On the Electronic Cigarette Forum Rolygate has given a good summary of the situation with electronic cigarette regulation so far.
He argues that there is no need for additional regulation. I agree, as Trading Standards is doing a perfectly good job with companies that are based in the UK. Some companies get round regulations by importing from outside the UK, and these will only increase if regulation becomes more complex/requires expensive medical licensing.
Rolygate also highlights the role of the RPC, a regulatory policy committee which slammed the MHRA’s attempt to regulate electronic cigarettes but which appears to be a rather toothless organisation, and calls for an end to the current situation (where we don’t know what is happening).
Personally I’d be happy for the current ‘stalemate’ position to continue forever.
Unfortunately, I have heard that regulation is coming. I don’t know whether it will be positive or negative, but I have heard that the authorities do not want the device to disapear completely.
In addition, there has been intense interest from pharmaceutical companies (yes, those people who have been quietly funding the anti-ecig campaign!) in the electronic cigarette recently. We were really suprised recently to receive a considerable order from Johnson and Johnson employee. When we queried the order, the employee told us:
‘I want to see what people like about them.’
We have also received queries from several large department chains.
We believe these companies have an idea about where regulation is going. Pharmaceutical companies in particular have close ties with the MHRA, to the extent to which they even pay some of the MHRA’s employees. It’s likely that this regulation (medical license required?) will be to their liking.
Like it or not, regulation is coming.