Insights from our Managing Director, Robert Sidebottom
In recent months, the vape industry has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. From non-compliance concerns to illegal levels of e-liquid, the industry has been under fire for its failure to comply with regulations. However, as with any new technology, controversy and concern for public welfare are to be expected. The tension arises from the perception that the benefits of new technologies will only accrue to small sections of society, while the risks will be more widely distributed.
In my humble opinion, the tension between the clear need for innovative vape products that are changing the lives of smokers for the better and the pressures to maintain continuity, social order, and stability is palpable. The industry is still immature in its regulatory existence and was initially adopted by a handful of entrepreneurial individuals who viewed regulation with suspicion. Circumnavigating regulations may have worked in the short term, but it does not provide a platform for continual growth, create trust in the marketplace, or the products.
The recent overfill issue highlighted by independent testing commissioned by British American Tobacco has brought to the fore the scale of a failure to put compliance at the very top of the priority list for many manufacturers. It has also highlighted the clear need for clarity of current regulations and brought into question the effectiveness of enforcement and the regulator.
However, the exponential uptake of vape products by consumers, particularly disposable vape devices, has made these products fast moving consumer goods adopted by nearly all large established retailers. The criticism of these innovative products has increased in line with their popularity and sales. As a result, large retailers who view compliance as one of their key business requirements have reacted accordingly to incidents of non-compliance to limit reputational or commercial damage.
Moving from niche to mainstream has been the driver of the compliance phase, which will ultimately mature the category and result in high-quality products. Trust discussions are becoming a regular feature of compliance in the category, with many questioning the efficacy and safety of the products.
Arcus Compliance is ideally positioned to assist the full spectrum of stakeholders in the vape industry in negating the clear risks that are ever present. With a team of dedicated specialists, we are experienced, skilled, and ready to ensure that quality vape products remain on the shelf. We will provide the assurance that is desperately needed while the enemies of innovation circle.
In conclusion, the move towards compliance is necessary for the vape industry to grow and mature. As regulations become clearer and enforcement becomes more effective, the industry will be able to provide high-quality products that are safe and effective. As an industry, we need to work together to ensure that compliance is at the forefront of our priorities, and that innovation can thrive in a safe and responsible manner.
For further advice on compliance, please contact us.