Prepare Yourself for Bill 174

 

On December 12th, the third reading of Bill 174 was held, and the bill was carried on division, meaning all aspects of the bill were passed as is. This bill is known as an omnibus bill, as it incorporates a plethora of unrelated topics into one bill, and every aspect is either passed or denied. Bill 174 will put serious restrictions on the freedom of the vaping community. This bill will prohibit a lot of the aspect which make vaping, not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but a more enjoyable one.

At this moment in time, the current bill restricts a couple specific aspects of electronic cigarette sales and production.

  1. Sale of flavoured liquids. This part of the bill targets any flavours which may be “kid friendly” and which appeal to the underage audience. Meaning any flavours other than tobacco, will be restricted, including candy, fruits, drinks, desserts and more.  Although there has been speculation that vape shops that solely sell vape products, may be able to continue offering these products, as long as the customers are asked for ID upon entry, this is nowhere near confirmed.
  2. No promotion of any products. This includes any sort of promotion including contests, giveaways, posters or advertisements, social media including Instagram and Facebook pages, merch including hats, shirts etc.
  3. No samples, or testing. This means that no vape shops will be able to have tasting stations, or samples of products available to customers. Additionally, vaping inside shops or enclosed areas will be strongly permitted, and you will only be able to vape either in the comfort of your own home, or outside. This may possibly be exempt for certain shops, as long as they abide the specific restrictions put forward, including sufficient ventilation, and warning displays, as well as other possible regulations.
  4. No visual display of any products, including juice, mods, tanks etc. This essentially means you will have to come into the shop knowing exactly what you want, and how it works, as well as
    • No counters or displays
    • No advice or troubleshooting help
    • No guidance on how to set up a vape for new Vapers
    • No suggestions on which products the customer may enjoy
    • No viewing of products before purchase

This could have a severe impact on both vape shops, eliquid companies, and most importantly, you! Smaller shops will be forced to close, and some of your favourite flavours may be completely eradicated from the market.

Since the UK health division has declared that vaping is a 95% healthier alternative to smoking, it seems unlikely that vaping was the target of the “smoke-free act” portion of this bill. It seems more likely that this bill’s target is cannabis, rather than vaping, but somehow vaping was unfortunately lumped in with the rest of the new regulations in the bill.

The bill is set to come into effect as of July 2018, but no statements have been made as far as whether the bill will pass as is, whether it will have changes or exemptions before going into effect, and most importantly when it will start being enforced.