UKVIA statement on 0-nic “shake and vape” products – Sunday Times 2/12/18

Further to The Sunday Times story (2/12/18) “Vaping flavours sold on Amazon dodge rules to appeal to children”, below is the UKVIA’s full statement.

“The UKVIA is concerned that 0-nicotine vaping liquids could present a potential danger to consumers unless brought in to line with the existing regulations and testing standards that govern nicotine containing liquids.

“Liquids without nicotine fall outside most of the existing regulations and standards, that ensure quality and safety. We have conducted tests on a number of products that were of concern to us and found worrying levels of Acetylpropionyl that would otherwise be banned in a nicotine containing liquid.

“This situation  is a classic example of poorly thought through regulation and the law of unintended consequences. We have raised this issue with government, regulators and Parliament on a number of occasions – and so far our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.

“Our members are focused on providing best in class products, that have consumer enjoyment and safety at their core. To be clear we are only concerned about a minority of products. However, elements of the industry are exploiting this ‘loophole’ and are thereby undermining the hard work of responsible manufacturers.

“This situation is being perpetuated by irresponsible marketing utilising platforms such as Amazon. Consumers, understandably, cannot be expected to know the exact components of the liquids that they are purchasing. A lack of due diligence by prominent online retailers, like Amazon, is allowing the market to be flooded with potentially dubious unregulated liquids.

“What’s more, 0-nicotine liquids are not subject to the same advertising and marketing standards. We are deeply concerned that a number of products are ignoring copyright and utilising marketing methods that most reasonable people would regard as irresponsible. Due to the lack of consistency of regulation, these products are able to be released to market without sufficient testing which is creating a race to the bottom on standards, leaving consumers unnecessarily exposed.

“There is no longer a level playing field for those companies who have invested significantly to comply with regulations and are trying to do the right thing. Urgent action is required to bring regulations inline to protect consumers, prevent a potential public health issue and ensure vaping remains a viable alternative for those seeking to reduce or stop smoking.”