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If you’ve been watching the news, then you’re bound to have noticed the headlines about the recent vaping controversy in the United States. And for good reason.
According to Public Health England, in the past few months over 1,600 cases of vaping-related lung issues in America have been reported to the Centre for Disease Control. With these statistics in the news, there’s no wonder that many e-cigarette users in the UK are beginning to feel worried.
But much like electrical outlets and our use of the term ‘pants’, there are plenty of differences between vaping in the UK and in the US.
While states across the US are banning vaping, the UK maintains its position in promoting e-cigarettes as a great option to help people give up tobacco cigarettes.
To help you understand why opinions on vaping across the pond vary so much to ours and to set your mind at ease, we’ve outlined the key differences between vaping in the US and the UK.
If you’re looking to stop smoking or want to make a change, check out our range of e-cigarette liquids, available now.
E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity in the US since 2007, but the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) – America’s official body that’s responsible for monitoring products to protect public health – didn’t obtain regulatory permission until 2016.
This means that vape products were being sold unregulated in the US for 10 years.
Public Health England states: “E-cigarettes containing nicotine are more tightly regulated in the UK than in the US,” as products are overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The outbreak of illness in the US has been tied to specific chemicals in vaping products, specifically THC and Vitamin E, which are not allowed in the UK.
While nicotine alone is not necessarily a harmful substance, it is highly addictive. In the US, there is no limit on the amount of nicotine allowed in vape products, with some popular e-liquids containing up to 59mg/ml.
In contrast, the UK limit is capped at 20mg/ml. This helps to control nicotine consumption and provide vapers in the UK with a framework for lowering their dependency –according to Action on Smoking and Health, 44% of UK vapers view e-cigarettes as a tool that can help them to lower their nicotine consumption levels.
One of the major concerns surrounding e-cigarettes in the US is the number of young people who have taken up vaping. The FDA reported that 3.62 million teenagers used e-cigarettes in 2018.
Again, this is largely down to regulations.
In the US, e-cigarette companies are able to target young people through advertising on TV and social media.
The UK has far stricter regulations in place regarding where e-cigarette advertising is permitted and who ads can be targeted towards. As outlined by the Advertising Standards Agency:
American politicians have had heated debates regarding e-cigarette regulations. Many have even promised to ban them altogether in light of the health issues that have arisen.
In September of 2019, Trump said his administration would remove all flavoured vaping products, including menthol, from the market in response to a press conference held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This decision led to many debates on the ramifications an all-out ban could have on the economy. It was also argued that removing flavoured vapes from the market may cause adult users to revert to smoking cigarettes.
In stark contrast, the UK government has stood behind the role of e-cigarettes as a positive tool that can help the UK reach its goal to be smoke-free by 2030.
It’s very important to keep these differences in mind when reviewing conversations about e-cigarettes across the pond. In the UK, we have far stricter regulations, which create a safe, stable, and supportive framework for vapers.
But if you’re still unsure, check out our Beginners Guide.