Yet another story has come out recently saying that the electronic cigarette industry who is not regulated.
The story was not all bad, with Prof John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, stating that:
Electronic cigarettes have the potential to save thousands of lives…
However, it also claimed that e-cigarettes are not regulated.
Source: Daily Mail
For those of us who:
- comply with all existing regulations (yes, e-cigarettes ARE regulated)
- voluntarily adhere to additional regulation via our industry body, ECITA – an Industry Standard of Excellence described by one UK Trading Standard’s officer as “…a Code any industry would be proud to have.”
this is very frustrating!
So as a reply, I thought I’d outline some of the regulations we comply with.
E-Liquid Batch Testing
Our e-liquid is batch tested in UK government laboratories. This involves two separate tests: one organised by ECITA and one which we organise ourselves. The eliquid is tested both for nicotine strength and for the existence of impurities such as diethylene glycol.
In addition, our eliquid undergoes tests for nicotine strength. We are expanding this area of testing, and in future will be using a GCMS machine to perform the same advanced tests conducted by external laboratories.
Twice Yearly Audit
Twice a year, ECITA make the trip down to our offices as part of their bi-annual audit to ensure full compliance. We have also had meetings, in our office, with the National Measurements Office and Trading Standards to ensure that our products are in full compliance.
As with other e-cigarette companies, we are required to comply with UK marketing regulations on e-cigarettes. This includes:
- avoiding claims that the e-cigarette is a quit smoking device
- avoiding claims that the e-cigarette is healthy in an absolute sense (although we can point out it is vastly safer than cigarettes)
Even More Regulation
- General Product Safety Regulations 2005, as amended by CHIP4, CLP and REACH in 2009.
- Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations (CHIP) 2009
- Weights & Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006
- Plugs and Socket (Safety) Regulations 1994
- The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006 (WEEE)
- The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008
- The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009
- Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000
- Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations (1998)
- Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (2008)
- Advertising Standards Agency Code, the Enterprise Act (2002), and the Unfair Trading Regulations (2008)
Source: ECITA Blog
Unfortunately, there are some e-cigarette companies that:
- do not comply with regulations
- do not adhere to our industry regulations
- sell batteries containing lead and mercury
- do not properly test the e-liquid they sell
- base themselves outside the UK to avoid UK regulations
- make unsubstantiated claims
In the search of a quick profit, they endanger not just the whole industry. And by endangering the industry, they endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands of smokers who have switched to a form of nicotine usage which experts estimate is in the region 0f 99% safer than smoking.
Ultimately, the electronic cigarette industry needs to demonstrate that it is regulated, and that it has the ability to self-regulate. And when compulsory regulation is proposed, we can demonstrate that we have an excellent and rigourous existing framework of regulation which we already comply with.