Vape Association Demands Apology From MP: Industry Controversy Unfolds


Picture this: You’re a respected member of an emerging industry that’s sparked off a paradigm shift, impacting and potentially saving millions of lives from the hazardous effects of smoking. Yet, you find yourself vilified on the public stage by a Member of Parliament. This is precisely the situation facing the UK Vaping Association, who now demand an apology after being embroiled in a cloud of controversy. A drama is unfolding as we speak—an overcast “vape storm,” if you will—and it’s high time we delved deep into this narrative that’s shaping our present-day perspective on vaping.

The Vape Association is demanding an apology from the MP due to alleged statements or actions that have offended or misrepresented the vaping industry. Our article provides details on the specific incident, highlighting the association’s concerns and reasons for seeking an apology.

The Vape Association vs MP: An Overview

The UK Vaping Association (UKVIA) is a well-established industry organisation that represents various stakeholders in the vaping community. Members include independent retailers such as The Electric Tobacconist but the association no longer accepts membership from tobacco-owned firms such as VUSE (British American Tobacco) and IQOS (Philip Morris) . Their mission has always been to advocate for the rights of vapers, promote safe vaping practises, and combat misinformation about e-cigarettes. With hundreds of thousands of vapers across the country, they have emerged as a prominent voice for this booming industry.

On the other side of the ring is the MP who ignited this ongoing conflict through a series of comments made in a recent interview about the UKVIA and by extension, its members

The Root of the Controversy

The controversy revolves around UK Public Health Minister, Andrea Leadsom’s comments on the UK Vaping Industry Association’s (UKVIA) proposed vape licensing scheme. Leadsom dismissed the proposal, stating it was a cynical attempt by the vaping industry to eliminate competition, increase profits, and focus on addicting children to vapes. These remarks sparked outrage within the UKVIA, which has been advocating for a licensing scheme funded by the vape industry, aiming to provide Trading Standards with £50m a year to police underage and illicit vape sales. The UKVIA responded by demanding an apology from Leadsom for her ‘inappropriate, false and disrespectful’ comments. They argue that the scheme is designed to protect children from unscrupulous retailers and to equip Trading Standards with the resources to enforce regulations. The controversy has led to a heated debate about the role of the vaping industry in public health and regulation.

Industry Reaction

UKVIA Director General had this to say by way of response: “the Minister’s comments on the licensing scheme they are false and completely inappropriate. They are disrespectful to the legitimate independent vaping industry that wants to do the right thing, and have invested their life savings in helping save the lives of smokers. Indeed, the inspiration behind many of these independent vaping businesses has been personal loss through smoking.”

Added to this, UKVIA member and CEO of The Electric Tobacconist Pascal Culverhouse had this to say: “The Minister’s views are simply not thought through. A licensing scheme would in no way reduce competition, it would merely create a deterrent for unscrupulous retailers either not bothering with age checks or ignoring certain laws around legal vapes. If a license is at risk, as seen with the alcohol industry, there would surely be a closer adherence to the law.”

Bill on Hold (for now)

The row is moot for now, with the tobacco and vape bill  temporarily on hold after the calling of the General Election. It remains, however, a significant piece of legislation aimed at addressing concerns related to youth vaping. It includes provisions that make it unlawful to sell or distribute specific electronic cigarettes and packaging, as well as advertising and manufacturing requirements. The Department of Agriculture, Department of Revenue, Department of Public Health, and Illinois State Police have been identified with the joint authority to administer and enforce this act.

Also known as the Preventing Youth Vaping Act, it’s a legislative proposal focusing on the alarming rise in youth vaping. This act places a heavy emphasis on regulating the sale, advertising, and manufacturing of electronic cigarettes to curb the increasing usage among young people. Now at a critical juncture, this bill has captured the attention of many.