Our CEO Chris Allen has written about the need to act now on vape compliance following recent scrutiny around non-compliant products. The article appeared in The Grocer's latest Guide to Tobacco, Vaping & Accessories.
The vaping industry is under scrutiny following reports of non-compliant notified products, the seizure of illicit vapes, and increased illegal youth sales. The UK has a light-touch regulatory framework, but what’s needed is more action and enforcement, reports specialist scientific consultancy and contract research organization Broughton. “It is a critical time for the UK’s vape industry, which now has an opportunity to ensure there is no room in the market for manufacturers and retailers who break the rules,” says Broughton CEO Chris Allen. “If we don’t act immediately, regulations could be tightened significantly, and this could have severe consequences for the UK’s vaping industry. Amid the controversy, we must remember that vaping remains a powerful tool in preventing the death and disease caused by smoking.”
Illicit vs non-compliant
There are two key challenges when it comes to vape safety: illicit products and non-compliant ones. While illicit products have not been notified under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) and are completely illegal, non-compliant products have been notified but the actual products on sale are not in compliance with the TRPR requirements. To ensure a product has been notified under TRPR, distributors and retailers can search the MHRA’s notified products register. Those who sell non-compliant or illicit products, risk being raided and fined by Trading Standards. However, even responsible retailers who verify a product against the register may discover the item on-shelf doesn’t conform to its TRPR specifications.
Moving forwards together
“The best approach for the entire UK vape industry must be to collectively ensure current regulations are being adhered to and enforced,” adds Allen. “We need faster removal of non-compliant products, regular batchtesting of notified products to verify their compliance, and greater penalties for manufacturers and retailers who break the rules. No respectable retailer wants to be associated with potentially unsafe non-compliant or illicit vape products. Working with third-party certified testing laboratories can give manufacturers and retailers confidence in the products they sell, and ensure appropriate due diligence processes are in place to prevent non-compliant products from reaching the shelves.” Broughton offers a UK and EU Vape Compliance Package that reviews product labelling and packaging, nicotine strength and fill volume, and screens for banned ingredients. It generates a Certificate of Analysis that verifies the parameters assessed comply with UK or EU regulations and can also be used to demonstrate responsible product due diligence. “We must work together to ensure products are notified in line with TRPR regulations and compliant,” concludes Allen. “By doing so, we can avoid a consumer backlash that might see ex-smokers return to smoking and calls for stricter regulations. Anyone who believes in the UK’s smoke-free future must act now to clean up the sector before the power to do so is taken away from us.”
For more information on Broughton Group's Vape Compliance Package, visit https://www.broughton-group.com/uk-eu-vape-compliance