Regulation of e-cigarettes: industry calls for joint approach

Government and manufacturers need to work together to get the right balance of regulation

 

17 September 2015; Bologna, Italy: 

Manufacturers, consumer groups and regulators need to work together to create an appropriate regulatory framework for e-cigarettes, a global conference will hear today. While consumer safety and product quality are a priority, regulation must also allow for adequate levels of innovation, distribution and marketing to encourage further development of this emerging category.

Smokers are increasingly turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking – leading to a surge in demand in recent years. This was initially met by hundreds of small start-up companies, with the bigger global tobacco companies now playing catch-up. With many governments seemingly unsure of how to regulate this fledgling market, concerns have been raised about quality and product safety standards of e-cigarettes.

At the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) today in Bologna, Italy, the e-cigarette industry’s key players will share the stage with consumer groups, public health advocates and scientists to debate the future regulation of the market. Conference delegates will hear how the establishment of product standards, such as those recently developed by AFNOR, the French standardization body, in collaboration with the e-cigarette industry, are critical. Both product standards and regulation need, however, to be carefully balanced so that product quality and safety are ensured while, at the same time, avoiding unnecessary hurdles that would damage the continued growth of the category.

“The most urgent task for the industry right now – both small to large businesses – is to work on the development of standards,” said Patricia Kovacevic, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Nicopure Labs LLC. “We are anticipating and supporting national authorities in this as much as possible,” she added.

Marina Trani, Head of R&D at Nicoventures agreed: “We think that electronic cigarettes offer a very positive alternative for smokers. This product category is rapidly evolving with more and more sophisticated and effective solutions. In the context of this rapid development, the quality and the safety of products are very important”.

She added: “Now is the time to establish appropriate standards for the benefit of consumers, to ensure the quality and security that consumers expect. Quality standards for electronic cigarettes will help to create a solid foundation for the future growth of this category.”

Simon Clarke, Director of UK-based smokers’ rights group FOREST, will tell delegates: “Consumers want products that are produced to high standards but we must be careful not to stifle innovation and creativity. Excessive regulation could hurt some of the smaller players and it’s that plurality, that dynamism that led to the e-cigarette market becoming such an exciting, innovative category in the first place.”

“The bottom line is that consumers want choice and the freedom to choose. It’s up to industry and regulators to work together to get the regulation right, so that they can meet that demand and put the consumer first.”

About the GTNF 

The GTNF (Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum), organized by Tobacco Reporter magazine, is the world’s leading conference on tobacco and next-generation nicotine products. It brings together industry, commentators, and external experts for three days of discussions and networking. The GTNF debuted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2008 and has subsequently been held in Bangalore, India (2010), Antwerp, Belgium (2012), Cape Town, South Africa (2013) and West Virginia, USA(2014). This year it takes place in Bologna, Italy. For more information, visit: www.gtnf-2015.com

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