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United Kingdom Download PDFAdd to comparison

The UK abides by the EU TPD (2014). E-cigarettes are regulated under the UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (SI 2016 no. 507). This covers all of the UK but devolved nations may choose to apply greater restrictions. All e-cigarette products must be notified by manufacturers to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), with detailed information on the products. Advertising is allowed on billboards but not on TV and radio. Legally there are no restrictions where you can vape but companies, public transport and public buildings implement their own restrictions. E-cigarettes are subject to a 20% Value Added Tax (VAT however, if they are regulated as Medicines, a 5% tax is levied instead. No 'medicinal' products are currently available.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Allowed[1, 2, 3]
As tobacco products
Yes[1, 2, 3]
As medicinal products
Yes[1, 2, 3]
As consumer goods
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

General use and availability
Legal to use
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell e-cigarette device
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell nicotine
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy device online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy nicotine online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import device - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import nicotine - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Advertising & promotion
Public advertising allowed in all Media
No[1, 2, 3]
Advertising allowed at point of sale
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Are health claims allowed
No[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Health
Minimum age restrictions on sales
Yes 18+[1, 2, 3]
Child & tamperproof containers required
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal restrictions on vaping in public places
No[1, 2, 3]
Health warning on packaging required
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Products
Notifications of new products required
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Restrictions on tank size
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Restrictions on nicotine content
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Restrictions on flavour range
No[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Notes on methodology & limitations

Data has been collected from a range of sources which are openly available online, such as vaping information/regulation websites & direct from country's legislation where available. In a few instances information has been included which was received from individuals specialising in the field. The regulatory picture changes frequently and these data boxes show the situation at time of going to press. This website will be updated as/when new regulatory information is received. There are gaps in the data available - readers are invited to send in updated information to the GSTHR team.

Country News

  • Friday, February 01, 2019
  • E-cigarettes are better at helping people quit smoking than nicotine patches and gum, study finds

  • A major new study provides the strongest evidence yet that vaping can help smokers quit cigarettes, with e-cigarettes proving nearly twice as effective as nicotine gums and patches. The British research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could influence what doctors tell their patients and shape the debate in the U.S.

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • Can Tech Change The Way We Tackle Smoking?

  • It’s estimated that every year around 207,000 children aged 11-15 start smoking. Children who live with parents or siblings who smoke are three times more likely to smoke themselves and with 14.9% of adults classified as smokers, it is a problem that will persist. [...] Anyone with even a passing interest in health knows the risks, which makes it even more shocking to see that 15 percent of the population (an estimated 7.4 million people) are smokers. It’s a habit that costs the NHS £2.5 billion a year in England alone, [...]

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019
  • UK Supermarket Chain Criticized for Displaying Vapes in Exactly the Right Place

  • Where should vaping products be stocked in stores? That question was sharply raised in response to Sainsbury’s, a British supermarket chain, placing e-cigarettes and vaping liquids on its shelves next to nicotine replacement products like patches and gums. Although British political hostility to vaping is nowhere near that seen in the US, opposition inevitably followed. Conservative Member of Parliament Bob Blackman, chair of the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, blasted Sainsbury’s: “It’s wrong to have them on open shelves [...]

  • Friday, January 11, 2019
  • The fate of vape: Vaping industry predictions for 2019

  • Opening up a brick and mortar shop can be a hectic process, not to mention that it usually requires a lot of financial resources. As a result, many new shops and businesses are opening exclusively online, and at the same time, the offline ones are also migrating to the internet too. This move can help shops make an impressive amount of savings. For further cost effectiveness, vape shop owners may think about migrating their business to a vape oriented marketplace like Vawoo

  • Monday, January 07, 2019
  • E-Cigarettes - UPDATED, with Professor Linda Bauld

  • Suzi chats to Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh about e-cigarettes and vaping. Linda provides an update on what's changed in the last 2 years since the first E-Cigarettes episode - in terms of who's using them, whether they are helping in smoking quit attempts, and what some of the new products on the market are like. Suzi and Linda also discuss nicotine itself, and the evidence as to whether or not it's harmful. [...]

  • Friday, January 04, 2019
  • Smoking shisha linked to diabetes and obesity, study finds

  • Smoking shisha "significantly increases" the risk of users developing diabetes and obesity, a major study has revealed for the first time.

    Research carried out by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School found that smokers were more likely to gain weight and develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to non-smokers after inhaling 'hookah' fumes. [...] the participants baseline characteristics were measured against their biochemical results which were observed through blood tests.