IBVTA Campaigns For Us
Vapekit is a proud member of the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA). In this article we will explore what the IBVTA does and how that goes towards ensuring better business practices and ensuring the future for vaping. We also look at the organisation’s involvement at parliament and how it influences legislation for tobacco harm reduction products like ecigs.
The IBVTA says it, “is not just an office; it is our members and belongs to our members.” Currently, there are seventy-five listed business members and three associates. Belonging to a professional trade body means that businesses can share best practice and have a voice when laws are being constructed. This means customers are getting the best service and know that Vapekit is committed to the highest standards.
The trade body supports vendors by supporting them to conform to British legislation set down by Parliament. Laws are reviewed and, now that we have left Europe, the government is conducting a consultation process to see how we can tweak legislation to further reduce the rates of smoking.
The IBVTA has been advocating for the industry for many years. It was swift to respond when Public Health Wales released a misleading position statement in 2017. It pointed out the shortcoming in the evidence they used to stoke fear over teen use and countered an attack on flavours by saying: “In research carried out by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos and others, vapers stated the availability of flavours was ‘very important’ in their effort to reduce or quit smoking. The research also found that the majority of vapers would find vaping ‘less enjoyable’ or ‘boring’ if flavours were restricted.” [link]
Considering there are those who would like to see harsh restrictions placed on vaping such as the removal of most flavours and the imposition of plain packs, the IBVTA conducts vital work with politicians to explain the evidence surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes.
It has addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping, keeps in regular contact with the Health Secretary [link], and when it looked as though The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was going to ban squonking devices, said: “Ultimately, the responsibility of interpreting the law resides with the courts. However, you can be assured that the IBVTA’s position has, and will continue to be, to fight for vapers having access to as wide a choice of products as possible on the UK market.” Squonk devices remain on sale thanks to the intervention.
An example of the representation work the IBVTA does can be seen in this linked video when ex-Chair of the IBVTA’s Fraser Cropper presented to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee [link].
The organisation has also been effective at persuading politicians by coordinating things like letter writing campaigns to MPs [link].
As we move into the post-Brexit world, the IBVTA’s influence will be essential in getting Parliament to reconsider the 20mg/ml limit placed on nicotine content and the restrictive 2ml tank capacity. The consultation process for the Tobacco and related products legislation is underway and individual vapers can voice their opinions too [link]. If you are interested in taking part, consumer group We Vape have produced a guide to assist you [link].
Of course, no amount of lobbying can have any impact if the reputation of the vape industry is soured which is why the IBVTA strives to ensure its members are able to operate professionally. It has issued guidance on everything from battery stewardship [link] to being able to ensure sales are only made to adults [link].
Most of you will probably have noticed that PayPal has recently taken the decision to begin removing the accounts of vendors selling e-cig products. The IBVTA was swift to offer guidance to vendors on how to set up alternative payment systems – after all, online sales can’t be made without a checkout process. It also forged a partnership with WorldNet Payments so that deliveries wouldn’t be inconvenienced.
Now you can see that although you won’t notice the IBVTA’s influence in your regular purchases, the work it does in the background contributes to all of us being able to remain smoke-free. You can read more about the IBVTA here.