Law Changes in USA and China May Affect UK vaping

Momentous things are happening in the world of vape. China, the electronic cigarette manufacturing powerhouse has passed a law banning vape products from being sold. In America, President Biden has signed a Bill into law treating synthetic nicotine like freebase. We look at what this means for ecig users in the United Kingdom.

China adopting the Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarettes into law caused raised eyebrows and consternation. Almost all the world’s manufacturers of vape products operate in a Chinese city called Shenzhen – a city twice the size of London. A ban on sales has left many wondering what is going to happen to supply to the UK.

The new law means that all manufacturers will now have to register with the government administrative department that controls the state tobacco monopoly. Flavours other than tobacco e-liquid is now banned and there are harsh restrictions on the sale of equipment.

The good news is that this will apply only at home in China. Companies are still allowed to sell to foreign businesses but have to provide the administrative department with proof that they meet all the standards required in the countries the products will be exported to.
The news caused Chinese company share prices to fall, some by up to 36%.
On its own, this doesn’t pose a problem to British vapers for supply but there is a chance that the additional admin involved may lead to small price increases. This is yet to be confirmed. Unfortunately, a new outbreak of Covid in the city has led to the Chinese government locking down the 17.56 million inhabitants.

The lockdown has forced all manufacturing companies to close. Once stocks have run down, the duration of the lockdown could have implications for the supply of vape kits and replaceable heads.
The American move to control synthetic nicotine will not impact British vapers directly. The change means that American products using synthetic nicotine will now be treated the same as freebase (tobacco-derived) nicotine products.

For Americans, this means that none of the products are now legal for sale until companies have obtained authorisation from the FDA – but the FDA has not issue authorisation for virtually all of the applications for freebase products. Effectively, as it stands, this is a de facto ban.

The implication for British users is that Europe will almost definitely emulate the United States by including provisions for synthetic nicotine products in the new Tobacco Products Directive. In turn, this could be used by British opponents of vaping to push our Parliament to do the same.

In conclusion
·Currently, almost no products on the market include synthetic nicotine. Moves to legislate it in America and Europe will have almost no impact on British vapers

·The new Chinese law may lead to a small increase in the price of vape products in the UK

·The Covid outbreak in Shenzhen could lead to shortages of electronic cigarette products and e-liquids