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However, the revision of the EU ‘Tobacco Products Directive’ would classify most e-cigarettes as a medicinal product, despite the fact that in the UK alone 25 percent of all attempts to kick the habit are made using e-cigarettes, making them the most popular aid. The European Commission had proposed that e-cigarettes containing 4 milligrammes or more of nicotine must be classed as medicinal products but an EU parliamentary committee went further, voting to classify all e-cigarettes as pharmaceuticals, regardless of the nicotine content. Users of e-cigarettes (known as vapers) have protested, arguing that through e-cigarettes they were able to kick the tobacco habit. They say classifying them as medical devices will mean they must undergo a costly and protracted authorisation processes before marketing.
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The mechanism of action is a battery-powered device that heats a nicotine solution, creating an inhalable vapor without burning tobacco products or other toxins usually found in cigarettes. Other NRT methods include nicotine patches and nicotine gum, but e-cigarettes have surpassed these methods in popularity as they mimic a real cigarette in appearance and absorption method. E-cigarettes also enable those who want to quit for health reasons to retain smoking culture. E-cigarette proponents say the product facilitates smoking fewer cigarettes and may help users quit entirely, but a longitudinal analysis using population-level data show no difference in quit rates among e-cigarette users and regular smokers. “Controlled clinical trials and population-level observational cohort studies are needed to establish the utility of these cigarettes to facilitate smoking cessation. Research is also needed regarding the role of e-cigarettes in harm reduction, including reduced cigarette smoking and associated reduction of tobacco toxicant exposure,” Benowitz and Goniewicz recommended.
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He noted that the Iloilo City Council amended its Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance on Thursday to include the battery-operated device in the ban on smoking in public places and transportation. He encouraged other cities nationwide to also make the same move, saying that this is a simple case of life and death involving the very health and lives of our people, most especially our children. Earlier, the World Health Organization urged all governments to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes as there was no proof that using them was safe and could help people kick the smoking habit. The WHO said it had data showing a trend in other countries where people graduated to smoking real cigarettes after using e-cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration has also issued advisories warning the public that the electronic smoking device was not emissions-free and contained volatile organic substances harmful to ones health, like propylene glycol and carcinogenic metals like nickel and chromium.
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