A NORTH West MEP has vowed he will continue to fight against the classification of e-cigarettes after an EU vote was passed to restrict them.

Chris Davies, who represents the region at the European Parliament, says e-cigarettes could ‘save millions of lives’ because of the reduced amount of carcinogens and second-hand smoke.

The product has proved popular in Bury, with stores including the Electronic Cigarette store in Ramsbottom and VIP Cigarettes in Radcliffe, expressing concern at the proposals.

A committee at the European Parliament voted in favour of restricting them as medicinal, which would reduce access in comparison to their current status as a general consumer product with no medicinal claims.

A vote will be made by the full European Parliament in the autumn and Mr Davies is calling on e-cigarettes to remain unregulated.

Mr Davies said: “In an ideal world no one would be addicted to nicotine but we don’t live in an ideal world and it is better to ‘vape’ than to smoke.

“E-cigs are a potential game changer in the fight against tobacco because smokers find them enjoyable to use.

“They can help people break their addiction in a way that conventional nicotine replacement therapies will never do.”

The NHS does not approve of the use of e-cigarettes but some have argued that there are health benefits because there is no tobacco in the product, providing a nicotine hit without much of the side effects produced by traditional cigarettes.