Verdict: The e-cigarette is not a medicine

Verdict: The e-cigarette is not a medicine

First judgment on the e-cigarette: Electric steam devices are not medicinal products

Is the e-cigarette a licensed drug or not? The Cologne Administrative Court has now made a decision on this issue. Since nicotine is not used as a drug in the case of the e-cigarette but to satisfy the craving for the addictive substance, the e-cigarette is not a medicine and may be sold on for the time being, the court ruled.

E-cigarette for smoking cessation is controversial
In the dispute over the e-cigarette, manufacturers and distributors of the electronic glow sticks had sued against the decision of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, according to which the e-cigarette had been classified as a drug for smoking cessation in two cases. This decision would have resulted in complex, costly and lengthy approval procedures for the manufacturers. In addition, e-cigarettes should only have been sold to adults in pharmacies.

It is controversial whether the e-cigarette is suitable for quitting smoking. In addition, there are currently no sound scientific studies on the long-term consequences. For the Federal Government, however, there are sufficient indications of a health-endangering and damaging effect to advise against the consumption of the electric glow stick. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the German Cancer Research Center also warn of the health consequences.

After North Rhine-Westphalia has already imposed a ban on e-cigarettes, Mechthild Dyckmans, the federal government's drug commissioner, is now in favor of a ban. In the European Union (EU) there is a lot of discussion about the electric glow stick.

"Steamers" can breathe easy for now
The Cologne Administrative Court now ruled that e-cigarettes are not drugs to quit smoking and that sales can continue for the time being. The reasoning stated that nicotine could be a drug, but in the case of the e-cigarette it was not used to quit smoking, but to satisfy the craving for nicotine. The verdict is not yet legally binding. (File number: 7 K 3169/11)

The initiate speaks of “vaping” the tar-free e-cigarette. This consists of a battery unit with electronics and air sensor, a tank and an evaporator chamber. Inside the chamber, the flavored liquid, the so-called liquid, is heated and then evaporated at 65 to 120 degrees. The consumer can either start this mechanism at the push of a button or it is automatically started on every train. Otherwise the e-cigarette is switched off. The controversial product corresponds almost to conventional cigarettes. (ag)

Read on:
Ban? The e-cigarette is on trial
E-cigarette a medicine: trade prohibited?
Medicinal e-cigarette? Raids on importers

Image: Gisela Peter /

Author and source information

Video: Is Vaping Safe? A Doctor Talks e-Cigarettes u0026 Lung Disease (October 2020).