German court rules electronic cigarette nicotine not a pharmaceutical product

| September 19, 2013

A court ruled on Tuesday that the sale of electronic cigarettes could not be restricted in Germany because the nicotine-based liquid used in these devices is not a pharmaceutical product, according to a story in The Local.

But the ruling could be overturned by Brussels.

Münster’s administrative court decided that, unlike nicotine plasters, electronic cigarettes could not be treated as a pharmaceutical product designed to help smokers quit.

Therefore, they would not be included in laws limiting the sale of over-the-counter medication.

But this ruling could be overruled if provisions of a proposed European Commission Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that seek to regulate electronic cigarettes as medicinal products are accepted.

The European Parliament is due to vote on the TPD next month.

Electronic cigarettes have divided opinion in Germany since their popularity boomed in 2011, but, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, an estimated 2 million Germans now use them.

Category: Breaking News

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