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UK Electronic Cigarette Regulation and Compliance

There are regulations and compliance laws regarding the sale of electronic cigarettes and eliquid within the UK. Some of these regulations and laws are general and cover all products sold to the public. 

Compliance & Regulation For Electronic Cigarettes & eLiquid UK

1. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 

This legislation safeguards the right of consumers in the UK and The Office of Fair Trading ensures its compliance by all electronic cigarette based retail websites, retail shops, market stall vendors and all other means of retail to the public within the United Kingdom.

How To Register A Complaint
If a member of the public feels they have been mis-sold, treated unfairly or sold a faulty product they can contact the Office of Fair Trading who will then deal with their grievance. Click here for contact details

Falsely Claiming Electronic Nicotine Delivery Device Accreditation

1. Faking eCigarette Association Credentials
Claiming to be a signatory to a code of conduct such as a regulatory body or electronic cigarette organisation when the trader is not.

2. Falsely Displaying Trust Marks
Displaying a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without having obtained the necessary authorisation. 

3. Official eCiagrette / eLiquid Endorsements
Claiming that a code of conduct / eliquid, ecigarette has an endorsement from a public or other body which it does not have. 

4. Failing To Comply To the Endorsement
Claiming that a trader (including his/her commercial practices) or an electronic nicotine delivery device / eliquid or accessory product has been approved, endorsed or authorised by a public or private body when he/she/it has not, or making such a claim without complying with the terms of the approval, endorsement or authorisation. 

EXAMPLE: An electronic cigarette seller claims that he is registered under the ‘KiteMark’ scheme when he is not. This would breach the regulations. 

Electronic Cigarette Pricing, Product, Effect information

5. False eCigarette / eLiquid / Accessory Special Offer 
Making an invitation to purchase eCigarette products at a specified price, without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he/she will not be able to offer for supply or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the ecigarette product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered. This is known as ‘bait advertising’. 

6. Limited Time Only Offer
Falsely stating that an ecigarette product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice. 

7. Illegal Selling of eCigarette Products
Stating or otherwise creating the impression that a product can legally be sold when it cannot. 

8. Mis-Use of Consumer Law For The Sale of eCigarette Products Presenting rights given to consumers in law as a distinctive feature of the electronic cigarette trader’s offer. 

9. Over Promise, Under Deliver
Falsely claiming that an eCigarette product is able to cure illnesses, nicotine addition, disfunction or malformations. 

10. Falsely Promoting eCigarette Products
Making an invitation to purchase electronic cigarette products at a specified price and then: 

(a) Refusing to show the advertised item to consumers;
(b) Refusing to take orders for it or deliver it within a reasonable time;
Or (c) Demonstrating a defective sample of it, with the intention of promoting a different product (known as ‘bait and switch’).

11. Scare Purchase Tactics
Making a materially inaccurate claim concerning the nature and extent of the risk to the personal security or health of the consumer or his or her family if the consumer does not purchase the eCigarette product. 

12. Creating Extra Paperwork
Requiring a consumer who wishes to claim on an insurance policy, cigarette warranty or gaurantee to produce documents which could not reasonably be considered relevant as to whether the claim was valid, or failing systematically to respond to pertinent correspondence, in order to dissuade a consumer from exercising his/her contractual rights. 

Electronic Cigarette Promotional Activities

13. False Advertorials
Using editorial content in the media (internet website, radio, newspapers, TV etc) to promote an electronic cigarette product where a trader has paid for the promotion (advertorial) without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer. 

14. Faking Electronic Cigarette Goods
Promoting an ecigarette product similar to a product made by a particular manufacturer in such a manner as deliberately to mislead the consumer into believing that the electronic cigarette, eliqiud or accessory product is made by that same manufacturer when it is not. 

15. False Closing Down Sale
Claiming that the ecigarette trader is about to cease trading or move premises when he/she is not. 

16. False Selling of Electronic Cigarettes
Passing on materially inaccurate information on the ecigarette market conditions or on the possibility of finding the product with the intention of inducing the consumer to acquire the product at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions. 

17. Forcing The Deal
Including in marketing material an invoice or similar document seeking payment which gives the consumer the impression that he/she has already ordered the marketed ecigarette product when he/she has not. 

18. False eCigarette Seller Presentation
Falsely claiming or creating the impression that the ecigarette trader is not acting for purposes relating to his/her trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer. 

19. Advertising to Children
Including in an advertisement a direct exhortation to children to buy advertised products or persuade their parents or other adults to buy advertised products for them. 

Competitions and Prize Draws

20. Electronic Cigarette Pyramid Schemes
Establishing, operating or promoting an electronic cigarette pyramid promotional scheme where a consumer gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation in the form of money or an ecigarette product that is derived primarily from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme, rather than from the sale or consumption of products. 

21. You Can’t Promise a Win
Claiming that products are able to facilitate winning in games of chance. 

22. Winner Takes Nothing
Claiming in a commercial practice to offer an ecigarette related competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent. 

23. False Free eCiagrette Product Giveaways
Describing an electronic cigarette product as ‘gratis’, ‘free’, ‘without charge’ or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice and collecting or paying for delivery of the item. 

24. No Win Situations
Creating the false impression that the consumer has already won, will win, or will on doing a particular act win, an ecigarette product prize or other equivalent benefit, when in fact either: 

– There is no ecigarette product prize or other equivalent benefit,
– Taking any action in relation to claiming the ecigarette product prize or other equivalent benefit is subject to the consumer paying money or incurring a cost.

Sales and After-Sales Service

25. Forcing The Sale of Electronic Cigarette Products
Creating the impression that the consumer cannot leave the premises until a contract is formed. 

26. Home Visits & Overstaying Your Welcome
Conducting personal visits to the consumer’s home and ignoring the consumer’s request to leave or not to return, except in circumstances and to the extent justified, under national law, to enforce a contractual obligation. 

EXAMPLE: A door to door electronic cigarette salesman visits a consumer to sell her some cleaning products. She tells him she is not interested and asks him to leave. He is determined to try and get her to change her mind and continues his sales pitch on her doorstep. This would breach the regulations. 

27. Pestering The Consumer
Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified under national law to enforce a contractual obligation. 

28. Using Guilt to Make An eCigarette product Sales
Explicitly informing a consumer that if he or she does not buy the ecigarette product or service, the trader’s job or livelihood will be in jeopardy. 

29. Demanding Payment For Unsolicited Products
Demanding immediate or deferred payment for, or the return or safekeeping of ecigarette products supplied by the trader, but not solicited by the consumer except where the product is a substitute supplied in accordance with regulation 19(7) of the Consumer Protection (distance selling) Regulations 2000 (this is known as inertia selling). 

(View Your Electronic Cigarette e-Commerce / Website Consumer Rights)

30. Talking The Same Language
Undertaking to provide after-sales service to consumers with whom the electronic cigarette trader has communicated prior to a transaction in a language which is not an official language of the European Member State where the trader is located, and then making such service available only in another language without clearly disclosing this to the consumer before the consumer is committed to the transaction. 

EXAMPLE: An ecigarette trader based in the UK agrees to provide after sales service to a consumer he or she has been communicating with in German. The ecigarette trader then provides after sales services only in English, without warning the consumer pre-contract that that would be the case. This would breach the regulations.

31. Misleading After-Sales Information
Creating the false impression that after-sales service in relation to a product is available in a European Member State other than the one in which the product is sold. 


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