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MHRA Responds to Squonking

Last week, we covered the story that Squonking may be under threat. Today, the MHRA clarifies their position.

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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in an exclusive interview with Planet Of The Vapes has clarified the position of squonk devices. The upshot, as can be seen below, is that Squonking IS under threat and that the squonk bottle is considered to be an illegally sized atomiser tank.

A spokesperson for the MHRA told Planet Of The Vapes: “The statement in the July newsletter is a response to industry and enforcement requests for clarification regarding a small number of products that had caused confusion in the retail market and promote a consistent interpretation of the legislation.

“It is our view that a squonk bottle that is sold for use as a component part of an e-cigarette product is a tank and therefore cannot be supplied if the capacity exceeds 2ml. Any refill containers supplied with a squonker must comply with the associated regulations.

A squonk bottle that is sold for use as a component part of an e-cigarette product is a tank” - MHRA

We review notified products in use, in the event that they do not meet the requirements of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 or differ in presentation from the information provided within a submitter notification. We have worked with submitters to ensure that products presented for retail sale are consistent with the information provided within their notifications and corrective action has been undertaken by certain businesses in order to retain the notification of their products.

Any submitter who fails to provide suitable evidence of corrective action in their product presentation will be subject to removal of their product from the published list of notified products and case outcomes will be provided to enforcement agencies as appropriate.

“We will continue to work closely with businesses and enforcement agencies to review notifications and provide support for submitters wishing to achieve compliance, submitters should contact us directly to address any concerns.”

Any submitter who fails to provide suitable evidence of corrective action in their product presentation will be subject to removal of their product [and referred to] enforcement agencies” - MHRA

Trade bodies informed us that the position provided by the MHRA now forms part of a consultation exercise with their members as they decide on what response to take. A spokesperson for the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said: “This is an issue that we’re currently discussing with our members.”

A spokesperson for the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) said: “The IBVTA understand that the MHRA are seeking to provide clarification to the guidance that the TRPR limits the size of the squonker bottle supplied as part of a kit (ie, including an atomizer) to 2ml.

The MHRA's opinion is that if the squonker bottle is removed and the manufacturer puts it on the UK market without the bottle, then it is likely to be within compliance and can be legally sold in the UK. The IBVTA is of the opinion that although this is an option for manufactures, it is something that we will raise when we meet with the MHRA to discuss this guidance note.

Ultimately, the responsibility of interpreting the law resides with the courts. However, you can be assured that the IBVTA's position has, and will continue to be, to fight for vapers having access to as wide a choice of products as possible on the UK market.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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