The Blueprint document was developed by leading businesses in the British vaping market, who are members of the UKVIA(1). The organisation says it is a response to the Government’s consultation on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) which closes on 19th March(2).
Consumer group The New Nicotine Alliance has already issued a call(3) for vapers to engage with the government’s consultation process and respond to its questions(4).
The UKVIA says: “The review of the regulations represents a defining moment in the history of the vaping industry, one of the leading market disruptors in the 21st century responsible for a significant decline in smoking across the UK. It also presents the biggest opportunity yet for the British Government to create vaping regulation that supports its 2030 smoke free target and ensures the sector can make a bigger contribution to the nation’s public health and economy in the future.”
Part of a package of proposed measures, the UKVIA calls for a regulatory landscape that tackles misinformation on vaping products. The document quotes Professor Ann McNeill, lead author of Public Health England’s recent independent vaping in England update saying: “What is concerning is that smokers, particularly those from disadvantaged groups, incorrectly and increasingly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking. This is not true and means fewer smokers try vaping.”
The UKVIA says: “A huge reduction in health inequalities could be realised through collective efforts on reducing the harm of smoking and improving the perception of vaping.”
To achieve this, the document says the current situation, “provides greater opportunities to engage with smokers through the lifting of current restrictions which deter conventional cigarette users from making the switch to vaping.”
This, the UKVIA argues, could come through agreeing standardised health claims which would encourage smokers to switch where they would otherwise continue to smoke.
“The UKVIA believes that the Government must become even more active in driving largescale public health campaigns to tackle this critical category perception challenge. We also strongly believe that innovative structural reforms should be explored so that the correct information can reach smokers directly, in a range of different ways.”
The government may wish to go further, it adds, by changing the messages on tobacco packaging:
- “If you are a smoker, switching completely to vaping is a much less harmful option”
- “Switching completely from smoking to vaping will reduce harms to your health”
- “Completely replacing your cigarette with a vape will reduce harms in your health”
It continues: “The Government may wish to give further consideration to the role inserts inside packs of combustible tobacco products could play in encouraging smokers to switch from conventional cigarettes or highlighting the harm reduction benefits of vaping.”
Standing up for a responsible industry, the UKVIA, “has created a set of Packaging, Labelling and Flavour Names guidelines to set clear standards for e-liquid, flavour names and flavour descriptors on sale in the UK market. The document focuses on limiting references to youth culture, removing imagery and descriptors which may be misleading, linked to illegal or dangerous substances, or have unsubstantiated health claims.”
The UKVIA’s other proposals include:
- E-cigarette tank capacity should be increased to no more than 5ml
- No change to the 20mg/ml nicotine limit
- E-liquid bottles contain a maximum nicotine content of 200mg (for example, 60ml of 3mg/ml juice or 30ml of 6mg/ml)
- Packaging should not resemble food items
- The UK Vaping Industry Association - www.ukvia.co.uk
- Government Launches Consultation - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/politics-campaigns/2021-02-04_government-launches-consultation.html
- NNA Call To Action - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/politics-campaigns/2021-02-22_nna-call-to-action.html
- A consultation on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tobacco-and-related-products-legislation-introduced-between-2015-to-2016-reviewing-effectiveness/consultation-on-the-tobacco-and-related-products-regulations-2016-and-the-standardised-packaging-of-tobacco-products-regulations-2015