the most part.
In this, it is clear to see there is a distinct difference between the electronic cigarette device and the nicotine liquid it holds. This is an important difference because of the implications for selling the devices. In other words, tobacco cigarettes cannot be separated from either tobacco or the combustion process. Similarly, nicotine replacement therapies cannot be separated from the nicotine and still be useful. Electronic cigarettes are completely different in this regard.
An electronic cigarette device could be sold without any liquid included at all, just as they are commonly sold in Canada. Electronic cigarettes with e-liquid included could be sold with zero nicotine content and still be left unregulated by the EU directives. This still gives e-cigarette manufacturers great latitude in presenting their products.
The E-Liquid Question
The new regulations have done at least one good thing the e-cigarette industry should be appreciative of: separating the question of the e-liquid from the device itself. Now companies can focus on e-liquid formulas and informing consumers regarding the ingredients used.
In most cases and e-liquid contains only the following ingredients:
• Propylene Glycol - This is the base liquid in which the rest of the ingredients are suspended. Propylene glycol is currently used in asthma inhalers, food flavourings and colourings, certain oral medications, cosmetics, and health and beauty aids.
• Vegetable Glycerine - Some e-liquid makers use vegetable glycerine in place of propylene glycol to create liquids for people sensitive to the latter substance. Vegetable glycerine is another common additive in food preservatives, food colouring, medicines, and health and beauty aids.
• Nicotine - The nicotine found in electronic cigarettes comes from tobacco, as does the nicotine in NRT products, but it is not tobacco by any stretch of the imagination. It is extracted using a very simple process that can even be done at home.
• Candy Flavouring - Flavoured e-liquids contain candy flavouring for obvious reasons. The flavouring products used are the same ones used by bakers, sweet makers, and cooks all over the world.
• Distilled Water - When manufacturers want to cut nicotine levels or improve the viscosity of an e-liquid they may blend in some distilled water. Obviously, this is harmless to humans.
Since various world health bodies have already approved all of these substances as safe for human consumption, the focus on e-cigarette safety should now be turned to the liquids. The new European Union regulations suggest as much, whether implicitly or otherwise, find out more on www.vapestick.co.uk