Vaping Regulations After Brexit
As the UK has now left the European Union, what new regulations could be implemented on vaping products?
We are aware that some of our customers have legitimate concerns about what these changes may be in relation to their vaping experience.
These concerns include:
- Whether young adults under the age of 18 may start vaping
- Vaping products may not be as safe because in non EU countries, such as America, manufacturers do not have to adhere to strict EU guidelines. This explains why vaping is generally more accepted in the UK compared to the States.
We want to shed light on what possible developments may occur as a result of Britain leaving the EU.
The UK is the second largest market for vaping products. Market Research Euromonitor found that globally, the number of adults vaping jumped up from 7 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018, this amount is expected to rise to 55 million by 2021. A sizeable portion of these individuals will be British given the popularity of Vaping within the UK.
Therefore, we predict that:
Vaping manufacturers will still have an economic incentive to provide safe and high-quality products for British consumers after Brexit.
The British vaping industry adheres to The Tobacco & Related Products Regulations (TRPR). The UK regulator is the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which ensures the EU legislation guidelines set by The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) are met.
The MHRA are responsible for making rules concerning the sale, manufacturing and presentation of tobacco and tobacco related products.
For vaping, this means that the vape tank size, amount of E-Liquid, nicotine strength levels and restrictions on advertising have to be respected.
As Britain has left the EU, these regulations will be subjected to review by the MHRA and the Department of Health and Social Care.
This will create an opportunity for the Government to listen and implement advice given by vape advocacy groups and trade bodies.
They want the Government to:
- Lift restrictions on bottle and tank sizes as well as nicotine strength options.
- Allow them only to comply with guidelines set by the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP).
- Produce appropriate promotional content which makes vaping more appealing to smokers looking to quit.
- Only have nicotine warning labels placed on products which contain nicotine in them.
At the moment there is a private members bill working it's way through the House of Commons; Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill for 2019 -2021
Therefore we predict that:
Vaping manufactures may be granted access to advertise their products across a wide range of platforms.
Warning labels on packaging may vary.
The design of vape devices, components and E-Liquid bottles may change.
The MHRA will continue to do their part to ensure that safety regulations are placed on vaping products while advocacy groups and trade bodies will play a role in discarding arbitrary restrictions.
Health related matters
The Tobacco control plan for England set the following objects by 2022:
- To lower the percentage of smoking adults from 15.5% to 12% (preferably less)
- To reduce the amount of 15 year olds smoking regularly
- To reduce the smoking prevalence in low income areas
- To reduce the amount of pregnant women smoking from 10.5 to 6%
This plan did also suggest that a move towards using larger bottles would be preferred instead of using the 10ml bottles.
Currently this plan seems to be effective as there has been a favourable decline in the adult smoking rate in England since it was implemented in 2017.
Other reputable health organisations such as the NHS and Public Health England are also committed to accomplishing a smoke-free society with an adult prevalence of 5% or less by 2030.
Currently, the NHS, PHE, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, all agree that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and therefore support a smokers decision to switch to vaping as a viable alternative.
While they all support vaping, they urge non-smokers not to take up the activity.
They also do not recommend vaping for pregnant women.
Therefore, we predict that:
Due to the support from Reputable Health Bodies coupled with a Government committed to getting people to quit smoking, there may be advertising and informative data distributed on vaping to help make sure that stopping smoking objectives are met.
Products may become more accessible in an attempt to bridge inequality gaps
Tough regulation will still be in place to ensure minors are not able to purchase tobacco related products.
10ml E-liquid bottles may be replaced.
A harmless vaping product may be created for pregnant women to meet with the objectives set by the Tobacco control plan.
Unlike the USA, the UK has the NHS which motivates the Government to take care of the health of their citizens, thus, they are unlikely to support products which may cause harm and could potentially lead to a financial burden and possible public backlash.
Please let us know what your thoughts on Post-Brexit Vaping are in the comment section below.
I agree with the comment about the hypocrisy about Nicorette products being treated differently to e-cigs. There is no danger of secondary health problem/ passive
smoking with any of those products. I think it’s ridiculous that vapours are treated the same as tobacco smoking, I would have thought that vaping should be applauded as a much safer alternative to tobacco smoking
I have been vaping since 2012, and because I still use a 7 year old 5ml Nautilus, I would like to see a change to this particular element of TPD! But…
Change is highly unlikely in the short to medium term (1-5 years).
Government will resist access to “more” of a highly addictive stimulant (nicotine) and if anything we are likely to see more Draconian measures if there is a change in government. So you can forget larger tanks, larger bottles, higher % nicotine etc.. None of these things would be viewed as adding to the likelihood of smokers switching to vaping.
The only hope for such changes is if it forms part of some obscure element of a trade deal with the USA; but given Biden’s views on the Northern Ireland Protocol and the length of negotiations for such a trade deal, I wont be holding my breath.
I also expect vaping to face a blanket ban in enclosed public spaces in the next couple of years. So we will be facing more, not less, regulation in the short to medium term. The “second-hand smoking” argument applies, and the lobby is growing.
This article seems like a wish list or manifesto for the “trade” and the cloud chasers rather than a realistic appraisal of what the future holds for changes to vaping law.
When you have the like of “Nicorette” advertising, it seems a huge double standard that vaping isn’t allowed the same consideration. As for tank sizes, that would definitely be a big boost to vapours if they increased the size, no more carrying around bottles for top ups (not that it’s a problem with the current lockdown).
As various health agencies have stated they would prefer people vaped than to smoke, it makes sense to advertise what safe vaping options are available to people, not just the old school quitting mechanisms of patches/gum etc.
Common sense prevails!
Larger tanks would be brill