Cessation and more regulation

Vaping trade association enters cessation partnership while lobbying government for better vape guidance.

The UKVIA has teamed with Smoke Free to encourage smokers to switch to vapes.
The UKVIA has teamed with Smoke Free to encourage smokers to switch to vapes.

THE UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), the largest trade body representing the vaping sector in the UK, has joined forces with the smoking cessation app Smoke Free.

The partnership sees the UKVIA encourage more smokers to completely give up their habit by using alternatives to conventional cigarettes.

As part of the collaboration, UKVIA and Smoke Free have agreed to work on a number of joint campaigns and initiatives, which both promote vaping as a method to quit smoking and increases access to the app amongst smokers looking to quit.

The partnership will see the pair engage in targeted activities at common quitting times, including in January, when many adult smokers make New Year’s resolutions to quit, as well as during VApril – UKVIA’s annual vaping awareness month.

John Dunne, director-general of the UKVIA said: “This is an exciting collaboration which is focused on getting smokers to quit completely.

“Some 2.4m former smokers have successfully done this in the UK to date but there are still 1.2m dual vape/cigarette users and another 6.9m smokers who have not quit.

“By coming together we want to significantly ramp up support for smokers who are looking to quit.”

Dr David Crane, founder of the Smoke Free app, said: “Vapes make quitting easy because they’re a great replacement for cigarettes. But habits still need to be changed, which is where the support we provide comes in. We are proud to work with the UKVIA because they share our mission to create a smoke free world.

“Together, we stand a great chance of helping people stop smoking for good.”

The UKVIA’s new partnership follows its recent lobbying activity, which saw the association call on the UK Government to take action to close a “vaping loophole”.

Following overtures from the UKVIA and Trading Standards, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has clarified its advice to manufacturers and distributers of e-liquids and devices, as well as retailers.

The updated guidance applied to the implementation of the Tobacco and related Products Regulations.

UKVIA said it was driven to action after being approached by a “significant number” of manufacturers, distributors and retailers confused about what could and could not be legally sold in shops – particularly in relation to the recent surge in new disposable vapes entering the UK market.

MHRA’s updated guidance advises retailers to check that a compliant notification has been published on official Notified Product lists.

If retailers cannot find a compliant notification, MHRA now advises retailers to ask their supplier to confirm that it has been published and provide details to enable retailers to confirm the product’s status.

Dunne, of the UKVIA, said: “Due to the numerous enquiries we received about the legality of stocking new-to-the-market products, in particular the surge in new disposables, we decided it was imperative to talk to Trading Standards and raise this with the MRHA to seek clarification.

“Since then, we have been working with the MHRA to clarify the process around when products can legally be placed on the market for sale.

“The first part saw the MHRA issue an e-bulletin clearly setting out the process and making it unambiguous that it is illegal to place products into the market until the ‘ECID’ numbers are published on the MHRA website as ‘approved/declared’.

“Next the MHRA updated its online advice for retailers, which is a highly satisfactory outcome as it effectively closes the loophole for when brands can place the product on the market and when a retailer can legally sell the product.”