During the conference a few weeks ago we received a an update from Tom Pruen on how ECITA are helping to form the regulations here in the EU and the UK, and how things will develop as time moves forward. For those who don't know ECITA, it is a fairly major organisation in the vaping world and one that receives a great deal of support from the industry. Set up in 2010, ECITA is the longest-running trade association for the electronic cigarette industry in the world. ECITA is run and operated by VKC Regulatory and Scientific Ltd, who aren't engaged in the sale of vaping products, directly or indirectly, which allows them to represent the interests of their members and their customers fairly and fully. They consistently look at the standards of the industry to make sure that electronic cigarettes are seen as a viable, healthier ,and above all, safer alternative to smoking tobacco. They are currently closely involved with the regulatory bodies who are overseeing the TPD and working tirelessly to see that those regulations are fair and practical.
Tom is the Chief Scientific Officer for ECITA and is working to build the standard model for the vaping industry. He reckons that there is generally a good working collaboration within the industry to set the standards for the future. The problem comes, however, when you look at the changing face of the industry. Opinion, technology and regulations all change so fast when it comes to ecigs that it can be a challenge to stay one step ahead and plan for the future. The E-cig industry is one that attracts regulators due to the way the tech and the liquid is developed and put together, so this cannot be ignored and must be moulded by those who know the real science behind it all. Despite this, Tom is confident about the way things are progressing over here, especially in comparison with the US situation. He seems to think that in the end we will end up with two or three standards for the industry to stick by in terms of safety when it comes to both devices and E-liquids. He is working with the new technical committee put together by CEN European Committee for Standardisation, called the CEN/TC 437, to see this happen.
When asked where he saw the industry going in the next five years, he surmised that perhaps we would be looking at another round of regulations at some point. If this were the case, then they would be heavily informed by the work being put in by many organisations to keep things both fair and safe. What the industry needs to do now is pull together and work with one another. Petty in-fighting will do nothing but harm us and at such a critical junction that can't be good for anyone.