Regs Will Grate In Britain

Posted 4th May 2015 by Dave Cross
ECITA, the trade body for large electronic cigarette companies, has responded to recent research findings to illustrate how the impending implementation of Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Direct is set to impact the industry. The implications of the legislation are far reaching and many manufacturers already fear for the longevity of their businesses.

Following the release of two studies into smoking cessation through the use of electronic cigarettes by Hitchman et al and Brose et al, ECITA warn through their blog of the negative impact the TPD will have on successful quit rates. In addition, they predict that (unless serious consideration is given to how Article 20 is implemented) it will have a catastrophic effect on businesses.

Research has demonstrated that successfully using vaping to quit smoking is linked to the use of more advanced 2nd and 3rd Generation equipment. Such atomisers are not available or desirable with the 2mm maximum capacity stipulated in the TPD. ECITA add that in order to protect the tank from juice damage they are frequently made from glass and thereby not protected against breakage as Europe demands.

The long and short of it is that not a single atomiser currently available on the market meets the requirements of the Tobacco Products Directive, due to be implemented across 2016/17. The problem, ECITA note, is that manufacturers deadline to apply for a licence results in a design to market timescale of just six months.

According to commentary in Prague Post: “It would seem as though the British e-cigarette industry is heading towards a storm.” Not only does the impending legislation impact on future sales and employment but also the threat of them has been enough to drive away money for expansion, development and being able to prepare to meet the regulations. “Despite ever-growing popularity and demand, investment in vaping has all but dried up following the announcement of forthcoming regulations. Investors are understandably worried about backing an industry that may not be able to comply with new rules and have ceased to take the risk,” continues the feature.

ECITA conclude that as it stands the regulations will “favour those with the biggest budget – most probably handing what little remains to the tobacco industry. It’s hard to conceive of any reason why this is a good thing.”

Freshcig have invested £140,000 in their e-liquid facility, with another £70,000 planned to extend capacity further. Such investment levels are far beyond the reach of most popular British juice brands.

Not so for pharmaceutical giant Actavis with its $13billion turnover. Nicobrand, their Derry-based subsidiary is also gearing up to exploit the market once our favourite liquids have been removed from the competition.

They have been targeting the electronic cigarette industry and recently won the Queen's Award for Excellence due to sales of £1.85million. Nicobrand’s Mark McQuillan said: “The EU directive coming into force next year will help regulate the system and introduce more stringent safety standards.”

A further stipulation of the TPD refers to a ban on promotion, and the Advertising Standards Authority has continued to clamp down on ecig ads prior to its implementation. This week they banned a campaign for Mirage Cigarettes because FIVE viewers complained that the couple featuring in it glamorised smoking.

As reported in the Guardian: “Mirage Cigarettes said the ad did not show or make any reference to tobacco products, and pointed out that the products shown in the ad were larger than traditional cigarettes, as well as being metal.”

Quite where all of this leaves Jamie Lang and his £1,000 ecig is anybody’s guess.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker