An e-cigarette. File photo: Osseous/Flickr
A Swedish court has ruled that e-cigs should be treated as a pharmaceutical product subject to approval and thus illegal for sale in grocery and convenience stores.
"We will continue our oversight which will result in more sales bans when the ruling becomes final," said Martin Burman at the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket - MPA) .
The court has now rejected the appeal and the MPA hopes that the decision will allow for greater control of the market and provide the legal tools for regulating sales.
"We have a good check on the major importers and will focus on imports. Municipalities are able to conduct oversight of sales in small shops," Burman said.
The agency hopes that the ban will lead to new safer products being launched on the market.
"Those sold today are neither proven, safe or effective. We believe that e-cigs are a great way to stop smoking but an approved product has to be developed first."
A randomized trial study by medical journal The Lancet
concluded that e-cigarettes were at least as effective as other methods when it came to quitting smoking , even when using non-nicotine e-cigs.
The devices are increasingly popular among those trying to quit smoking, and many tout e-cigs as a much safer alternative as they do not contain tobacco, a key carcinogenic ingredient in normal cigarettes.