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Should Vaping Be Banned in Public Places?

In came the smoking ban and out went the smokers, as far as public places were concerned. More and more people have switched to vaping instead, and for good reason. Many use e-cigs to help wean them off cigarettes, and they have the advantage of being legal to use in public places too. Of course you should always consider any specific rules pubs, clubs or similar places might have before you vape. Some of them do disagree with using them.

With that said though, plenty of people are asking whether vaping will always be allowed in public places. Some e-cigarettes look very realistic and it isn’t always easy to tell whether they are e-cigs or cigarettes.

The Welsh government hit the headlines recently when it announced it was drawing up plans to ban vaping in enclosed public spaces. If the plans go ahead, they would probably be enforced in 2017. The definition of an enclosed public space means you wouldn’t be able to vape in a pub or in a restaurant, for example. Offices would also be out of the question. However you could still vape in public, such as in the park or while out walking.

Think about this for a moment. If this plan is enforced and becomes law, it means it would be illegal (in Wales at least) to smoke or vape in an enclosed space. So the very reason many people switched to vaping in the first place – namely to get around the smoking ban – would no longer be there.

E-cigarettes do still have nicotine in them, but it is there in a measured dose. It is also available at different strengths and it can help people wean themselves off cigarettes. Over time some people will likely stop vaping too, while others will continue instead of going back to real cigarettes.

Perhaps the biggest question here is whether the English and Scottish parliaments would bring in similar legislation to ban e-cigs being used in enclosed public spaces if Wales does bring in the law. It looks as though it is very likely they will.

So if you are vaping at the moment, and enjoying the ability to vape wherever you like – on trains, in restaurants and in the pub – what will you do if you are banned from doing so? Would you continue vaping or go back to the real thing again?

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By admin

How Many Vaping Products Could Soon Be Illegal?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US is bringing in new regulations very soon that could have a significant effect on the e-cigarette marketplace. The idea of the new rules is that everything in the e-cigarette marketplace should be registered. This will ensure the products available are safe for people to use.

Now this all sounds pretty fair to begin with; after all no one wants to use products that may not be safe. However the concern of the American Vaping Association is that as much as 99% of products in the vaping marketplace could literally become illegal overnight.

Compliance costs are a worry

The new rules state every product created by a manufacturer should be registered. They will also need to fill in a Premarket Tobacco Application, otherwise known as a PMTA. So far this all seems like nothing more than paperwork – inconvenient perhaps, but no more than that. However the cost of those PMTAs could be anything from $2 million upwards.

This is far outside the realm of ‘affordable’ for many of the companies that produce e-cigarette products. This is especially the case for smaller companies producing e-juices alone. Many of these companies are thought to be unable to afford such high fees, leaving them no choice but to close down as a result.

Banning vaping products?

This is essentially what will happen. If you produce vaping products and you don’t file the proper PMTA paperwork, you’ll be breaking the law. You’d have to stop making your products available, even though many people looking to give up smoking will want to buy them.

All of which brings us to another worthwhile point. There are no similar laws in place for tobacco products. This means the next few months could see thousands of vaping products being made illegal and being taken off the market in the US. And all the while you can still buy tobacco without breaking the law.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Protecting consumers

Obviously the FDA has a job to do to protect American citizens. However these rules are likely to give vapers less choice and will put smaller businesses out of commission completely. Bigger businesses that can afford the registration and paperwork will no doubt do so, especially since they might end up with a larger slice of the market in the process. Watch this space.

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By admin

Nottingham Council Bans Vaping for Employees

Vaping is often seen as a convenient alternative to smoking – and a potentially-healthier one too. The smoking ban led to a rise in people switching to vaping, but even this isn’t allowed anymore by Nottingham Council if you work for them. They’ve announced a ban on smoking by employees even if they go outside to do it – and they’re stamping out vaping at the same time.

Nottinghamshire County Council has decided vaping is no longer allowed for any employee while wearing a uniform, in any council workplace or vehicle. It’s reckoned that some 9,000 work for the council, and around 1,000 of those are either currently smoking or using e-cigarettes to help them kick the habit.

No vaping on the way to and from work either

Yes it gets better. The council believes it has the power to prevent their employees from smoking and vaping on the way to work and on their way home. We question just how they could enforce this. Will there be plainclothes enforcers spying on smokers and vapers from the moment they leave home – all 1,000 of them? Judging by the numerous reports and comments online about it, everyone else is wondering the same thing.

After all, if someone goes to work in their own car, does the council really have the right to stop them from vaping in it?

Only one opportunity to vape

According to details in the news, if employees want to vape while at work, their only chance to do so would be on their lunch break. And to do it, they would first have to change out of their uniform (if they wear one) and wear something else instead. Oh, and walk a sufficient distance away from their workplace too. Presumably by the time they’d done that there wouldn’t be much time left to vape or have lunch.

According to John Tomlinson, a member of the council who spoke to the media about the new rules, the council was “trying to be a supportive employer”. E-cigarettes have yet to be licensed but if this happens the council may have to change its stance. However until then there is a real chance other councils could see what Nottinghamshire County Council is doing and decide to do the same. Watch this space to see if other council employees elsewhere are met by these rules as well.

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By admin

Electronic Cigarettes on Sale in a Surrey Pub

The national smoking ban has been a real problem for many pub landlords since it was ushered into law in July 2007. Smokers can’t smoke inside anymore, which means they have to pop out to have a cigarette whenever the need arises. That’s all well and good in the summer, but what about when it’s raining, cold and damp or even snowing? Many have called the ban anti-social, and that’s certainly true on long winter nights.

However, one landlord in Chobham, Surrey has come up with an innovative solution. Why not allow people to use electronic cigarettes in his pub? They’re completely legal to use indoors so no one is breaking the law, and there’s a real opportunity here to get takings back on the up again.

30% drop in takings

The smart-thinking landlord, Frank Booth, runs The Sun Inn. He got his idea after attending the National Pub Show in Birmingham and wasted no time in putting his plans into action. He hasn’t just allowed e-cig smokers to use their e-cigs inside his pub though. He’s actually selling the e-cigs as well.

In common with many other pub landlords, Frank saw his takings slide when the ban came into force. It’s one thing to go outside and smoke a cigarette when the weather is good. However it seems many smokers would rather stay at home and smoke during the winter than go to their local.

So Frank did something smart. He ordered a batch of the e-cigarettes and now has them available to buy alongside a pint in his pub. He thinks this could be a great opportunity to bring in some extra income. And of course, it might encourage some more punters to leave their cigarettes at home and use the e-cigs when they go out for a drink instead.

Will it encourage real smokers to try their luck?

It’s a possibility. However there are some very real differences between e-cigs and the real thing. While the e-cigarettes Mr Booth has for sale are designed to look like real cigarettes, they don’t have to be lit. They don’t produce smoke either – just a vapour that does no harm to anyone else nearby, unlike second-hand smoke. So if anyone did try and light up a real cigarette as a result of the e-cigs being on sale, they’d be caught out pretty quickly.

A spokeswoman for Smokefree Surrey, Karen Simmonds, pointed out the highly-addictive nature of nicotine. Since e-cigs still have nicotine in them – albeit in a much-reduced amount – going cold turkey is the best route. “Stop smoking altogether,” says Karen. Of course, anyone trying to stop might well switch to e-cigs and gradually reduce the amount of nicotine they ingest. The cartridge refills for electronic cigarettes are made available with varying amount of nicotine in them, giving people a choice to reduce their intake gradually.

Clearly Mr Booth is hoping his takings will improve. However, his idea is certainly more sociable than the alternative.

Would you like your pub to sell electronic cigarettes? Let us know what you think below

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By admin

The Perversity of Government

Okay I understand Governing a country isn’t easy – there are competing political pressures from many sides and the modern economy is working in an integrated complex world economy.

I also understand that politicians have differing and various agenda’s and are influenced by many factors.

BUT take a look at the ongoing proposed legislation debate, rumour in the electronic cigarette industry and you will despair as to how any small entrepreneur can plan in this industry.

Within the same month that Public Health England concluded that, on “the best estimate so far”, e-cigarettes are about 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes (,) we have another arm of government trying to implement the Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) produced by the EU and intended to be operational in 2016.

Just to give you a flavour of what the TPD expects every producer and manufacturer to do.

  • Any new product, both batteries and liquids must be notified to the Government 6 months before they can go on sale after the introduction of the TPD
  • Every existing product must be notified to the Government 6 months before the introduction of the TPD
  • A list of all components and ingredients at any part of the manufacturing process must be traceable, accountable and documented and available to the Government.
  • No product can have a refill of nicotine more than 10 ml
  • The nicotine-containing liquid may not contain nicotine in excess of 20 milligrams per millilitre
  • Each unit packet and any container pack of the electronic cigarette or refill container must carry a health warning consisting of the text: “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance. It is not recommended for use by non-smokers”, in a manner which conforms with paragraph (5).
  • The health warning must –

    • appear on both the front and back surfaces of the unit packet and any container pack;
    • cover 30% of the area of each of those surfaces, calculated in relation to the area of the surface concerned when the pack is closed;
    • be in black Helvetica bold type on a white background;
    • be in a font size which ensures that the text occupies the greatest possible proportion of the surface area reserved for it; and
    • appear at the centre of that area.
    • Where other text appears on the surface concerned, the health warning must be parallel to that text, or if there is more than one piece of text, the most prominent text.

And by the way – although this potential legislation will already impact on our existing manufacturing and planning processes – the politicians are very likely to change their minds at the last minute and completely change how they intend to impose any legislation.

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By admin

Will England follow Wales and ban Vaping in Public Places ?

Thankfully the latest news indicates that England will not be following suit and making E-cigarettes illegal.

The latest reporting by licensed industry experts by Publicans Morning Advertiser indicates this will not be the case.

They note that The Department of Health has confirmed to them that England would not follow on from the Welsh Government and pursue a potential ban on Vaping in Public places.

Is this a rare case of a Government taking a balanced and sensible approach to legislation in respect of Vaping? we at Matchless can only hope so and perhaps hope the same common sense approach is eventually adopted by the Welsh Government.

All within the Vaping community are a little flabbergasted by the approach and logic of the Welsh Government and neutral observers on the whole replicate that feeling, best emphasised by The Daily Telegraph comment “The Welsh ban on Vaping indoors makes no sense”

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a charity that working to reduce and stop the damage caused by tobacco has also said it did not support the sort of ban proposed by the Welsh government.

The Welsh government’s argument is totally specious and runs along the lines – Vaping looks like smoking – we know smoking is bad – so Vaping must be bad – so let’s ban Vaping with no reference to fact or study.

You thus have law proposed and potentially implemented on ignorance and inaccurate supposition.

This leaves one in the rather bizarre position of mentally congratulating the “English” Government” for not being as totally illogical as the Welsh one.

I am sure the Welsh (and the Scottish) will point to many advantages of Devolution – I just wonder how many Welsh Vapers will rue this particular piece of legislation – if indeed it goes ahead.

If you happen to be a Welsh Vaper – perhaps you would like to make representation to your local Welsh Assembly Member and mention your disquiet at this potential piece of legislation.

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By admin

The Tobacco Products Directive

The EU Tobacco Products Directive is almost here and will change the way you vape

Until recently vapers and ecig smokers have been able to vape without worrying about irrational and unchallenged regulations foisted upon them.
This has allowed countless cigarette and tobacco smokers to substitute quite a harmful method of acquiring nicotine with a more healthier nicotine delivery method – namely electronic cigarettes. A revolution which has been welcomed by medical professionals and government officials.

However, this is all set to change with upcoming regulation across Europe, including UK which will enforce the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The TPD will class e-cigs and flavours as tobacco products.

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)

The EU Tobacco Products Directive was first put together in 2001 with the aim to reduce tobacco usage across Europe and in particular in younger generations. Since then the directive has introduced legislation for plain packaging, large and graphic health warnings along with tighter age restrictions.

ECigs and the Tobacco Products Directive

In a controversial move in 2014 – behind closed doors the decision was made to add electronic cigarettes to the list of Tobacco products to be regulated by the TPD. The move at the time repeatedly failed to attract enough support to revise the directive. Eventually however, the regulation of electronic cigarettes was bundled together with other regulations related to tobacco products (such as plain packaging) in a bid to get it enough votes to include ecigs in the directive.

The revised Tobacco Products Directive, in particular Article 20 proposes the regulation of ecigs as a Tobacco product and therefore introduce measures to regulate how ecig products are sold, advertised and presented.

Some of the new rules to be introduced are as follows

  • A maximum nicotine strength

    Until now ecig smokers and vapers have had the freedom to choose the strength of Nicotine in their e-liquids. If regulation passes,
    this freedom will soon become a historical privilege as new rules will prevent nicotine strengths greater than 20mg to be sold – as outlined in the Tobacco Products Directive .

  • ECigs must deliver a consistent dose of nicotine

    In practice this is almost impossible to implement, no current ecig device can deliver a consistent dose with each draw. The strength and duration of each draw varies and so will the nicotine concentration. Even tobacco cigarettes are not required to comply with this impractical and unworkable requirement!

  • Limits on maximum refill sizes

    Again, another requirement in the Tobacco Products Directive which defies sensibilities. For those who have exercised their freedoms to save a little money in the past by purchasing larger container or sizes of e-liquids, this new regulation will limit refill sizes to 10ml.

  • Maximum size of cartridges and tanks

    We’ve struggled to find a reason to support this, but this regulation will require all tanks and cartridges to be limited to 2ml. This spells a less than welcomed end to the use of larger tanks currently in use.

  • ECigs and refill containers must prevent leakage

    This one is open to interpretation. This legislation requires all ecigs and refill containers to implement technology which prevents leaking during refill. This is mostly controlled by the user and why a little leakage is such an issue remains unknown. In our view most ecig users are competent enough to be able to handle such minor incidences.

  • ECigs products may be prohibited based on the decision of a few

    It will only take the decision of 3 members states of the EU to decide if a product is a health risk and if it should be prohibited in all EU member states.

The Tobacco Products Directive rules above, along with more red tape regulations found in the directive will come to force in 2016.

Unless ECigs become a licensed medical product both the Ecig industry and ecig users will be hugely and negatively impacted by many of the unjustified regulations proposed in the Tobacco Products Directive.

How it will affect you

  • Larger refill containers over 10ml will be banned
  • variable voltage and watt devices may be banned as the TPD requires a consistent dose of nicotine to be delivered under normal use
  • Your choice to vape eliquids in higher strengths above 20mg will be banned
  • All refillable products may be banned as they cannot ensure leakage free refilling
  • Due to the additional red tape regulations requiring companies to provide detailed information about their eliquids along with some physically un-measurable components such as “addictiveness” will mean a far smaller choice of eliquids and flavours may be available to the consumer.

Final thoughts

Vapers making their voices heardAs tobacco users, we have reluctantly and self loathing fed our addiction to Nicotine with products that have damaging, well understood negative health effects. However, finally a substitute is now available for that smoker, with far fewer of the harmful and toxic chemicals of the traditional tobacco products. Smokers now have a way to continue to indulge in their nicotine addiction with a product that has been welcomed by most as a breath of fresh air.

New regulations are seeking to suppress the availability of these “superior to tobacco devices”, forcing many back into the dark and dangerous days of smoking traditional cigarettes. This will no doubt be a victory for cigarette and pharmaceutical companies. It will protect their income and revenue which they make from the smoking industry. Governments will continue to receive tax from tobacco sales, something which ecigs threaten in the short term and even greater in the future.

It’s not so difficult to see these regulations are not designed to protect the consumer nor does it have the health of the consumer as it’s central concern; but a means to implement regulations to ensure the continued revenue from cigarette products for the larger companies and governments which are seeking to protect their self interests and income.

Maybe some hope

One ecig company in the UK has recently won the right to challenge the directive in court, the outcome of which will be known soon. It’s a small hope when facing up against such large corporations so as a vaper you too can make your voice heard. The most effective way of making your voice heard is to write to your local MP letting them know your concerns over these new regulations.


Full details of article 20 in the Tobacco Products Directive can be read here.

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By steffanr