National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training
Recently we have seen the emergence of ‘third generation’ electronic cigarette devices that allow the user to adjust the voltage applied to the atomiser (often referred to as ‘variable voltage devices’) using a control unit that can be set to different modes. The atomisers usually sit in the fluid and use different types of coils or wicks that can be replaced. Some come with ‘puff counters’ or downloadable software so the user can program their own voltage level and monitor their patterns of use.
Examples of ‘third generation’ electronic cigarette Electronic cigarettes have been developed as a ‘lifestyle’ or consumer product, and not as a medicine. Regulatory authorities in some countries have ruled that, as they contain nicotine, electronic cigarettes automatically fall under medicines regulation.e.g. The UK Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ruled in June 2013 that electronic cigarette manufacturers would need to obtain a license to sell electronic cigarettes by 2017. In contrast to this (and superseding the MHRA ruling), in December 2013 the European Parliament rejected a proposal to license all electronic cigarettes as medicines. However, a European directive in February 2014 introduced rules that included: maximum nicotine concentrations of 20mg/ml, limits on the size of tanks (to contain a maximum of 2ml electronic cigarette liquid), limits on containers of nicotine liquid (a maximum 10ml), ingredient quality and consistent delivery levels. There will also be new packaging and labelling requirements, plus existing rules for cross-border advertising and promotion of tobacco products will also apply to electronic cigarettes. These rules will come into force in May 2016.