When policy-makers, scientists and health professionals gather in the august halls of London’s Royal Society for the E-Cigarette Summit this Thursday, it will be just the start of a busy conference season in Europe.
The summit will focus on the latest scientific findings in e-cig safety research, as well as looking at issues such as the purported gateway effect, public vaping, the role of the tobacco industry, and advertising.
An equally broad range of speakers includes Alan Depauw of French association AIDUCE, Deborah Arnott of the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Ian Gray of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Shahriar Coupal of the Advertising Standards Authority, and Scott Steedman of the British Standards Institution (BSI).
And those last two are in the midst of the news right now, as the BSI begins the comment period on its draft specification for an e-cig standard and the first British TV ad depicting the act of vaping airs tonight.
Getting it right
The summit is followed just a fortnight later by the Next Generation Nicotine Delivery event, also in London, with a slightly different emphasis on innovation and quality in products and manufacturing, as well as regulation.
Speakers at the 25th-26th November event include Mark Gardiner of the UK Trading Standard Service, who will examine the process changes companies need to make in order to thrive after the implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
Katherine Devlin of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA) will look at the BSI’s new standard proposals, developed with the association, covering topics including emissions and battery testing.
And challenges for the manufacturing end of the industry will also be explored by Ged Shudall, head of next generation product manufacturing realisation at Imperial Tobacco’s Fontem Ventures. Shudall’s subjects will include improving manufacturing quality for product safety, quality assurance and good manufacturing practices (GMPs), as well as the role of trade organisations and advocacy in shaping regulation.
A third UK event, eCig London on 3rd-4th December, features a line-up with some less well-known speakers such as Gal Cohen of Ploom, Philippe Vorreux of the World Customs Organization, and Lee Burke of the Royal Mail’s Dangerous Goods Team. Joining them are more prominent names such as Cynthia Cabrera from the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) and ECigIntelligence’s Tim Phillips.
Technology, the TPD and quality are then on the agenda in Germany, too, at TobaccoCampus: The Next Generation of E-cigarettes and MRTPs (modified risk tobacco products), held in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, on 8th-9th December.
Among the confirmed sessions are discussions of advances in product testing, the importance of packaging in influencing consumer choice of e-cigs, and manufacturing automation.
What This Means: You may well be too busy, or insufficiently masochistic, to attend all of these – but even so, if you’re European-based there’s likely to be at least one event addressing the questions you need to answer. All four have an intriguing menu of topics and there are some less exposed speakers mixed among the familiar names, which should provide useful perspective on the industry from outside.
It’s interesting to see from the programmes, too, that manufacturing practices and quality are clearly rising to the top of the industry agenda.
– Barnaby Page ECigIntelligence staff