Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis made a speech today to the European Parliament calling on her fellow MEPs not to over-regulate electronic cigarettes when they vote on the EU Tobacco Directive later today. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine via inhaled vapour.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis said: “As an ex-smoker I know all too well that it is not easy to give up the habit.

“While people continue to smoke we must support those who want to quit.

“By over-regulating products such as e-cigarettes we would make it more difficult, not easier, for people to quit.”

The proposals put forward by Labour MEP Linda McAvan would regulate electronic cigarettes as medical devices.

An amendment put forward by Conservative MEPs would better control electronic cigarettes, in the same way cigarettes are controlled; by including health warnings, not allowing the sale of the products to the under 18s and by ensuring a list of ingredients is submitted to the competent authorities. The amendment would stop short, however, of regulating e-cigarettes as medicines.

Video of the speech here: