Germany is on the forefront of a more liberal policy on e-cigarette sales. Several times, courts have denied requests to ban e-cigarette sales in Germany.
That’s good news for vapers in Germany, but we’ll see how long it lasts. Decisions have been overturned and redone several times as politicians grasp to hold on to what they think is appropriate, safe and effective for their citizens.
A court ruled on Tuesday that the sale of electronic cigarettes cannot be restricted in Germany. The court stated that the the nicotine e-liquid that is the component of the vapor is not a pharmaceutical product.
Münster’s administrative court decided that unlike nicotine patches (which are considered a drug), e-cigarettes would not be treated as a pharmaceutical product designed to help smokers quit. As such, they will not be included in laws limiting the sale of over-the-counter medication. This is good news for the millions of smokers in Germany that want an alternative without visiting the doctor or a pharmacy.
But this ruling could still be overruled as the EU parliament has not yet agreed on an umbrella law concerning E-cigarettes. In July, health ministers announced that they would consider putting them in an anti-smoking bill.
The Münster court’s decision overrides three prior court cases objecting to the uncontrolled sale of E-cigarettes. One was from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and another from the city of Wuppertal.
Last year in April 2012, the court decided that the sale of E-cigarettes would not be restricted. But in a trial at Dusseldorf’s administrative tribunal in October last year this verdict was reversed.
E-cigarettes have divided opinion in Germany since their popularity boomed in 2011. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, an estimated two million Germans now use E-cigarettes.
Tell us, what are your thoughts on e-cigs NOT being treated as pharmaceutical agents? Leave your comments below.