Monday was a terrible day for the electronic cigarette industry. In a monumental decision, a French court ruled that e-cigarettes would be essentially classified as tobacco products. The impact for the e-cig industry could be far reaching and now the whole world waits to see if the court’s decision will be upheld during an appeal. ElectronicCigarettesReviews.net is following the story, giving readers updates as they become available.
It all started when a tobacconist owner in Toulouse, France became upset over declining sales. The shop’s owner blamed the drop in business on a nearby e-cigarette shop and took the rival shop to court insisting that the sale of electronic cigarettes should not be allowed in a store that is not registered to sell tobacco products. In a shocking twist, the court ruled in favor of the tobacco store, declaring that only registered tobacconists could sell e-cigarettes. The decision delivers a dangerous blow to the electronic cigarette industry, potentially forcing a number of small e-cigarette businesses to close their doors.
The court’s decision is based on the logic that e-cig shops violate the “state monopoly on the sale of tobacco”. In France, only registered retail outlets can sell tobacco products and that would exclude vaping outlets. Previously, this was not an issue. Because e-cigarettes are tobacco-free, independent stores could sell and even advertise electronic cigarettes with no limitations. However, the court’s ruling would essentially lump all vaping products in with traditional tobacco cigarettes and make them subject to the same strict bans on advertising and sales.
The results of the court’s decision reach far beyond France. As the European Union struggles to set official regulations for e-cigarettes, all eyes are peeled on how the international market will deal with these controversial products. In the United States, the FDA is poised to create new e-cig regulations in 2014. Undoubtedly, this week’s decision by the French court will set a precedent that other ruling factions might take into consideration. If France is willing to classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco devices, then it is reasonable to think the rest of the world could follow suit.
ECR’s review team was outraged by the news. Editor Dustin Erickson commented, “This is a tragic mistake that could have far reaching consequences for our industry. Just when electronic cigarettes are making a life changing difference for millions of people around the world, lawmakers are trying to undo all the progress we have worked for in the past few years.”
The team at ECR has personally seen many lives changed with the help of e-cigarettes. There have been numerous smokers that were able to walk away from tobacco for the first time ever by relying on electronic cigarettes as an alternative. “By treating e-cigs as tobacco products, the French court is basically saying that they are no better than cigarettes. That is a tragedy that is truly irreversible,” said Erickson.
To follow this story as it unfolds and find out more about the French court case that could be disastrous for the e-cigarette industry, visit ECR at http://www.electroniccigarettesreviews.net/blog/french-courts-hand-e-cigarettes-to-big-tobacco-is-the-us-next.
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Name: Dustin Erickson
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