On Tuesday the 8th of October in Strasbourg a majority of MEPs from across the political spectrum voted against the medicinal regulation of electronic cigarettes.
This result was welcomed not just by electronic cigarette users across the EU, but also by their friends and families.
It is important to note that in voting for amendment 170, MEPs were voting for proposals that would put in place a very strict regulatory regime for the sale and manufacture of electronic cigarettes, this was no soft option. Amendment 170 proposes banning all advertising of electronic cigarettes and also restricts the sale of electronic cigarettes to under 18s.
This result, whilst welcome, is not the end of the story. We now enter a process known as trilogue where Parliament, Council, and the Commission will come together to see if they can iron out their respective differences and agree on a final text. There is a strong desire in Brussels for this process to be concluded before the end of this year.
As the triloge process begins electronic cigarette users, their friends, and their families wish to make it very clear to all involved in the process that amendment 170 was a compromise, it was however a compromise many were willing to accept. What will be unacceptable however would be any attempts to strengthen amendment 170 or to try and reintroduce medicinal regulation via the back door.
Amendment 170 must be seen as a red line and all those MEPs who did the right thing last week in Strasbourg must hold firm and reject any attempts during trilogue to reintroduce the medicinal regulation of electronic cigarettes.