Quite recently, several brands of electronic cigarettes have hit the local market. Apparently, the main source of these electronic cigarettes is the internet and the local authorities have issued a warning that a number of these electronic cigarettes do not comply with Health and Safety regulations.
In a Press release, the regulatory authority has said that from inspections and investigations carried out by its product safety officers, a number of electronic cigarettes found on the market are not in conformity with requirements as specified through European Directives.
The regulatory authorities say that these products should have the CE mark. Furthermore, products with a nicotine content of 10mg per ml or more, would fall under the Medical Devices Regulations. Electronic cigarettes and their use must also comply with the provisions of legislation on tobacco products, even if they do not contain any nicotine. Inhaling vapours cannot in any way be considered ‘healthy’.
These devices, known as e-cigarettes, use heat to vaporize a liquid solution into an aerosol mist. e-Cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe. Research carried out by the Authority, has resulted in identifying that a number of people are importing these cigarettes personally over the internet and are then selling them to consumers, or even to some retail outlets, on a one-to-one basis. The authorities stress that such economic operators are personally responsible for the products they are placing on the market. Should the authorities find that the products do not conform to all applicable requirements, such importers and/or traders may be liable for legal action. In the USA, the authorities issued a number of warning letters to electronic cigarette distributors for various violations of regulations including “violations of good manufacturing practices.
The local Technical Regulations Division within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority can be contacted on 2395 2000 or directly on the Authority’s website http://mccaa.org.mt/loadfile/edec0589-219c-40d7-bb1c-f1d697799d8a, by any person who wishes to report any unsafe product.