This is no time for complacency

Over the past few weeks there’s been a lot of speculation about what medicalisation of e-cigs will actually mean. Some people are under the impression that it will only apply to cigalikes with pre-filled cartos. Others have convinced themselves that the definition of an electronic cigarette is so vague it won’t be possible to legislate against them, or that because nicotine base is already authorised for medicinal use it will be possible to buy it freely.

Sorry, but I don’t buy any of this. I never have. Now the MHRA have given the strongest indication yet that they plan to eliminate all the vaping equipment currently on the market and leave us with nothing but “medically authorised” cigalikes, in a limited range of flavours and probably at a massively inflated price.

What are the MHRA saying? Well, disposable cigalikes are definitely going to need to be medically authorised:

“Where the device and the medicinal product form a single integrated product designed to be used exclusively in the given combination and which is not refillable the whole product will be regarded as a medicinal product”

That’s simple enough, isn’t it? Clearly it doesn’t apply to non-disposables though, such as a device using prefilled cartomisers on a rechargeable battery. Equally clearly, this does:

“Where the device and the medicinal product are separate entities and the device may be re-used or re-filled (for example an electronic cigarette that has separate cartridges) then the device will require to be CE marked as a medical device under Directive 93/42/EEC.”

What about a higher end device though, say an Evod on an eGo battery that’s filled from bottles of liquid? A lot of people seem to think that they, and even more elaborate gear like Vamos, mech mods and rebuildable atomisers, are somehow going to be exempt. Oh, wait…

“The MHRA considers the part of the electronic cigarette containing the battery together with any associated charging accessories to be a Class IIa medical device as an active therapeutic medical device.”

Gotcha.

I’m not even going to speculate on the morality of sitting back beside your freezer full of nic base and saying, “Well, screw everyone who might have switched to vaping if decent hardware had remained available. They’re all gonna die, but I’ll be fine.” MHRA have now made it absolutely clear that they have no intention of letting that happen. If you can vape with it, they plan to regulate it as a medical device.

There is one way to ensure that we – and the ten million smokers who live in the UK – continue to have access to a wide range of rapidly developing, enjoyable vaping equipment, and it isn’t stockpiling wire and PG like some demented squirrel. It’s by making our voices heard and convincing the MHRA, the government and the EU that we do care about this and we will not vote for anyone who threatens our lives with corrupt, stupid and senseless legislation.

This post was written by

I’m a freelance writer and former soldier, originally from Glasgow but now living in Germany. E-cigarettes let me quit smoking after more than 20 years. I’m not going to sit back and let self-important jobsworths regulate them out of existence just because they’re too difficult to understand.

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