“It is well documented that prohibition always leads to a rise in criminal activity,” says Vapeclub.
“Unfortunately, we already have a thriving black market for illegal vape products in the UK. The media has been awash with stories about over-capacity products which have not been notified with the MHRA and are devoid of any safety testing. They are being found by Trading Standards, the police, and the UK border force – but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“You can find these illegal products on every high street, in every town and city up and down the nation. And they aren’t even hidden under the counter, they are in plain view on the shelves.
“If we can’t tackle the current problem, how are we going to tackle it when it is pushed underground? It should come as no surprise that anyone willing to sell such illegal products will also be prepared to sell to underage children. It will actually make the situation much, much worse.”
Vapeclub argues that until the UK has reached a position where it can impose the current regulations with a greater level of enforcement, “any additional restrictions will simply push more and more business into the hands of organised crime.”
By legitimising the larger 10ml devices POTV covered in yesterday’s article, Vapeclub believes the UK would remove demand for the illegal ones.
“We must be honest, the reason the larger devices are so prevalent is because the consumer wants them. Adult smokers in the UK looking to switch to vaping want bigger devices. If they go through the regulatory process and we can be sure of their safety, why shouldn’t they be allowed? It’s better for the environment, it’s better for the consumer’s pocket, and importantly, it is better for achieving Smokefree 2030.”
Then there is the question of product safety.
“Does a higher e-liquid capacity constitute a safety concern? It’s a fair question to ask.
I’m sure you will have seen a recent story in the media regarding a popular brand of disposable vape being overfilled. It was discovered that some of their products contained 3.2ml of e-liquid rather than the UK limit of 2ml,” says Vapeclub.
“It is shocking that such a big brand has placed non-compliant products on the market, but the MHRA has made it very clear that it is a regulatory issue and NOT a safety issue. This is precisely why there has not been a consumer recall of the product – they pose the user no danger.
“Provided the products have been through the correct regulatory process and are notified with the MHRA, then we can be sure that the product is safe for consumers.”
Finally, Vapeclub points out a further flaw in current legislation: Retailers selling nicotine-free disposables to teens are not breaking the law.
“Unfortunately, the wording of the UK regulations has left a massive loophole, and we just don’t know how much of an impact it is having. The age restrictions for vaping products are not covered in the TRPR but are in fact part of the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations of 2015.
“They ONLY cover products that contain nicotine or are capable of containing nicotine. However, due to the nature of a disposable device being a closed unit, a non-nicotine-containing disposable is not capable of containing nicotine e-liquid as it cannot be refilled. “Therefore, there is currently no age restriction for 0mg/ml disposable products – which is outrageous, and shows that the regulations are not fit for purpose.”
Vapeclub says it and “the vast majority of vape specialists” all treat disposable products equally and enforce an over-18 policy on the sale of non-nicotine-containing disposables.
The company says that this aspect of the law needs to be changed as soon as possible.
“And that’s coming from the vape industry! Honestly, we are not tobacco stooges, we do not want your children to start vaping and get hooked on nicotine, we just want to help as many adult smokers as possible to kick the habit. Please work with us not against us,” concludes Vapeclub.
- Vapeclub – https://www.vapeclub.co.uk/