Technological innovation could help to further enliven an already buoyant British e-cigarette market but regulation is holding it back, according to the CEO of a major UK supplier.
Neil McCallum, chief executive of JAC Vapour, is bullish on the British market but says: “My biggest gripe is advertising restrictions. We need to be able to tell people about the benefits of vaping compared to smoking. We cannot rely on organisations such as Public Health England, Cancer Research UK and so on to do our advertising. We are part of the solution, not the problem – that’s the other guys.”
McCallum is also concerned by TPD-based limitations on e-liquids.
“Regulations as they stand – nicotine limits, bottle and tank capacity limits – are a massive barrier stopping people from trying to quit smoking using a vape device. We want sensible regulation that makes it easier for smokers to transition and makes products simpler and tailored to a new user’s needs.
“I would keep the testing regime for pre-mixed liquid and, no, we don’t want short-fills covered. That’s a quirk of the regulation. We would be far happier with the capacity limits on pre-mix being lifted back to 50 ml.”
Still, enhancements to products that remain within the law could make e-cigs even more attractive to British vapers and smokers, McCallum believes.
Risk for reduced-risk
“Other than lifting the daft things in the existing TPD legislation, improvements in charging technology, improvement in chip design (form and function), more interesting ways to interact with your device backed by the latest exciting battery tech, mean there are plenty of ways to improve and give customers a more engaging and fulfilling experience – not to mention e-liquid nicotine salts, better flavours and meeting the needs of a market craving new flavours.”
Easier-to-use technologies, such as pods, will also help e-cigs to penetrate further into the convenience retail sector, McCallum expects, although vape stores and online will continue to play critical roles.
Heated tobacco, too, could grow the market for reduced-risk products – but not without risk for the industry, he believes.
“I have mixed feelings on these products. We have all seen the impact the TPD has had on our industry, which is what happens when you conflate a tobacco product with a non-tobacco product, such as vaping. We need to keep them very separate and, at JAC, we will do our bit.
“HnB may work for some customers and if the science is verified, which it is not at present, it could have a place. But we won’t sell them – we’ll focus on increasing our design team [for e-cigs] in-house.”
McCallum is speaking at next month’s ENDS conference in London (Marble Arch, 5th-6th June) on the topic “Innovative design and manufacture for the UK market and beyond”.
- A 10% discount for the conference is available for ECigIntelligence subscribers, by applying discount code 18ENDS10ECIG at the checkout page.
– ECigIntelligence staff