Who says e-cigarettes are not regulated?

Compliance sign.

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.

Marketing 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

And that’s just the start of it! Katherine Devlin of ECITA put together this complete list of regulations which affect e-cigarettes in the UK:
  • 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.

11 thoughts on “Who says e-cigarettes are not regulated?”

  1. “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”

    From my point of view; I haven’t ‘SMOKED’ since 20/12/2011. After 28 years of smoking, I didn’t want to stop smoking but my girlfriend did want to try an e-cigarette. I said I try it with her and now I don’t want to smoke, all the time I have my e-cigarette.

    So, perhaps accidentally, the only reason I no longer smoke is because the e-cigarette caused me to quit. If it worked for me, I’m sure it can work for others.

  2. Well done, Tim, I’m really glad it worked for you.

    But regarding quit smoking claims, there are a few points to make:

    1. To sell a product with a claim that it can help you quit smoking, you need to have a medical licence. There have been suggestions that a speeded up medical licence could be awarded to e-cigarette companies in the UK but at present no e-cig companies have this.
    2. We also need trial data. There has been some research in New Zealand and Italy which is very positive, but at present there is no long term data about whether the e-cigarette can help people quit smoking – many smokers quit for a while and then take smoking back up again 6 months or a year later.
    3. Also, some people regard using e-cigs as switching to a safer form of smoking rather than quitting in an absolute sense.

  3. i have been smokeing for about forty years but after switching
    to the e-cigs i have not smoked for ten weeks now
    and feel a lot better health wise so a big thumbs up for the e-cig

  4. I personally wouldn’t want e-cigarettes to be marketed as a smoking cessation device, that would make it a sort of ‘medication’. I like to think of them as a pleasurable and fun thing, another way to enjoy smoking.
    Anyone would think ‘what’s all the fuss about’ they’re harmless and they don’t smell, so no one will be offended. And like all consumer products, they’re regulated and tested for safety.
    But of course, the losers in this are Big Pharma, who fund ASH et al, so of course they want you to use their rubbish patches, gum and inhalers.
    Of course what really annoys them – see the last 2 paragraphs of the Daily Mail article:
    ‘Even more concerning, however, is that e-cigarettes also look like real cigarettes and are able to be used in many places where smoking is banned.
    Tobacco is not a normal product – it kills half of its consumers if used as intended. As a society we have a responsibility to protect young people by moving away from giving the impression that smoking is a desirable thing to do.’
    There! I think that sums it up – says a lot about them, doesn’t it!

    Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2129550/Safety-fears-electronic-cigarettes-unclean-unregulated.html#ixzz1sEBy1fbr

  5. Hi James,
    I was looking at that article. I’ve read about Chantix before – it all reads like the proverbial ‘bad trip’ of the 60s! I tried the link to the original article by ASH but surprise, surprise!, it was no longer there. ASH have been banging on and on for years, the same old lies about secondhand smoke, made-up statistics and scare stories and stigmatising smokers, but this really show them up for the evil bullies they really are. I think the government should stop giving handouts to this so-called ‘charity’. Let them see how long they survive on donations.
    I read the ECITA blog, Response BMA briefing by Katherine Devlin. Excellent piece of work. Well written, very informative and interesting. I like that chart she used to ‘spell it out’ too. It’s amazing how so many people still don’t know the difference between an e-cigarette and a conventional tobacco cigarette!

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