Tobacco corporations are involved in the e-cigarette industry and thus will use all their resources to curtail the regulation on distribution of the devices, Jesse Bragg, Media Director at Corporate Accountability International advocacy group, said Friday.
“Increasingly we are seeing large tobacco corporations like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco buying up smaller e-cigarette brands and consolidating the market … Their involvement in the e-cigarette industry means that they are going to do everything they can to reduce regulation and present themselves as a solution to the tobacco epidemic which ironically is the epidemic they are driving,” the representative for the Boston-based NGO said on the sidelines of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) conference in Moscow.
Corporate Accountability International, which is fighting to “stop corporate abuse,” hopes that “the parties recommend to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as the tobacco is regulated.”
E-cigarettes are “an addictive product and therefore we should be protecting people from it especially young people,” Bragg stressed.
The electronic nicotine delivery system industry should be cut “out of public policy making,” the advocacy group’s media director said.
“We need to make sure that we are not allowing them to sit at the table and to distort public policy and health policy,” he concluded.
From October 13 to October 18 parties from the WHO FCTC are holding a summit in Moscow. The meeting is focused on the regulation of electronic cigarettes. WHO released a report in August stating that electronic cigarettes may be harmful and could eventually lead to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking. The report triggered fierce debate, with some experts claiming electronic cigarettes should only be assessed in relation to the known dangers of cigarettes.