The commission that meets in secret to come up with compromise deals when the EU can't seem to decide on something has reached a deal on e-cigarettes. The immediate dangers of restrictions that would wipe out the market are gone for now. However, this is still a bitter pill to swallow for many because there is a very low nicotine concentration limit for one thing. The big deal is, however, that this addition to the TPD has a little surprise built in.
Under the deal, e-cigarettes will be regulated for general sale at EU level, but member states would be allowed to regulate them as medicines if they so choose. Refillable cartridges will not be banned. However member states can ban specific types of cartridges, if the ban can be justified by safety concerns. If three member states adopt a ban on a specific cartridge, the European Commission can unilaterally impose an EU-level ban, without approval by Parliament or member states. Although the deal on Monday would have capped cartridge size at 1ml, this was raised today to 2ml on the advice of the Commission.
Yes, that's correct, if just a minority of member states decide to ban something, the EU can ban it for everyone. It's a good thing there's no trigger-happy, pharma influenced governments in the EU.