E-cigarettes and vaping equipment are to have their own product safety standard in a bid to prevent unsafe products being sold in the UK.
The products have become big business in recent years and are still showing considerable growth. Convenience stores have been very important to the growth in sales and distribution although c-store sales of the lines have come under pressure recently from specialist high street vaping shops and online sales.
Many of the products are imported, with China being an especially important country for the production of e-smoking products.
Now standards organisation the British Standards Institute has worked with the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association to come up with a standard covering the manufacture of e-cigarettes and vapour products.
Its new standard PAS 54115 covers several aspects of e-smoking manufacturing and marketing including the manufacture, importation, labelling, marketing and sale of vaping products – including electronic cigarettes and other items such as e-shishas and e-liquid mixing kits; the purity of e-liquid ingredients in manufacture; and the safety of batteries and chargers.
The organisation says 40,000 people worldwide are giving up tobacco and switching to some form of vapour inhalation every day and that could accelerate the manufacture and sale of rogue products.
Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance and risk at BSI, said: “It is therefore essential to provide guidance on manufacturing, importing and marketing practices of vaping products.
“Any vaping product which is a substitute to smoking and works by being ingested, has to be safe. It is essential that guidance such as PAS 54115 exists to establish this.
“It not only provides reassurance to regulators, it ensures that product safety and quality is maintained across batches and can be reliably demonstrated with documentary evidence.”
Hayes said that the guidance refers to existing equipment and manufacturing standards and is applicable to producers and distributors.