Current verdict: E-cigarettes with nicotine are currently not allowed to be sold

Current verdict: E-cigarettes with nicotine are currently not allowed to be sold

Basic decision: Trading in nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is punishable
Health experts have long warned that e-cigarettes are not harmless. Some of them contain substances that can cause illness. Nicotine has also been found in many products so far. However, a court ruling has now ruled that trading in e-cigarettes that contain nicotine is punishable in Germany.

Damage to health from nicotine
Although the reason why electronic glow sticks are so popular is sometimes that they are healthier than tobacco and also help with withdrawal, recent studies show that e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit. And the health argument isn't far off either. Just recently, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg warned that nicotine could also be harmful to health with e-cigarettes. Some scientists even go so far as to claim that electronic vaporizers are sometimes more problematic than normal smoking.

Sales ban for teenagers
The electric glow sticks are particularly popular with younger people. In the past year, after a long period of planning, a ban on selling e-cigarettes for adolescents started. As the news agency dpa reports, the trade in e-cigarettes that contain nicotine is currently punishable in Germany according to a fundamental decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). However, the legal area is changing: According to the information, the trade in e-cigarettes is to be put on a new legal basis by the end of May 2016, which is based on the implementation of an EU directive from 2014. This permits the placing on the market of liquids whose nicotine content does not exceed a certain concentration.

E-cigarettes are not smoked
With their decision, the judges in Karlsruhe confirmed that the Frankfurt Regional Court fined a man who had sold such electronic cigarettes in his shop and online. The legal situation was initially unclear, since e-cigarettes have only been on the German market for a few years. One problem, for example, is that the electronic glow sticks are not actually smoked. Rather, a liquid (“liquid”) is nebulized and inhaled when the mouthpiece is pulled.

Federal Court of Justice classifies e-cigarette as a tobacco product
However, the BGH now classifies the nicotine-containing e-cigarette as a tobacco product. As stated in the dpa announcement, the previous regulations prohibit the addition of certain substances such as ethanol that are contained in the liquids. The judgment, which was also published online on Monday, was dated December 23, 2015. (Az. 2 StR 525/13) At first it was not clear what consequences the judge's decision would have for the trade in e-cigarettes in Germany up to the new law in May. (ad)

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