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UKVIA Welcomes RCP Report

The UKVIA trade organisation has welcomed the Royal College of Physicians report on the role of vapes in smoking cessation

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) trade organisation has welcomed the Royal College of Physicians report on the role of vapes in smoking cessation. The trade body warns the Government not to consider banning flavours as would be going against the advice of one of the most eminent and respected medical bodies in the UK.


  • Challenges the government to come up with the evidence that supports the impact assessments of vaping restrictions relating to flavours, packaging and product displays
  • Applauds the RCP on its recommendations for promoting the relative low risk of vaping versus smoking; introducing a vape licensing scheme to combat youth vaping; enhancing advice on vapes in all healthcare settings; and giving regulators, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, greater powers to weed out rogue traders

The UK Vaping Industry Association has welcomed the vaping report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). It has applauded the medical body’s evidence-based balanced view on the need to deal with key challenges such as youth vaping and the environmental impact of the category, without undermining the role that e-cigarettes play in helping adult smokers quit their habits and ensuring former smokers turned vapers don’t relapse.

On the back of the report, E-cigarettes and Harm Reduction: An Evidence Review, the trade body urged government to take note of the RCP’s recommendations and its warning that “vaping underutilised by people who want to quit or reduce smoking represents a large, missed opportunity to reduce morbidity and premature mortality.”

It also challenged the government to come up with the evidence, as the RCP has done so in its report, to provide vaping impact assessments around restrictions on flavours, packaging and product presentation and retail displays.  In particular, the trade body warns the government that “if it reduces flavours significantly or bans them in future, it is doing so against the advice of one of the most respected and eminent medical bodies in the UK.” 

The UKVIA praised the RCP for its support on actions that it has been putting forward for a number of years including a vape licensing scheme; the need to deal with inappropriate flavour descriptors and packaging images which appeal to children; and a wider remit for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to tackle malpractice by vaping businesses at the product approval stage.

John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, said: “We are absolutely on the same page as the RCP in looking at doing everything to discourage young people and never smokers from taking up vapes and focussing on ensuring as many of the 6.4 million smokers that remain in the UK make quit attempts using vape devices.

“There are two sides to our industry – the legitimate one (the majority) and the illegal one (the minority). The former wants to do what vaping was intended for originally – to support smokers to give up their habits and drastically reduce the exposure to the harm associated with conventional cigarettes by taking up vapes which have been approved for sale in the UK by the regulators. I know that I speak for the good side of the industry in welcoming ongoing research that the RCP is recommending to ensure smokers and vapers feel reassured about the relative safety of the category versus smoking.”

The UKVIA warmly welcomed the RCP’s recommendations to:

  • include reduced risk messages on cigarette packs to focus on getting smokers to switch over to vapes;
  • ensure access to a variety of flavours to encourage uptake of e-cigarettes for smokers to quit;
  • ensure trained specialists are available in all healthcare settings to offer support for smoking cessation using vapes;
  • give the MHRA a wider remit in the product notification process, from random sampling of products for independent validation of content and emissions data, to checking that vape companies have registered with environmental agencies via producer compliance schemes;
  • focus vaping campaigns on those who are likely to experience the most benefits,  including smokers with mental disorders, the most socio-economic disadvantaged  and people living in social housing, thereby reducing smoking related health inequalities;
  • look at trends in smoking to vaping transitions to inform local tobacco control;
  • sufficiently resource Trading Standards to effectively enforce e-cigarette sale legislation and reduce underage sales;
  • introduce a retail licensing scheme to reduce access to e-cigarettes amongst young people.

Dunne concluded: “It is clear that the RCP sees a major public health prize in vaping and it’s up to the industry, regulators, enforcement bodies and policy makers to ensure that this is fully realised; and that e-cigarettes do what they do best and help the remaining smokers in the UK give their habits up in the coming years and enable the government to achieve its smoke free ambition.

“Whilst we support the majority of the RCP’s recommendations, it’s also fair to say that there are some points that we would like to clarify with the medical body. These include their views on product visibility, packaging, pricing and taxation to ensure that these do not become a barrier to take up amongst adult smokers by conflating smoking with vaping and making e-cigarette use unaffordable for the socio-economic disadvantaged.”

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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