Monday 27 June 2016 4:30 pm

E-cigarette industry body seeks government meeting to changes to EU vaping regulations in the wake of Brexit vote

An e-cigarette industry body will seek talks with the government to discuss whether EU vaping legislation can be renegotiated in the wake of last week's Brexit vote. 

The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) told City A.M. that although the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was transposed into UK law in May, the organisation will still "seek clarity" for its members on whether there could be any future changes to the law.

The EU's TPD legislation was transposed into UK law on 20 May as the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. 

The law was widely blasted by the vaping industry for stipulating strict clampdowns on e-cigarette advertising, banning it in print, on television and radio, as well as clamping down on the strength and flavours of nicotine that can be used. 

Read more: Just what has the EU got against e-cigs?

Under the legislation, manufacturers are also required to notify government bodies about new products six months before they are launched. 

Some argued this would stifle innovation in an industry driven by emerging product design. 

"As a trade association IBVTA will be meeting with government officials as a matter of priority to discuss the full implications of the referendum result and will continue to make the case for sector specific and proportionate regulations for the independent vape industry," Nigel Quine, deputy chairman of the IBVTA, said.

"What we do know is that the UK is still a member of the EU and bound by all obligations of membership. Therefore, at this moment in time, the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations are still binding and the industry still needs to comply with them.

"What happens next will depend on the wider negotiations between the government and Brussels and the exact nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It is this that will determine whether or not the current regulations remain in force beyond the point that the UK actually leaves the EU."

Read more: How the EU has pushed e-cigarettes into the dark

However, the chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, Deborah Arnott, warned it was unlikely the government would be open to discussing regulations that are already UK law. 

"The government is not going to withdraw these regulations, one reason being that they include rules on standardised packaging as well as e-cigarettes and manufacturers are already making their products to these standards," Arnott said. 

As well as introducing new rules on e-cigarettes, a range of tobacco restrictions were also included in the law, such as a ban on menthol cigarettes and standardised packaging regulations. 

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "This is the beginning of a long and complex process. All matters will be considered in due course."