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WARNING: This Product Contains Nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.
WARNING: This Product Contains Nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.
Black sign for a vape shop that includes the message Stop Smoking Start Vaping

The UK set to hand out 1 million vapes for FREE

The UK's newest policy
Overview of new policy
The US's approach to vapes
Final Thoughts


The UK's newest policy

In a national attempt to crack down on youth vaping and cigarette smokers, the United Kingdom is giving away 1 million free vapes. Minister Neil O’Brien delivered a speech to address what is the “single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England.” 

Overview of new policy

The national programme aims at stopping children and non-smokers from beginning to vape but also using vapes as a tool to stop smokers. This is all in hopes for the UK to reach a smokefree status by 2030. Supporting his speech with an Oxford study on how vapes are “significantly more effective as a quit tool” and how local pilots of ‘swap to stop’ schemes have successfully helped smokers quit.

O’Brien plans on focusing on at-risk communities first (job centers, homeless centers, and social housing) for these swap to stop partnerships, where smokers are given a vape starter kit and behavioral support to fully support them to completely stop. There is even a financial benefit in the plan to help lessen the 9% of pregnant women who smoke. 

Despite the programme giving light to vapes as a cigarette cessation, O’Brien’s tone towards vapes continues to be negative. Emphasizing that children/teen vaping is rising and that stricter regulations on the marketing, appearance, and environmental impact is of concern. Even directly focusing on Elfbar as the face for vape products that don’t meet regulatory standards. Going to the extent that they’re funding £3 million to create the ‘flying squad’ that will focus its efforts on enforcing rules on vaping, handling illicit vapes, and underage vape sales.

Basing this initiative centers around new studies and grounding evidence that shows vapes are “substantially less harmful than smoking” (new evidence by Oxford University), and that vapes are the most effective quit tool for smokers. 

However the steps that the UK are taking to tackle smoking is a stark contrast from efforts that the US government has taken and will continue to take.

Rather than looking at the overall use that vapes could bring out, the US focuses on the image that vapes are harming our young children. Note the UK does not dismiss this fact, but instead acknowledges that vapes have the potential to aid in the overall health of smokers. 

What’s the difference with the US’s approach? 

The US's approach to vapes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had control over the vape industry since 2016, but no federal regulations/rules have been implemented. Instead they have given each state the power to oversee how they want to address the industry.

The FDA did issue a restriction on selling unauthorized flavored cartridge-based products. Unless they carry tobacco or menthol flavors under the new policy companies are to cease manufacturing, distributing, or selling ‘unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes’ or risk the FDA to call upon action. 

The FDA agreed to allow companies for premarket applications. Which is supposed to allow any company with vape products to be reviewed by the FDA and demonstrate that it meets the applicable standard in the law by Congress to make sure that it’s not being promoted towards youths. 

In retrospect, yes the FDA has given flavored vapor products a chance to be FDA approved, but it comes with extraordinary reason and with scarce few passing their requirements Therefore, many vape manufactures have been given zero chance of bring approved as an authorized product. 

Final Thoughts

There is no winning with how the American government is overviewing vape products. At the heart of it the UK is not dismissing the fact that there is more than what meets the eye with vapes. There’s a reason that vapes are vital for adult use and just that, it’s meant for adults. Allowing the fact that it’s purpose as a smoking cessation is crucial and the most beneficial quitting tool in the market. 

We could learn a thing about the new program and see how it progresses. The program gives the opportunity to create better ideas to tackle current problems associated with vapes, rather than counterproductive regulations and bans. 

What are your thoughts? Share below in the comments.

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