The electronic cigarette will have to meet labelling requirements, says the Ministry of Health that is working on regulations that will require warnings of the risk of lung and mouth cancer.
Director del Área de Salud Central, Dr. Allan Varela, says e-cigs that contain nicotine should be labelled with warnings similar to that of regular tobacco cigarettes.
According to Varela, the Ley General de Control del Tabaco covers electronic cigarettes, since it is clear that the law covers any product containing nicotine. “This means that in addition to being banned from use in public places, the product must comply with labeling”, said the doctor.
The modification to packaging could come as early as September, as is the case with tobacco cigarette packs.
In the case of electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine, the product could be deemed exempt and will be part of the discussion by health officials in the coming weeks. Varela said the non-nicotine product that comes in flavours like chocolate, cherry, vanilla, etc, could be classified as a toy.
But, the anti-tobacco law prohibits toys that encourage smoking.
The Electronic Cigarette or E-Cig
An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking by producing a vapor that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some solutions contain a mixture of nicotine and flavourings, while others release a flavored vapor without nicotine.
The benefits and risks of electronic cigarette use are uncertain. They carry a risk of nicotine addiction, and their regulation is the subject of ongoing debate. There are concerns that these products should be adequately regulated, mainly to protect users, while avoiding unintended consequences caused by excessive or inappropriate regulation.
In the United States, most people who use electronic cigarettes have a history of smoking cigarettes while some young people who have never smoked cigarettes have tried electronic cigarettes at least once. The frequency of use has increased with up to 10% of high school students having ever used them as of 2012 and around 3.4% of adults as of 2011.
A “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” was patented in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert, which drew moistened air through a heating element. Hon Lik invented an e-cigarette using piezoelectric components in 2003.
Because of the relative novelty of the technology and the possible relationship to tobacco laws and medical drug policies, electronic cigarette legislation and public health investigations are currently pending in many countries.
Current regulations vary widely, from regions with no regulations to others banning the devices entirely.