The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is calling for tougher measures to try to stop the illegal sales of certain disposable vaping devices which contain more than twice the permitted amount of nicotine in them.
According to the UKVIA, the disposable vape sector has enjoyed a significant revival in the last couple of years. However, an investigation by the trade body identified that illegal products are re-entering the UK market thanks to some distributors who are flouting UK regulations and managing to get these products imported into the country and sell them onto traders and retailers; as well as a lack of proper scrutiny on major online marketplaces.
Disposable vapes are pre-filled with e-liquids and cost around £6 each, under UK regulations they should contain no more than 20mg/ml of nicotine, yet evidence collected by the UKVIA reveals that some listed as this amount contain higher concentrations of nicotine and some products are being openly sold with 50mg/ml strength. Furthermore, product packaging is not including warnings about the nicotine content, which is a legal requirement.
The UKVIA has been in discussions with the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which regulates vape products and Trading Standards, responsible for ensuring vape businesses are compliant with the legislation around the sale of vape devices and e-liquids, to address the situation.
The UKVIA is providing guidance on official distributors and disposable vape products to its members as well as examining the licensing of vape shops to fund enforcement. It’s also working with manufacturers of disposable vapes to ensure they are doing all that is possible to monitor and audit their distributors.
John Dunne, director general at the UKVIA, said: “We are calling upon regulators and the online marketplaces to robustly enforce current regulations and do much more in order to ‘clean up’ the disposable vapes market.
“Robust enforcement of the current regulations is the only answer and it’s needed now. We can provide support to the regulators and educate the industry on how to distinguish between what’s a compliant product or not; and we are in the process of doing this. However, we are not in a position to come down heavy on those breaking the law, that lies with the regulators.
“Our investigation reveals that illegal and counterfeit products are flooding into the market and consequently pose a potential health risk to customers. Inappropriately branded products are also being purposely marketed towards children.”