There is no doubt that 2013 was an interesting year for the e-cigarette industry in Europe. Early in the year, it was looking very likely there would be at least a partial ban on electronic cigarettes among EU member states, accompanied by very tight regulation in the UK. Then last October, the industry was greatly relieved by an EU decision not to regulate e-cigs as medical devices. However, things remain a bit dicey in the UK.
As things currently stand, there appear to be several possibilities in play for the UK:
- regulation of e-cigs as medical devices
- regulation of e-cigs as tobacco products
- regulation of e-cigarette liquid for purity and safety standards.
The good news for UK vapers is that the EU decision means it is unlikely an all-out ban on electronic cigarettes will be implemented.
What's Behind the Regulatory Drive
Those who want to control electronic cigarettes can be divided into two basic camps. The first camp wants to regulate e-cig liquid in order to bring some standardisation to the industry. That is certainly a reasonable goal. However, we believe such standardisation is best left to groups like the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA).
ECITA has already developed what is known as the Industry Standard of Excellence (ISE) for this very purpose. As a member of the group, VAPESTICK must subject our e-liquids to testing through independent UK labs in order to ensure they meet or exceed the requirements set forth by ISE.
The second regulatory camp is made up of those who want to completely ban electronic cigarettes out of fear that they re-normalise the smoking habit. They claim that anything that looks and feels like smoking will drive non-smokers to eventually take up tobacco.
We believe, based on scientific research, that such concerns are completely unfounded. One of the most recent studies, conducted at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre, found only one vaper (out of 1,300) who used electronic cigarettes prior to taking up the tobacco habit. If you would like more information about the gateway issue, the Tobacco Analysis blog from Dr Michael Siegel deals with it extensively.
Best Tobacco Alternative
Now that we have the regulatory question out of the way, let us address the main reason electronic cigarettes are so popular: they are the best tobacco alternative on the market. What's more, nearly 10 million electronic cigarette users around the world are proof that smokers love them.
Some use them to supplement tobacco cigarettes in places where smoking is not allowed. Others just want to reduce the amount of tobacco they consume. However, according to Action on Smoking and Health, the vast majority of e-cig users adopt the devices in the hopes of completely quitting the smoking habit altogether.
It is not possible for us to claim that electronic cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation product. However, we can say there are now more than 1.3 million vapers in the UK, some of whom claim our products have helped them quit. You can read the real comments they have left on our website.
VAPESTICK is very proud to be one of the leading electronic cigarette suppliers in the UK. And until there is a ban on electronic cigarettes, we will do our best to continue providing high quality products at reasonable prices. We invite you to shop our online store for disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes, vaping supplies, and accessories.