UK vape companies may be required to fund research into the health effects of e-liquid flavours, according to a new report.
Some experts fear that certain flavours could be damaging to the heart or lungs.
The proposals could see countless flavours pulled from UK shelves.
Professor John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at Nottingham University, who sits on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)’s panel on e-cigarettes, said:
“If you restrict the flavours, you may restrict the tolerability of vaping to people trying it for the first time, but you will also lose an awful lot of smokers.”
Professor Britton suggested an alternative pathway, where vape companies could get their flavours licensed.
However, this could prove prohibitively expensive for many independent businesses.
Professor Britton suggested that companies could group together to apply for a ‘common license’ to prove that a flavour or group of flavours met the required medical standards.
Professor Britton said:
“It would be very hard to argue that all of those [flavours] are necessary but how do you then say ‘this one is OK and this one isn’t’?
“You could say ‘OK, no flavours’ in which case you will make vaping unacceptable to most vapers. Or you could say ‘we’ll allow a limited list of, say, half a dozen flavours’.
“But how do you decide what those should be? There is no way of saying that cinnamon is safer than orange. I don’t see how you draw the line.”
A licensing system could mirror the US Premarket Tobacco product Application (PMTA) process.
From May this year, US companies will be required to prove that their products are safe and beneficial to public health to stay on the market.
The Trump administration announced a ban on most flavoured pods last week amid the ongoing youth vaping ‘epidemic.’