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E-cigarette Makers To Submit Product Specifications Under New Rules To Come Into Force This Week

The new legislation is designed to better regulate the devices and curb the uptake of smoking in the UK.


E-cigarette manufacturers will have to submit their product specifications to the government to be allowed to sell them in the UK under new rules set to come into force on Friday (May 20)

Like tobacco products, the electronic smoking devices will also be subject to standardised packaging regulations and will carry health warnings, much like regular cigarettes.

The new legislation, enforced under the Tobacco and Regulated Products Regulations 2016, is designed to better regulate the devices and curb the uptake of smoking in the UK.

The industry has been dogged in recent years by highly-publicised incidents of electronic cigarettes exploding, causing the users significant injury.

Leading product liability lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing people left injured after their e-cigarettes have gone wrong, sometimes with devastating effects.

One such victim was left with severe burns when his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket outside a busy Sheffield bar.

Colin Crow from Levenshulme, Manchester was left with extensive burns to his left hand and left thigh, knee and calf after the incident on January 30 this year.

The 32-year-old economic consultant instructed expert product liability lawyer Matthew Newbould after his agonising injuries left him unable to work.

Matthew said better regulation of the devices should mean reduce risks for consumers by ensuring that the devices meet the necessary British product standards.

From Friday all newly-manufactured e-cigarettes must be childproof and tamper proof to avoid youngsters ingesting the harmful liquid.

Refill containers will also be given a maximum size of 10ml and the maximum strength of e-cigarette cartridges will be reduced to 20mg per ml from 24mg, but the new legislation comes with a 12-month grace period allowing for sale of old stock and the roll-out of compliant products.

According to Action on Smoking and Heath (ASH), an estimated 2.6 million people use battery-powered e-cigarettes in the UK, which release vaporized liquid nicotine and simulate smoking.

E-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco or produce smoke, can be used in most public places, however recent plans drawn up by the Welsh government call for a ban on the devices in enclosed public areas with similar plans considered by English health officials.

Vaping companies will no longer be able to extol the virtues of using the digital devices over traditional cigarettes. Nor will they be able to claim any health benefits from using the devices, or use celebrity endorsements for their products.

Words such as ‘lite’ and ‘organic’ have also been banned from packaging in case they lead consumers to believe vaping is a healthy alternative to traditional smoking.

Expert Opinion
“We see first-hand the devastating effects an e-cigarette explosion can have so it is encouraging to see regulations introduced which will hopefully ensure dangerous, inferior products do not slip through the net and onto the market.

“This is the first time manufacturers have been forced to submit information to the regulator on exactly what their products contain in order to be allowed to sell them in the UK.

Manufacturers will also be obliged, for the first time, to provide specific instructions for use and warnings in relation to the device itself and to collect information on adverse events, including catastrophic failure of these devices.

Where a producer has any reason to suspect that their device is either unsafe or not of satisfactory quality, they are required under the legislation to take immediate action, including notifying the regulator and, where appropriate, issuing an immediate recall of the device.

“This will hopefully lead to a reductions in the number of poorly constructed devices causing serious injury.

“We are representing several people who have suffered injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes and we are supporting them as they seek to get back on track following their injuries.”
Matthew Newbould, Solicitor

Tobacco companies tried to overturn the decision, but the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU Tobacco Products Directive was lawful.

MPs also agreed to banning menthol and flavoured tobacco during at vote in Parliament on May 15 last year. The ban will come into effect in 2020.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a defective or faulty e-cigarette, our expert personal injury claims team could help you claim compensation. View our Faulty E-Cigarette Claims page for more information.

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