Electronic Cigarettes

Health written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps he plans to take to ensure e-liquids used in e-cigarettes are diacetyl free;

(2) whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to require that all batches of e-liquid for consumption in the UK are analysed by a gas chromatography mass spectrometer.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The General Product Safety Directive and associated regulations apply to e-cigarettes. No specific provisions are made in respect of diacetyl or analyses by a gas chromatography mass spectrometer.

The revised European Tobacco Products Directive, currently being considered by the European Parliament, would require electronic cigarettes which are not licensed medicines to be regulated as consumer goods with specific requirements in relation to ingredients, including flavourings, and emissions. The draft directive requires the European Commission to develop a common notification format and technical standard. The United Kingdom Government will work with the Commission on the development of the notification and any associated testing requirements.

Any e-cigarette licensed as a medicine would require the quality of the liquid to be controlled by a specification. The specification would refer to analytical procedures (which may include gas-chromatography mass spectrometry) to ensure that any impurities remain at a safe level throughout the shelf life of a product.

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