The IBVTA and Illegal Vapes

The sale of illegal vapes in Scotland, mainly disposable e-cigs, has spurred moves to restrict the advertising and promotion of electronic cigarettes. News stories covering the subject have frequently included false claims about what the rules are but the Independent British Vape Trade Association has offered clarification and supports swift action to enforce current legislation.

illegal vapeWhen faced with a similar problem last year, the Independent British Vape Trade Association said: “The IBVTA has consistently maintained that non-compliance should not be a competitive advantage for a small number of bad actors.”

All nicotine-containing electronic cigarette products have to be registered with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. By doing so, this guarantees the safety and quality of the products, ensuring that all juices have undergone extensive testing and making sure that they do not contain prohibited chemical compounds.

Disreputable stores have been importing non-registered products because the fake devices are cheaper or contain more than the legal concentration of nicotine which makes them more profitable or more appealing. Plus, stores that sell illegal products do not appear to care who they sell to.

Vitally, without having obtained Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorisation, it is impossible to know what nasties might be in the e-liquids.

Coverage frequently refers to the “puff limit” of these devices. It is important to note that there is no maximum number of puffs per device, and it is impossible to assess as everyone vapes differently.

The Law:

  • Max size of tank or pod = 2ml
  • Max concentration of nicotine = 20mg/ml (2%)
  • The device/liquid must have been registered with the MHRA
  • The packaging must display an expiry date
  • The packaging must display an ECID number and nicotine warnings

The IBVTA says that there is still good news: “There is a wide range of vaping devices on the UK market, and this choice is good for consumers. Every smoker should be able to find a device and liquid combination that will be the key to them taking their important first steps to becoming smoke free, and to go on to stay smoke free.”

Beyond the safety aspect of buying and using illegal vapes, the sale of illicit products is causing a wider problem. The Scottish Government has launched a consultation with a view to changing the regulations.

The IBVTA notes: “The consultation is based on the premise that there are serious doubts over the safety of vaping. However, after more than a decade of research, which includes long term studies on vapers, we now know that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, carries just 0.5% of the risk of cancer, and is less addictive than cigarettes.”

As a proud member of the Independent British Vape Trade Association, we will be supporting its ongoing efforts “to strive for a level playing field on which reputable businesses who abide by UK regulations can successfully operate.”

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