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11 May 2017

New rules on e-cigarettes and e-liquids come into force on May 20

Cumbria Trading Standards are advising businesses who manufacture or sell e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be aware of new rules which come into force on Saturday 20 May.  The use of e-cigarettes and e-liquids is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with Vaping becoming recognised as a “safer” alternative to smoking.  Specialist “Vaping Bars” are opening across Cumbria and a wide range of e- liquids are being offered for sale in many other retail outlets.

The new requirements include:

  • Minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers (otherwise known as e-liquids)
  • Health information will be provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices
  • Items only to be sold in an environment that protects children from starting to use these products.

The new requirements also:

  • Restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
  • Restrict the maximum volume of e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
  • Restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
  • Require nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
  • Ban certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
  • Include new labelling requirements and warnings
  • Require all e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified to MHRA before they can be sold

Trading Standards Officers will be carrying out visits to premises across the county to advise, and to ensure they are following the new regulations.  These changes to the law apply to anyone who makes or sells e-cigarettes and e-liquids, including those who sell online via social media, auction sites or from their own website.

Anyone who does not comply could face imprisonment of up to two years and / or an unlimited fine.

Detailed guidance for sellers can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/e-cigarettes-regulations-for-consumer-products

Consumers and healthcare professionals can report side effects and safety concerns with e-cigarettes or refill containers to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the Yellow Card reporting system.

Cumbria Trading Standards manager John Greenbank said:

“It is important that local businesses are aware of their responsibilities under the new legislation. We are committed to working with Cumbrian businesses to help them understand the new rules regarding e-cigarettes and e-liquids, and ensure they comply."

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council's Director of Public Health said:

"There is now strong evidence that vaping and e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking tobacco and that there is a strong case to be made for encouraging smokers who can't or don't want to quit to make the switch to vaping instead.

"The key messages I want to promote are if you don't smoke, don't start vaping; if you do smoke, stop altogether if you can - and our pharmacies can help; and if you can't stop, or don't want to - switch to vaping.

"Cumbria's smoking rate is dropping and latest figures show that less than 16% of the adult population continue to smoke. However this still represents about 60,000 adult smokers across the county, so there's a lot more to be done to help get the numbers down further."

If you would like further advice please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk

Cumbria Trading Standards are advising businesses who manufacture or sell e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be aware of new rules which come into force on Saturday 20 May