What is the reaction of vaping retailers for the changes?
It’s a mixed reaction really.
I don’t believe that any retailer doesn’t welcome the standards which regard ingredients used, emissions testing and product safety.
However, restrictions on bottle sizes, tank capacity and e-liquid strength have caused a lot of unnecessary headaches – particularly with the switch over period where you have to strike a balance of keeping customers happy, whilst preparing for the inevitable change. None of these measures provide any additional level of safety, efficacy or convenience – they are arbitrary rules, with no real world benefit, and simply make it less convenient for a smoker to make the switch.
So we are in a strange middle ground where product standards will hopefully encourage more smokers to try vaping instead, but limitations on the products available (particularly nicotine strength) may make it harder for those smokers to successfully make the switch
One of the most controversial areas of the regulations are the restrictions on advertising.
In a country where we pride ourselves on our tobacco control stance and is actually championing the vaping movement publicly, it seems crazy to restrict smokers from access to information which will potentially have huge benefits for them, their family and of course the NHS.
What are the ways that the industry is adapting to these changes?
E-liquid bottles have already changed over to the 10ml limit and are no longer being produced in strengths higher than 20mg/ml, tanks have reduced to a 2ml capacity, and retailers are busy selling off the last of their non-compliant stock before the deadline of May 19th.
Testing has already been carried out and product submissions made to the EU portal.
Basically the industry is complying as quickly as it can.
Our concern is simply to be able to consistently provide quality products to vapers throughout the transition and beyond.
However as much as we will work with the regulations, behind the scenes we are still doing everything we can to ensure that the UK is able to revise the regulations as soon as possible (due to brexit and so on) and maintain its position as the leading global voice in the vape debate.
If we lead by example other countries will follow.
It’s already happening thanks to the excellent reports by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK.
We are looking at revising the limits on bottle size, tank capacity, nicotine strength and advertising rules as well as tightening up standards for testing, materials and ingredients used, and creating standardised methodologies and best practices which can become industry standards.
The UK is looking to mature the industry and develop the sector to its fullest potential. We hope that one day tobacco cigarettes will be a thing of the past.
What is the vaping industry doing about this?
We’re limited in what we can do and retain compliant status, but many manufacturers have already started the ball rolling with multipacks of e-liquids so that the customers can still buy the same volume of liquid as before, it’s just in several smaller bottles now.
Trade associations such as the UKVIA are lobbying for a review of the regulations which Brexit gives us the opportunity to revisit.
And of course we are all continually looking to improve products and make them more effective so that things like the nicotine strength limit can be countered with a more efficient device etc.
Post time: May-27-2017