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The Case of the Electronic Cigarette in the EU

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AbstractAlthough the electronic cigarette was invented in 2004, only recently the product has started to provoke discussion. On the one hand, the electronic cigarette is characterized by scientific uncertainties. It is not clear whether the device can be used in smoking cessation therapy, whether the use induces non-smokers — including minors — to start smoking and whether the vaporized substances and the act of vaporizing itself (which is smoking an electronic cigarette) is harmful. On the other hand, there is no harmonised European legal framework and different Member States attribute a different legal status to the e-cigarette. In this article, the author analyses how the e-cigarette should be qualified according to the current European legislation and ECJ case law and describes how the e-cigarette is qualified in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

Affiliations: 1: ‘Consumer, Competition and Market (CCM)’, Faculty of Law, KU Leuven Leuven Belgium


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