Comment on electronic cigarette regulation by Matthew McMinn, CEO Lucky 8s Electronic Cigarettes
News that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will look to regulate electronic cigarettes in 2016, has got the industry and committed users somewhat agitated, to say the least.
Not all electronic cigarette suppliers are against regulation. There is a need to ensure only credible and safe brands are made available to the public. Many brands are actually pro regulation, but feel it has to be the right regulation; to regulate them as a medicinal product is certainly not the right way.
It wouldn’t be melodramatic to say that due to their approach, the MHRA is signing death warrants for many tobacco smokers. And what’s their rationale? Some misplaced principle that smoking electronic cigarettes simulates the action of smoking tobacco cigarettes, and that can’t be a good thing – damn the health benefits of the former. This blinkered attitude will only contribute to the tens of thousands of people who die every year in the UK from smoking related diseases. Someone needs to the question the sanity of this quango as, make no mistake; people’s lives are at stake.
Dr Joel Nitzkin, Chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force for the American Association of Public Health Physicians, estimates that, in the US alone, the death toll from smoking related diseases would drop dramatically from 400,000 a year to 4,000 if people converted to electronic cigarettes. “Great” say we (as consumers and suppliers). “Let’s make it less appealing and stifle the market”, say the MHRA.
A large part of the growth in the electronic cigarette market is because they are similar to tobacco cigarettes; not only in the way nicotine is inhaled but also in the look and feel of the brands. This familiarity makes the transition from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes that little bit easier and we at Lucky 8s have, unashamedly, positioned our brand this way.
Being regulated by the MHRA will put a stop to this sort of positioning, making them more of a medical product over a lifestyle choice. This familiarity is certainly one of the reasons why many of our customers choose Lucky 8s over more clinical looking brands and more medicinal methods of giving up smoking, like patches or inhalers.
Regulation through the MHRA will also stifle competition and stem innovation. We see now that the big tobacco firms have started to take a serious interest in the sector; after lobbying against it for years. MHRA regulation would ironically mean only big tobacco firms or pharmaceutical companies would be able to afford the licenses.
Everyone from the tobacco firms to the pharmaceutical companies, charities and health organisations, not forgetting our own electronic cigarette sector, have their own agendas. What’s required is a sensible solution to regulation which primarily ensures consumer safety at the same time as encouraging growth, competition and innovation in the market.
It goes without saying; we believe that regulation would be better for everyone, if the MHRA were not involved.
About Lucky 8s
In 2011 Lucky 8s CEO, Matthew McMinn, read a report that if every smoker in the United States used eCigarettes over tobacco cigarettes, the death rate of smoking related diseases would decrease from 400,000 a year to 4,000. This statistic alone drove him to establish Lucky 8s as a real brand; an aspirational brand that would appeal to smokers and help them with the transition from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, and in turn, a healthier lifestyle.
Lucky 8s aim is to provide premium e-cigarettes to existing smokers, who are looking for a healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Our product range is limited to what we believe are the best e-cigarettes on the market.
Focusing on a core range ensures we provide not only quality products, but also a quality service.
Our mission is to grow a profitable brand; a brand smokers prefer to smoke over any other and a brand that people are proud to be associated with, both customers and employees. Through providing quality products and service and treating our customers, suppliers and staff with respect and by playing an active role within the sector, Lucky 8s aim to be one of the world’s leading e-cigarette companies.
For more information visit www.lucky-8s.co.uk
About Matthew McMinn
Matthew is an experienced strategist and marketing professional with 16 years experience working within leading marketing agencies, delivering strategic support for clients across financial, utility, automotive, fmcg and telco sectors.
His career started 1997 at the biggest direct marketing agency in Europe, Rapp. From there he drifted south to become Commercial Director at Melbourne’s number 1 ad agency, George Patterson Bates.
McMinn returned to the UK in 2002 to head up Business Development at Clark Mckay & Walpole until he joined US advertising giant, Doner, in 2008. He joined the management team at Doner in 2012.
About electronic cigarettes
An electronic cigarette, also known as an eCigarette, vap or an ecig, is an electrical inhaler that vaporises a flavoured liquid into an vapour mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking.
Most eCigarettes contain nicotine, but due to the fact that there is no combustion, tobacco, tar or other chemical substances, it is healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes.
It also lacks the second-hand smoke that accompanies tobacco cigarettes.
Ecigs consist of a small rechargeable lithium battery and a replaceable cartridge (Cartomizer) containing water, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavouring. When you take a draw, it activates the atomizer (which is like a mini kettle filament), this then releases simulated smoke that is actually water vapour.
Matthew McMinn, CEO
e. [email protected] 8s Inc.
PO Box 288
Source: Lucky 8s