The checklist, which can be downloaded in poster format here, can be used by distributers and retailers, and highlights six signs to spot on a product’s packaging that an e-cigarette might not be legal under UK regulations. A shop owner or consumer can assess the product’s packaging and, if it doesn’t tick one of the boxes, there’s a risk the vape is illicit.
The company said promoting vapes is one of the four “critical must dos” laid out by the UK government as part of its smoke-free 2030 ambition, which seeks to push smoking prevalence below 5% by the end of this decade.
“The UK has implemented a ‘light touch’ system for the notification of vape products so far, and we’re seeing an unprecedented number of illicit products being seized by trading standards,” said Chris Allen, chief executive officer at Broughton.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. Regulators need to act quickly, so that illicit products are identified and removed from shelves. There also needs to be clearer guidance on ensuring vapes have been tested adequately, with Certificates of Analysis available to distributors or retailers, and larger fines for those breaking the rules.
“In the meantime, consumers and retailers need to look out for the red flags that indicate a product might be illicit. There are a lot of rules on how vapes are packaged, which consumers can use to check if something doesn’t look right.”
John Dunne, director general at the UK Vaping Industry Association, added: “As an organisation, we’re committed to raising awareness and educating smokers, so that they can feel empowered to leave smoking behind. The hope is that through better education we can remove non-compliant products faster and ultimately improve health outcomes for people in the UK.”