Why That Is Problematic.
For one, these legislators were under the mistaken thinking that it is the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes that was causing harm to smokers. This is not true. The harm comes from the smoke that contains tar and a variety of carcinogens so targeting nicotine is going after the wrong element.
The other problem is that the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes is absorbed differently from that in electronic cigarettes. The nicotine in tobacco cigarettes is said to be very potent and is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This means that a small quantity of nicotine will have a more profound effect than a similar amount in an electronic cigarette.
Therefore, there should be different standards for nicotine amounts in tobacco cigarettes and e-cigs. Looking at them as equals is very erroneous to say the least.
Third, the rules leave e-cigs that have no nicotine in them in a regulatory no-man’s land and that is very risky. It will not be easy to enforce the standards in these regulations on makers of zero-nicotine e-cigs since they will say that they are not covered by those regulations.
For the reasons presented above, it is very wrong for those legislators to look at electronic cigarettes in the same way as they look at tobacco cigarettes. Such a stance does not recognize the harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes and also refuses to accept that there are aspects of e-cigs that need to first be studied before appropriate regulations are formulated.
At the end of the day, the new rules look like an attempt by big tobacco to salvage whatever it can from a situation that was rapidly swinging against them. There is no escaping such thinking when you look at these regulations that have been enacted.
The EU seems to have set a precedent in the region as it is very likely that member states will base on the provisions of this set of regulations to pass their own laws. That eventuality will have far-reaching consequences for the electronic cigarette industry so all players are waiting to see what happens next.