Welcome to the sixth issue of Vaping UK, an e-bulletin published by the UK Vaping Industry Association bringing the latest news and views in the sector.

Parliament challenged to be vape-friendly

The APPG for E-Cigarettes has met to challenge the idea that vaping should be banned in some public areas or workplaces, and in particular the restrictive rules around vaping in Parliament itself. 

Vaping is currently banned in all areas but two of the parliamentary estate, with  vapers often forced to used their devices in existing smoking areas. Chair of the Group, Mark Pawsey MP, called for Parliament to set an example to other workplaces by becoming vape-friendly for visitors and staff.  

Mark Pawsey was joined at the meeting by APPG members Viscount Ridley, Mary Glindon MP, Glyn Davies MP and Ian Paisley MP, and evidence was heard from Dr Lynne Dawkins (London South Bank University), Andrew Allison (the Freedom Association), Martin Cullip (Vaper & supporter of the New Nicotine Alliance), Lucy Hume (Debretts) and John Dunne of the UKVIA.  

The APPG will now be working to create a new vaping policy for Parliament, to be examined and discussed at future evidence sessions and taken forward with the Parliamentary authorities.  

UKVIA Forum 2018 – Going for Growth

The UKVIA has announced that it will be holding its inaugural Vaping Industry Forum on 23 April 2018 at the King’s Fund, London.  

Going for Growth  will focus on what the sector needs to do to maximise its full potential for the benefit of the industry, the public health of the nation and the economy. 

The one day business-to business Forum will cover: 

  • developments in the advertising of vape products; 
  • a policy and regulatory landscape which supports the growth of vaping; 
  • the next generation of vaping innovations; 
  • the role of the tobacco industry in the future of the vaping sector; 
  • how the UK can take global leadership on industry standards; 
  • bolstering the evidence for the public health case for vaping. 

To register your interest in the event, see an overview of the programme and receive event updates please visit the Forum website page.  

Vaping is a public health triumph, says former Health Minister

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP and the former Minister of State for Care and Support claimed that vaping was “a public health triumph” at the launch State of the Vaping Nation  report at the Houses of parliament. 

He called for more evidence to be created to demonstrate the public health benefits of vape products versus smoking: “There is a very long way to go still in terms of helping people to stop smoking…my Committee needs to focus on the evidence and the science”.  

The hard hitting State of the Vaping Nation report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on E-Cigarettes highlighted the consensus that exists among health agencies and campaign groups that vaping product use represents a significant opportunity to reduce smoking rates and save money for the public purse. How4ever, it also discusses the “misinformation” and “mixed messages” on vaping research and regulation in the media and the declining public attitude that considers vaping as harmful as smoking 

At the launch in the Houses of Parliament John Dunne, a board member of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said: “Smokers who want to switch to vaping should not be faced with unnecessary hurdles that may hinder their transition. For example, arbitrary restrictions on liquid strengths and e-liquid bottle sizes, and advertising bans akin to those for tobacco products make little or no sense from a public health perspective.” 

UKVIA member PMI has also launched its ‘Working towards a smoke-free England’ report in the Houses of Parliament, which outlines the potential for vaping products in the UK.  

UKVIA at the NGN Conference

UKVIA member Christian Mulcahy, Business Development Director at MultiVape delivered the closing presentation at the recent Next Generation Nicotine Delivery Conference, focusing on the opportunities that Brexit presents to the vaping market.. 

Christian capped off the two-day conference with an upbeat message – there has never been a better time to join a trade association. He spelled out the challenges faced by the industry, but also the reasons to be positive, and ended with a call to action – “it is up to us all to drive the industry forwards and meet head on the mixed messages and poor perception that our industry faces.” 

All the slides and presentations from the event can be viewed here 

British Medical Association moves towards vape-friendly policy

The British Medical Association (BMA) has recently published an updated position paper on vaping products, which acknowledges the role of vaping in achieving the UK’s smoke free targets and reinforces the growing public health consensus that vaping is substantially safer than smoking.  

The policy, which contains information designed to be helpful to doctors when discussing smoking cessation with patients, is a major shift away from the BMA’s previously anti-vaping policy position. For the first time, the organisation accepts that vaping is an important tool in encouraging smokers to quit and recommends that doctors advise patients about the potential of vaping products.  

The UKVIA very much welcomed this positive recognition by the BMA. Doug Mutter, a board member of the UKVIA said: “The BMA joins notable organisations including the Government, Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians in recognising the potential of vaping in a public health context.”  

“However the vaping industry needs to continue to show organisations like the BMA that it is aspiring to the highest possible standards and therefore has a major role to play in enhancing the public health of the nation through convincing smokers to quit. For example, the BMA’s new policy position still indicates a preference for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) over vaping products, and suggests that safety standards for the vaping industry are lower than for NRTs.”   

New study concludes that vapers suffer no long term health effects

New research reveals that vaping does not present any long term health risks to vapers. The study looked into the health impact of e-cigarettes over a period of 3.5 years, by comparing daily vapers with a control group of non-vapers or smokers. The results demonstrated no evidence of health differences between the control and test subjects.  

Research of this kind is leading more and more organisations to change their evidence-based policy on vaping to support those who want to switch. The Mental Health and Smoking Partnership is the latest to call for smokers suffering from mental health conditions to be assisted to switch to vaping.  As they note in their Statement on Electronic Cigarettes, smoking is twice as common among people with mental health conditions as the general population. While smoking rates have plummeted across the country, rates among people struggling with mental health conditions have remained unchanged for the last 20 years. 

Recognising the harm reduction benefits in switching from vaping to smoking, the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership calls for “a more enabling approach to vaping  to make [switching] an easier choice than smoking” and goes on to suggest several common sense recommendations, such as “Vapers should not be required to use the same space as smokers, as this could undermine their ability to quit and stay smokefree.