UK Vaping Industry Deserves a Little More Recognition
Vapemate staff had a wonderful evening on May 4th at the Vapouround Awards, sponsored by Diamond Vapors. The ceremony, dinner and party were off the hook and we’ve almost recovered. But one of our takeaways was that while a few British companies were recognized, including Vape & Volts for Innovation and Vaper Expo UK for Best Trade Show, many of the actual products that won in product categories were not British products. While we are certainly not upset that we didn’t win, and believe the products that won were truly deserving, our concern is that UK products need to be recognised first and foremost by UK-based awards - especially when international products may not meet the requirements of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
The UK has a vibrant, strong vaping community
The United Kingdom has an extensive and vibrant vaping community, with a growing number of vapers joining it daily. The recent Royal College of Physicians report recommendations to promote e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid will likely bring many more in years to come. A quick visit to popular vaping forums like UK Vapers and Planet of the Vapes show how passionate the UK community is and how engaged they are. Vaping is much more than the sum of its mods - it’s a way to be healthier, it’s a hobby, and for many it’s a political stance.
The UK has an equally robust ecig industry to match
One of the strong points about taking up vaping is that the market is currently supplied by small-scale, independent manufacturers that do not have any tobacco industry affiliations. When you spend your money on eliquids which are manufactured in the UK, you are supporting UK-based manufacturers that have high standards for quality and consideration for being in compliance with the Tobacco Products Directive, which will regulate all eliquids sold in the UK starting later this month. Products produced internationally may not be TPD-compliant, and if these products are promoted and sold in the UK past the end of May 2016, they are essentially illegal in this country. This could have larger ramifications for vapers in the UK if shops are found to be selling internationally produced non-TPD compliant eliquids.
While the TPD is out of favour with the majority of the UK vaping community, the hard truth is that we have to work within it if we wish to continue having the freedoms to vape that we do. The UK currently has many more freedoms with vaping than the United States or Canada, where bans on vaping are highly prevalent, mostly due to the lack of regulation in the industry and its confusion with traditional tobacco products. We have overcome that in the UK with solid scientific evidence from our most highly regarded medical establishments and associations.
So what’s the solution?
In many other awards shows, there is a category for international entrants. This would likely be the best route for future awards shows which are UK-based to keep the lines open to international companies which are doing a good job, and which are hopefully creating TPD-compliant e-liquids for sales in Europe and the UK. We submit that any organization which creates vaping awards in the UK in the future should have such an international category.
Where can I buy TPD-compliant eliquids made in the UK?
As a show of solidarity, we have a list below of UK-based eliquid manufacturers in addition to Vapemate. We’re all in this together and should ensure that our customers know which eliquids to look out for once the TPD goes into effect.
- Decadent Vapours
Image credit: vaping360.com