Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Court: E-cigarette sales can not be restricted

Share this article

Court: E-cigarette sales can not be restricted
Photo: DPA
16:41 CEST+02:00
A court ruled on Tuesday that the sale of electronic cigarettes can not be restricted in Germany, as the nicotine-based liquid inside is not a pharmaceutical product. But the ruling could still be overturned by Brussels.

Münster's administrative court decided that unlike nicotine plasters, E-cigarettes would not be treated as a pharmaceutical product designed to help smokers quit. As such, they will not be included in laws limiting the sale of over-the-counter medication.

But this ruling could still be overruled, as the EU parliament is yet to agree on a planned overarching law concerning E-cigarettes. In July, health ministers announced that they would consider putting them in an anti-smoking bill.

The Münster court's decision overrides three prior court cases objecting to the uncontrolled sale of E-cigarettes. One was from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and another from the city of Wuppertal.

In April 2012, Münster’s administrative court decided that the sale of E-cigarettes would not be restricted. But in a trial at Dusseldorf’s administrative tribunal in October last year this verdict was reversed.

E-cigarettes have divided opinion in Germany since their popularity boomed in 2011. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, an estimated two million Germans now use E-cigarettes.

The exact health risks associated with inhaling vapour from the nicotine-based liquid remain unclear.

READ MORE: Young Germans stub out cigarettes

DPA/The Local/fs

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Why this Nordic couple don't go 'home' for Christmas

Icelanders Thorunn and Sindri live in Sweden but won't be flying back to their home country for Christmas. Find out where the adventurous couple will be heading instead!