The Week in Vaping – Issue Two

Hello! And welcome to our second issue of The Week in Vaping, where we discuss all the latest news in the e-cigarette world. This past week has been quite a mixed one in the world of vaping, with the big news, of course, being the release of the Governments’ release of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) public consultation. We’ve also seen arguments and subsequent backing down from studies and more struggles in Malaysia. Read on to find out more.

TPD News

At this point we should all be aware of the TPD, the little piece of European legislation which has put e-cigarettes into the same category as tobacco products and lays down a variety of regulations which could forever change the vaping landscape.

The legislation is coming into force in May of this year, which all of a sudden seems a lot closer than it did a couple of weeks ago! Prior to this, the Government has performed an open consultation which has allowed members of the public, tobacco and e-cigarette businesses, and public health bodies have their say on the various points. They have used this consultation to guide their implementation of the various regulations they will be required to put into place.

The majority of the consultation was focused on tobacco products, with a very specific portion dedicated to the e-cigarette aspects of the legislation. This threw up some very interesting, and occasionally unexpected, points. The highlights are:

  • The cost for registering products will be significantly lower than initial estimates, with the MHRA proposing a charge of £220 for a new notification, £110 for a modification and an annual service charge of £60. When you consider that each strength of liquid is classed as an individual product and the original estimate was around £5000 for a new notification, which would have worked out at £15,000 for one liquid in three strengths of nicotine that is some saving!
  • Cross-border distance sales will not be banned like first thought, though companies will need to show that they use electronic age verification if they wish to sell abroad.
  • Companies will have until May 2017 to sell non-compliant stock build up.
  • Zero nicotine devices will not be covered in the regulations.

Overall this is not as bad as initially expected by the industry, with businesses reacting to the news in a slightly more positive fashion than previously.

If you’d like to know more, you can read the full consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/489981/TPD_Cons_Gov_Response.pdf

Cell Culture Study Lead Scientist Backs Down

Readers of our previous issue will recall the piece from The Guardian dismissing claims of a paper which performed experiments on cell cultures concluding that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as cigarettes. Following this article, a number of others have come out and dismissed the media sensationalism and pointed out the flaws in their conclusions of the study.

This backlash has resulted in the lead scientist from the study distancing herself from these conclusions, stating that the study did in fact show that cigarettes caused a massive amount of damage to the cells compared to e-cigarettes.

Although these statements are nice to hear we can’t help but wonder if they’re a little too late. How many smokers who read those initial headlines and had their opinions on the safety of e-cigarettes coloured by them will have then been made aware of the correction? We’re guessing nowhere near as many as there should be…

And Finally:

  • United States congress has approved a bill which will require all e-liquid to have child proof packaging.
  • The struggle to keep vaping alive in Malaysia continues after being banned in numerous states following the Muslim council declaring it forbidden.
  • Teens in America are shunning smoking in favour of e-cigarettes in greater numbers than ever before, with smoking rates at an all-time low. The American Heart Association has released a contradictory statement declaring that while they are happy less teenagers are smoking, the numbers of them shunning it for a healthier alternative is a “disturbing trend”. Dr Michael Siegel, who spent 25 years in tobacco control has expressed his sadness at his former colleagues’ resistance to e-cigarettes.
  • Lawmakers in New Mexico are considering a 66% tax on e-cigarettes containing nicotine, in further bad news for our American cousins.

Thank you for reading this, we hope you enjoyed it. If you're aware of any big stories we've missed out on or have any suggestions for improvement let us know in the comments below

And remember to let us know your thoughts on these stories, we're always interested in hearing from you

See you next week!