New regulations on e-cigarettes are welcomed by health campaigners, but many share concerns over potentially unknown side effects.
The changes, which come into effect in the UK this Saturday 20 May 2017, limit the size and strength of e-cigarette tanks, as well as ban certain ingredients, including colourings and caffeine.
E-cigarettes and e-liquids must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency before they can be sold. Vape tanks larger than 2ml will no longer be permitted while e-liquid bottles now have a maximum capacity of 10ml. A maximum nicotine strength has also been set at 20mg (2%).
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, a charity working to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health and wellbeing, welcomes the new regulations that will now impact the 2.9 million Brits who use e-cigarettes.
Dr Carter says: “One of the biggest areas of concerns about e-cigarettes [was] that the industry operated without regulation. Given the sustained and rapid growth of the number of people switching to e-cigarettes, regulation was an absolute necessity and we’re delighted to see it finally being brought into force.”
Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the UK, attributing to almost 80,000 deaths a year in England alone. It is also responsible for a plethora oral health problems such as mouth cancer, plaque and tartar, inflammation, bone loss in the jaw, teeth staining and bad breath.
While such issues are not linked to nicotine, nicotine itself isn’t without its issues. Dr Carter adds: “E-cigarettes may well be a healthier way to access nicotine but it’s not completely problem-free. Nicotine itself limits the blood flow in our mouth’s tissues. Because of this, it seems likely that vapers may be more prone to gum disease. If you are thinking about switching to e-cigarettes or already use them, it is important to be extra attentive to the prevention of gum disease.”