Hi everyone! And welcome to issue eight of The Week in Vaping. We’ve got quite a few things to cover this week, as the battle over taxation rages on in America, Belgium and Sweden’s powers that be have their say on vaping and the amount of information we have on e-cigarettes is discussed. So let’s get moving.

Belgium and Sweden Legalise Vaping

We’re starting off this week with some quite big news for European vapers, as Belgium and Sweden make moves to legalise electronic cigarettes.

Currently, vaping exists in a legal grey area in Belgium. Although it’s technically illegal there are reported to be around 160,000 vapers in Belgium, and this legal status has ensured thousands of smokers who may wish to make the switch are unable to do so.

This week, however, the Belgian Minister of Health announced news that a Royal Decree, once signed, will regulate the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes across Belgium. The Decree will allow the sale of electronic cigarettes and e-liquid in any place where traditional smoking products are currently sold, whilst also allowing smokers aged 16 and over to buy the devices. Alongside this, it also doesn’t put any regulations on sales of flavoured e-liquids, something which was a worry.

Over in the land of Sweden, vaping businesses have had to apply to the medical products agency before they were allowed to sell. This gave them the power to effectively ban vaping products on the market, forcing smokers to use traditional pharmaceutical methods if they were looking to quit smoking.

This week, however, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court announced that vaping products are not medical products as they “do not contain instructions on how they could be used to reduce the consumption of cigarettes or nicotine addiction.”. This ruling has ended the control of the medical products agency on the market and opens the door for the sale of electronic cigarettes in the country as consumer goods.

Two big wins for vaping there.

Science, Research and Data on E-Cigarettes Does Exist

This article by Kevin Crowley begins with a bang, stating: “If you hear the phrase from anyone claiming they "can't find science or research about e-cigarettes," they aren't looking hard enough, or they're ignoring it.”. As a factual, succinct summary he’s bang on the money really.

Focusing on the research done by noted cardiologist Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher who has performed a large amount of notable e-cigarette research.

Dr. Farsalinos states that e-cigarettes "result in huge potential benefits in the health of smokers." He has been performing research on them since 2011, and has recently released a new study which shows that smokers who reduce or quit smoking using e-cigarettes may lower their systolic blood pressure, something which is particularly noticeable in smokers with an elevated blood pressure.

This study adds to the growing list of evidence that e-cigarettes can massively benefit the health of smokers who switch to them, making a mockery of numerous bans citing health concerns. Dr. Farsalinos has a simple message for people fighting these bans: "You should fight for your lives and your health. It is absolutely irresponsible and dangerous behaviour to ban e-cigarettes."

Other News:

    In the wake of the potential tax increases on e-liquid and vaping in America several high profile figures have spoken out against them, with Cynthia Cabrera, president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association stating that “Taxing ecigarettes will backfire on public health,”. She also slammed the arguments for taxing the products as “disingenuous” and “unscientific”.
  • An Australian Parliamentary Committee has delivered 20 recommendations around the sale of e-cigarettes, which is very similar to that of the TPD but with a ban on flavours also urged.
  • Coralville, Iowa, is looking to place tight restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in public places and outside public entrances.
  • A New York court has ruled that vapers cannot be charged for violating anti-smoking regulations because “vaping isn’t smoking”. Finally, a bit of common-sense there.

Thanks for reading our latest issue of The Week in Vaping. If you’ve noted any big stories we’ve missed out or have any thoughts on the stories we’ve featured today leave a comment below.

We’ll see you next week for more vaping news.