upcoming UK ban

As Aspire are an American based company, will I still be able to buy Aspire tanks etc in the UK? The reason I ask, is that I've just learned of the plans in the UK to ban certain e-cig related products, refillable equipment etc, in May 2016.

Some clarification will be welcome!
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  • 32 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • So naive ... Never heard of the EFVI (European Free Vaping Initiative) ?
    In all Europe Union member states, not even 200.000 signatures were harvested in one full year, when 1 million were needed to try something.
    Most of the vapers don't even know about the TPD, don't even care or worse, rely on Big Tobacco for their vape !
    pia
  • @Cegoca lol :)

    Much as I don't commit to any summary - a lot of elements are open to interpretation and need to be considered as a whole - my early skimming of the section regarding the TPD makes me think there are some sensible questions being asked...
    Their summary highlights that the only applicant for a MHRA licensing is British American Tobacco and that this "suggests that the process is inadvertently favouring larger manufacturers including the tobacco industry, which is likely to inhibit innovation in the prescription market. "

    They acknowledge that the current regulations appear to be working in general:
    "As detailed elsewhere in the report, the information we present
    does not indicate widespread problems as a result of EC. Hence, the current
    regulatory structure appears broadly to have worked well although protecting non smoking children and ensuring the products on the market are as safe and effective
    as possible are clearly important goals. New regulations currently planned should
    be implemented to maximise the benefits of EC whilst minimising these risks."

    This is a very positive point in my opinion - they are highlighting the fact that there isn't a serious problem that needs to be addressed through stricter control of the market.

    Another straight quote: "An assessment of the impact of the TPD regulations on the UK EC market will be integral to its implementation. This should include the degree to which the availability of safe and effective products might be restricted. "

    This report cites evidence from ASH which I've linked to previously - I wont repeat in any detail, but this does debunk some of the assertions made in support of further restriction.
    "The ASH survey indicates that about 60% of current EC users are current smokers, and about 40% are ex-smokers. The proportion of EC users among never smokers remains negligible. "

    There is a great section on the gateway hypothesis (from page 37 - I wont copy and paste it all here) - the idea of a gateway is questioned: "Although the concept of the gateway theory is often treated as a straightforward scientific theory, its emergence is rather more complicated. In effect, it is a hybrid of popular, academic and media accounts – a construct retroactively assembled rather than one initially articulated as a coherent theory"
    This continues as far as: "We strongly suggest that use of the gateway terminology be abandoned until it is clear how the theory can be tested in this field. Nevertheless, the use of EC and smoking requires careful surveillance in young people. The preferred option is that young people do not use EC but it would be preferable for a young person to use an EC instead of smoking, given the known relative risks of the EC and smoking cigarettes"

    If you're interested there is much more information on this topic complete with sources. The summary is as follows:
    "Since EC were introduced to the market, smoking prevalence among adults and youth has declined. Hence there is no evidence to date that EC are renormalising smoking, instead it’s possible that their presence has contributed to further declines in smoking, or denormalisation of smoking. The gateway theory is ill defined and we suggest its use be abandoned until it is clear how it can be tested in this field. Whilst never smokers are experimenting with EC, the vast majority of youth who regularly use EC are smokers. Regular EC use in youth is rare."

    There are some interesting pieces of information on demographics - but these may or may not be representative beyond the UK - I'll leave you to go through that information yourself if interested...
    One key summary point from that section:
    "EC should not routinely be treated in the same way as smoking. It is not appropriate to prohibit EC use in health trusts and prisons as part of smokefree policies unless there is a strong rationale to do so."

    Lots of studies, references and limitations are discussed - but there's just too much to adequately summarise - if you're still with me at this point then its worth reading and digesting this for yourself. I may well have another attempt to draw out some summaries from these later sections another time - it seems pretty reasonable based on my initial skim read.

    A summary of the "Harm Perceptions" section lists the following:
    "Although the majority of adults and youth still correctly perceive EC to be less harmful
    than tobacco cigarettes, there has been an overall shift towards the inaccurate perception of EC being at least as harmful as cigarettes over the last year, for both groups. Intriguingly, there is also some evidence that people believe EC to be less harmful than medicinal nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). "

    The following policy implications are highlighted (and seem eminently sensible to me):
    "Clear and accurate information on relative harm of nicotine, EC and tobacco cigarettes is needed urgently (see also Chapter 10).
    Research is needed to explore how health perceptions of EC are developed, in relation to tobacco cigarettes and NRT, and how they can be influenced. "


    The nicotine toxicity section is particularly interesting and completely contradicts many anti-vaping sources. See section 9 from page 63 if interested.

    The toxicity of nicotine is questioned as are the number of reported cases of poisoning.

    The end of this section summarises the following:
    "General labelling of the strength of e-liquids, along the lines used for example indicating coffee strength, provides sufficient guidance to consumers.
    Regulatory interventions should ensure optimal product safety but make sure EC are not regulated more strictly than cigarettes and can continue to evolve and improve their competitiveness against cigarettes. "


    Many of the "safety concerns" are addressed - I'll list a couple of the summary points only (each point debunks a different negative assertion):
    "There is no indication that EC users are exposed to dangerous levels of aldehydes."
    "The mice model has little relevance for estimating human risk and it does not raise any
    new safety concerns."


    Policy implications of this section:

    "There is a need to publicise the current best estimate that using EC is around 95% safer than smoking.
    Encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to EC could be adopted as one of the key strategies to reduce smoking related disease and death. "


    I'd recommend having a read (if only a skim read) of the full document - many of the assertions that I've seen that seem to take an "anti-vaping" stance are addressed - and I think they are addressed well.
    This is a well referenced report with a wide range of sources that initially strikes me as very positive.

    @cegoca maybe you'd like to check up on some of their references? ;)
    Cegoca
  • edited August 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    The following has been sent to legislators:


    August 19, 2015 PHE (Public Health England) released “E-cigarettes: an evidence update.” The UK gpvenment website states “This review explains the relative risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, in terms of harm reduction when compared with cigarettes and as an aid to quitting.” It concludes “E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes. When supported by a smoking cessation service, they help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.

    I ask that (insert name of governing body here) re-evaluate their stance on E-cigarettes, based on the results detailed in this, the largest study on the subject to date. The following executive summary of this report has been prepared for your consideration. This summary consists soley of direct quotes from the full document found here.

    Executive Summary: E-cigarettes: an evidence update

    As detailed elsewhere in the report, the information we present does not indicate widespread problems as a result of EC. New regulations currently planned should be implemented to maximise the benefits of EC whilst minimising these risks.

    The ASH survey indicates that about 60% of current EC users are current smokers, and about 40% are ex-smokers. The proportion of EC users among never smokers remains negligible.

    Although the concept of the gateway theory is often treated as a straightforward scientific theory, its emergence is rather more complicated. In effect, it is a hybrid of popular, academic and media accounts – a construct retroactively assembled rather than one initially articulated as a coherent theory.

    Since EC were introduced to the market, smoking prevalence among adults and youth has declined. Hence there is no evidence to date that EC are renormalising smoking, instead it’s possible that their presence has contributed to further declines in smoking, or denormalisation of smoking. The gateway theory is ill defined and we suggest its use be abandoned until it is clear how it can be tested in this field. Whilst never smokers are experimenting with EC, the vast majority of youth who regularly use EC are smokers. Regular EC use in youth is rare.

    EC should not routinely be treated in the same way as smoking. It is not appropriate to prohibit EC use in health trusts and prisons as part of smokefree policies unless there is a strong rationale to do so.

    Although the majority of adults and youth still correctly perceive EC to be less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, there has been an overall shift towards the inaccurate perception of EC being at least as harmful as cigarettes over the last year, for both groups. Intriguingly, there is also some evidence that people believe EC to be less harmful than medicinal nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

    Regulatory interventions should ensure optimal product safety but make sure EC are not regulated more strictly than cigarettes and can continue to evolve and improve their competitiveness against cigarettes.

    There is no indication that EC users are exposed to dangerous levels of aldehydes." "The mice model has little relevance for estimating human risk and it does not raise any new safety concerns.

    Encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to EC could be adopted as one of the key strategies to reduce smoking related disease and death.

    There is a need to publicise the current best estimate that using EC is around 95% safer than smoking.


    Viruk
  • They are trying to ban them everywhere. I live in Washington state and they are trying ban all vaping products. Which really sucks because I don't want to go back to smoking.
  • @bloodguard I'm not sure if this is as current as your information, but this is a good article from early June http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33025872
    This move in Wales was widely criticised...

    This covers that side of things reasonably well: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11661984/The-Welsh-ban-on-vaping-indoors-makes-no-sense.html

    There is also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33056858

    And finally (for now) a much more pro-vaping article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/13/health-bosses-promote-e-cigarettes-harmful-tobacco-smoking-experts

    There have been many claims that vaping is a gateway to smoking - but the evidence doesn't appear to back that at all. It may be necessary to write to your MP about the issue, but I don't think they will have an outright ban pushed through without a lot of people fighting it - including quite a few medical experts...

    If you have more current information or any sources of information please post them so we can have a read of those.
    Most of the information I found regarding action to be taken in 2016 was from a couple of years ago and seems somewhat out of date. I'm not saying its been dropped, but I can't find much more current information about action in the UK with the exception of the recent ban in public places in Wales
  • edited August 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    No-one heard of the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) that was dictated by Big Tobacco and voted by the EU in April 2014 ?
    This will end the vape as we actually know it, returning back 3 years ago, with products that will be made by Tobacco Companies ...
    This TPD will have to be applied in May 2016 the latest (!) by all EU member countries (UK, France, Belgium, Italy etc ... ).
    Application testing have already started in the Netherlands (and Denmark ?).

    I quote from here : article20legalchallenge.com/news/tobacco-products-directive-201440eu-article-20-recap/
    I've put the craziest ones in bold

    The main points of the TPD in relation to e-cigarettes are as follows:

    1. E-cigarettes may be sold as licensed medical products, in which case they are not subject to the limitations imposed by the TPD.
    2. E-cigarettes and e-liquid not sold as medical products are considered to be tobacco products, and may be sold subject to TPD regulation.
    3. All products must be notified to the competent authority (DH) 6 months prior to being placed on the market. Products already on the market on 20th May 2016 must be notified within 6 months of that date. The notification procedure is complex and requires substantial testing and technical work for every product.
    4. E-liquid may only be sold in pre-filled cartridges containing 2ml or less, or dedicated refill containers containing 10ml or less.
    5. E-liquid may not exceed nicotine content of 20mg/ml.
    6. Only high purity ingredients that do not pose a risk to human health may be used in e-liquid.
    7. Consistent nicotine doses must be delivered in consistent operating conditions.
    8. E-cigarettes and refill containers must be child and tamper proof, protected against breakage and leakage, and when refillable there must be a mechanism that ensures leak free refilling.
    9. Information leaflets must be included with all e-cigarette and e-liquid products.
    10. Ingredients should be listed in descending order of weight, with a notification of nicotine delivery per dose.
    11. Promotion and advertising of e-cigarettes by print, radio, televisual or public event media is prohibited.
    12. Submission of comprehensive sales and marketing data is required


  • Unless ingredients for the DIY manufacture of e-liquid are not covered by items 4 and 5, this effectively stops the DIY crowd from making anything with nicotine in it for their own use. I don't see this as stopping the sale of VG, PG, and flavoring in any quantity you care to buy.

    I don't think there's a tank or rebuildable on the market that can meet item 8.

    Item 10 would require that a 'dose' be defined, perhaps 0.01ml. That's 100 puffs/ml. Some devices such as the Atlantis would deliver more 'doses per puff' than others such as the Nautilus.

  • Old_Salt said:

    Unless ingredients for the DIY manufacture of e-liquid are not covered by items 4 and 5, this effectively stops the DIY crowd from making anything with nicotine in it for their own use. I don't see this as stopping the sale of VG, PG, and flavoring in any quantity you care to buy.

    Please rephrase ...
    Old_Salt said:


    I don't think there's a tank or rebuildable on the market that can meet item 8.

    Actually, there isn't, that's why it will kill our vape !
    Old_Salt said:


    Item 10 would require that a 'dose' be defined, perhaps 0.01ml. That's 100 puffs/ml. Some devices such as the Atlantis would deliver more 'doses per puff' than others such as the Nautilus.

    As also point 7. their demands are by far exaggerated.

    Again, no need to argue, Big tobacco managed to soon change vaping to their standards, thus their future products, that will only give the envy to return to tobacco cigarettes.


  • @Cegoca If flavorless 50mg/ml or 100mg/ml liquid was defined as an ingredient rather than an e-liquid it could still be sold to the public, The the DIY crowd could still mix their own. I try to keep my liquid containing nicotine to less than 20% of my final volume.

    Point 7 is redundant. I read it as Nautilus 1 with a 1.8Ω coil must deliver the same dosage as Nautilus 2 with a 1.8Ω coil, with the liquids at the same temperature, using the same MOD, at the same settings, and a puff of equal duration.

    The degree of difference allowed should be the same as medical devices.
  • @Cegoca I wasn't sure if that was going through or if the challenge to it was making a difference.

    I agree that there are elements of the TPD that are absolutely ridiculous, maybe I need to get in touch with my MP :P

    some more reading:
    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=3026
    http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/news/2015/02/24/tobacco-lobbying-eu-directive/
    https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/blog/totally-wicked-vs-eus-tobacco-directive
  • Viruk said:

    maybe I need to get in touch with my MP :P

    And what's a MP ???
  • @Viruk I had a quick look at this situation, after finding out. It seems Totally Wicked (a British based company) are challenging it at the EU courts. However, the first hearing will not be until towards the end of this year, with the final hearing at around May 2016. Which will coincide with the introduction of the new regulation in the UK.
  • It seems like tobacco company BS, to me! Regulation in the market is fine, but introducing legislation that harms free will and innovation is another thing altogether.
  • Sorry I haven't replied sooner. I've been waiting for a notification of answers. None came! I can't understand it, because I was getting them before.
  • @Cegoca MP = Member of Parliament or MEP is Member of European Parliament - I think it might take some action from a large group of people to pressure them into looking at this again - if that's even possible at this stage X(

    Let's just hope that the Totally Wicked challenge goes well...

    It certainly seems that the majority of coverage of vaping is positive and well supported in the more recent press - I hope its not too little too late
  • @Viruk There are tens of thousands vapers in the EU. If they were organized enough to send each representative at the national an EU levels a few dozen or so letters, emails, and phone calls daily, you'd have a good chance. A new petition at each B&M shop monthly, each challenging a specific point in the Tobacco Products Directive would also help. Sustained pressure will be required to change the plotted course.
  • For anyone in the UK you can use this site to identify and write to all the MEPs that represent you and your area: https://www.writetothem.com/

    It does state the following:
    MEPs can help you on proposed European directives (laws), and questions on the European Parliament, Commission, or Union. However, once passed, EU laws become the responsibility of the UK to implement, so you may wish to go back and contact your MP about them in that case.

    So it looks like it may be too late to take action via MEPs, but it wouldn't hurt to let them know your thoughts even if they can't help ;)

    I'm looking for some more petitions, but here are a couple for starters, they are both Avaaz petitions which are open to submissions from any country, the first one having more signatures, however I can't see any harm in signing both!
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_European_Parliament_Save_electronic_cigarettes_from_excessive_EU_regulation/
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Ecigs_to_be_General_Use_products_in_Europe/

    There is also one in French, but I need to do some more reading about that; and either hope google translate is accurate, or enlist the help of a fluent friend at work when she is back from holiday!
    http://www.aiduce.org/petition-contre-lapplication-de-la-directive-des-produits-du-tabac/
  • And this is one of the pieces of information that I found that seemed to debunk many of the myths that are spread about vaping being a gateway to smoking: http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf

    This looks at the picture in the UK but I think I've read that the findings have been similar in other countries...
  • Quite a positive message from a doctor here talking to a couple of good sources who are very positive about vaping compared to smoking...

  • Viruk said:

    There is also one in French, but I need to do some more reading about that; and either hope google translate is accurate, or enlist the help of a fluent friend at work when she is back from holiday!
    http://www.aiduce.org/petition-contre-lapplication-de-la-directive-des-produits-du-tabac/

    That was a petition against the passing of the law at the french parliament by "ordinance", a special way to make a law easier to pass ... and meanwhile, it did.
    So, this link is obsolete.
  • Cegoca said:

    Viruk said:

    There is also one in French, but I need to do some more reading about that; and either hope google translate is accurate, or enlist the help of a fluent friend at work when she is back from holiday!
    http://www.aiduce.org/petition-contre-lapplication-de-la-directive-des-produits-du-tabac/

    That was a petition against the passing of the law at the french parliament by "ordinance", a special way to make a law easier to pass ... and meanwhile, it did.
    So, this link is obsolete.
    oh :(

  • Vaping is certainly much less armfull than tobacco cigarettes, every informed medical people as well as the concerned vapers knows that. Non smokers don't care much and others are misinformed by the media. Upon that, most politicians are regarding their budgets or their personnal interests and thus want to break down our vape.
    This is the cruel truth.
  • More quite supportive information from a University of East London researcher:
  • And the profile of this speaker, Dr Lynne Dawkins
    http://www.uel.ac.uk/research/profiles/psychology/lynnedawkins/

    Lots of research available here and it's this kind of work that has a chance to change public perception and hopefully influence policy...
  • On the news before work - the following comment caught my attention:
    "e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking."

    That piece was accompanied by the following article:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33978603
  • That is good to know. The part that worries me is "PHE looks forward to the arrival on the market of a choice of medicinally regulated products that can be made available to smokers by the NHS on prescription." This seems like an attempt for the organization to seize control of vaping in the UK.
  • I've seen this article : vapeaboutit.com/england-officially-announces-support-for-vaping/

    That NHS part is indeed dubious but it would at least be a step in a better direction.
  • @Old_Salt while I can't say for certain what they meant, I didn't interpret that quote the same way. I've read a few pieces of information regarding the NHS moving closer to supporting vaping, but I believe they can't do that until there is an option that is licenced medically. I just hope that isn't at the cost of an open market - if it exists along side an open (and sensibly regulated) market I'm supportive.

    @Cegoca thanks for that link, there is also https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update
    The second link has the 111 page report (I haven't read it all yet - I've not been home from work long enough!) but acknowledging the massive reduction in the risk of vaping compared to smoking is an encouraging sign (to the optimist in me anyway!)
  • @Viruk We await your summary,,, first thing tomorrow ;)
  • The optimist in me hopes that this makes a positive difference, I just hope there isn't an aftermath akin to that of Professor Nutt's work on drug policy.

    The vaping issue is likely significantly less politically charged than the drug debate and will hopefully be treated in a more pragmatic way.

    For anyone interested who hasn't heard of professor Nutt, this article will give you an idea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Nutt
    As a more relevant point to vaping and smoking, here is what he has to say about EC
    His work which ranked different drugs in terms of the damage they do ('physical harm', 'dependence', 'and 'social harms') places tobacco higher on the scale than many illegal drugs...
    I don't want to open up any debate about drugs here - but David Nutt is a well regarded professor and I found the clip one EC positive and interesting.
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