The electronic cigarette industry has been busy finalizing its responses to the MHRA.
Kate from Vapers’ Net posted her response on VapersNet Response (which has since been removed), and we have published our response on the research section of our website here: MHRA Response.
This hasn’t been an individual enterprise: in addition to advice from scientists, we have had Kate’s feedback, advice from NJOY and also a huge amount of input from Katherine Devlin.
In our response we outline our objections to the proposal.
- Electronic cigarettes, according to the scientists and tests we refer to, are a safer alternative to cigarettes and therefore access should not be restricted.
- The planned two weeks allowed for the licensing of the device as a medicine (usually two years) is insufficient.
- If electronic cigarettes are labelled a medicine they will become less attractive to smokers.
- Regulating e-cigarettes as a medicine while continuing to allow tobacco to be sold as a recreational product is anti-competitive.
- The MHRA’s argument that nicotine should be regulated is based on the fact that it affects our metabolism. This would eventually lead to coffee and alcohol also being regulated as a medicine.
- The MHRA has a conflict of interest: according to a Parliamentary Select Committee, the MHRA has a close and unhealthy relationship with the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the nicotine cessation aids that are both ineffective (5% success rate at one year) and are threatened by the more satisfying electronic cigarette.
- The MHRA’s stance that regulation (by the MHRA) is required is based on flawed evidence and analysis.
- We also criticise the MHRA’s decision to withhold information despite freedom of information requests.
We also emphasise that we support responsible regulation, but that this should be carried out by Trading Standards.