Smoore, a Chinese vaping technology company, has said it will not work with brands that use flavour names, packaging, or product designs that could be construed as attractive to children.
The company said it has created an initial list of flavours, such as cotton candy, gummy bear, watermelon bubblegum and blueberry popsicle. It is now setting up a “flavour detection squad” that will monitor the market for new flavours that could be considered appealing to minors.
Smoore will also not work with companies that attempt to use its vaping technology in “stealth products”, such as devices that could be hidden among items in pencil cases or product designs that look like toys, soft drinks or cartoon characters.
It added that every company under the Smoore umbrella had now been ordered to undertake a “root-and-branch review” to ensure that none of its products, or those of its customers on the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and original design manufacturer (ODM) side of its business, could be seen as appealing to children.
If Smoore finds brand owners have any products that it deems to be child-friendly, it will work with them so that immediate corrective action can be taken – but it could ultimately discontinue all cooperation if changes are not made.
The company declined to provide specifics on how it would conduct the review or how long the process would take. Neither did it provide details on how long it would work with brands to implement corrective actions before striking them off.
“The vape industry represents the best chance the world has ever seen to eradicate deadly cigarettes, and we cannot allow this opportunity to be squandered,” said Rex Zhang, strategy director at Smoore. “Vaping was invented for this very purpose and we need to ensure that it is focused on the adult smoking market.”
Zhang stressed: “There is absolutely no place for any vaping product to look like a child’s toy, be shaped like a much-loved cartoon character or iconic children’s game or be filled with liquid called ‘gummy bear, cotton candy, strawberry milkshake or starry violet.”
The company has also called for more standardisation of product sizes and shapes that it believes will help with faster disassembly at waste treatment sites, helping to increase recycling rates of vaping.
It highlighted its own Feelm 2.0 pod as an example of a product that provides a better environmental impact, as it offers 1,000 puffs per 2 ml tank compared with a general average of 500 to 600 puffs.
This is because typical utilisation of e-liquid is around 50%, as e-liquid remains in the cotton of the wick. This also means flavour wanes as the device is used, said Zhang. The Feelm 2.0 pod increases utilisation to over 75% – providing fewer wasted ml and more puffs per ml, he added.
The company achieved this by focusing on atomisation efficiency and power efficiency – including e-liquid supply, atomisation, aerosol, energy density and energy output efficiency, according to Smoore vice president Eve Wang.
This included a new ceramic coil design as well as a high-energy-density battery, which provided more efficient solutions that reduced the materials used. It is also thought that a more efficient device could be sold at a higher price point – reducing youth appeal.
Meanwhile, Smoore also called for regulators to randomly sample every batch of disposable vapes or pre-filled pods for compliance, with whole batches – typically 100,000 devices – being rejected if any number of non-compliant products were identified.
“Such measures are necessary to motivate the compliant brands and producers, while punishing the offenders. A strict, yet open, marketplace will encourage more innovations in the industry, to create products that will serve their job even better with every new generation,” the company said.
A spokesperson told ECigIntelligence: “With the prospect of new government regulations for the vape industry, we will follow the regulations. We plan to collaborate with the UK vaping industry association (UKVIA) to support the vaping industry in maximising its ability to assist adult smokers in quitting.”
The non-exhaustive list of flavours that Smoore identified as being child-friendly includes:
- Cotton candy
- Gummy bear
- Pink pop
- Ice cream
- Starry violet
- Fruit smash
- Dr Reptile
- Sour patch
Smoore did not respond to a request for more details on how it assembled its list and why specific flavours appeared there.
– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff
Photo: Ricardo Arce