Local e-cigarettes and e-liquids retailers are being reminded of new rules coming into place from the 20th of May.
Cumbria County Council say they are becoming more popular as they are considered a "safer" alternative to smoking, with specialist 'vaping bars' opening across the county.
The new requirements, upheld by the Cumbria Trading Standards, include:
- Health information will be provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices
- Items only to be sold in an environment that protects children from starting to use these products.
- Restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
- Restrict the maximum volume of e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
- Restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
- Require nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
- Ban certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
- Include new labelling requirements and warnings
- Require all e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified to MHRA before they can be sold
The key messages I want to promote are if you don't smoke, don't start vaping; if you do smoke, stop altogether if you can - and our pharmacies can help; and if you can't stop, or don't want to - switch to vaping.
Cumbria's smoking rate is dropping and latest figures show that less than 16% of the adult population continue to smoke. However this still represents about 60,000 adult smokers across the county, so there's a lot more to be done to help get the numbers down further.
Local trading standards officers will carry out visits to premises across Cumbria to advice businesses.
Local retailers are being reminded of a change in rules concerning the selling of tobacco.
The Cumbria Trading Standards say tobacco products that do not comply with the new rules must be removed from display.
They are set to come into force from the 20th of May. The new measures include:
- A minimum of 20 cigarettes per packet
- Hand rolling tobacco (HRT) in pouches of 30 grams or more
- New and larger health warnings that cover 65% of the packaging
- All cigarette and HRT packets to be a standardised colour (dull green)
- Flavoured cigarettes and HRT will also be banned (menthol cigarettes in 2020)
- Brand names will be written in standard font, size and location on the pack
This is a proud moment for public health in the fight to reduce smoking prevalence. Many of us have worked on this for a number of years.
The percentage of young people smoking in Cumbria has steadily decreased since 2003, which is a trend that we are delighted about. These new laws can only help contribute to this decline and ultimately cut the risks associated with smoking, saving more lives.
It is hoped that the new rules and the increase in cost of tobacco, will make the products less appealing to people and help current smokers quit.
The county council's public health Stop Smoking Helpline can be reached on 03000 13 3000.
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The fire service is urging people to take care with e-cigarettes.
The warning comes after a fire broke out at a house in Carlisle, when an e-cigarette was left charging over night.
The smoke alarm went off and the flames were contained quickly. It's thought to be one of the first fires to have been caused by an e-cigarette in Cumbria.
Businesses in South Lakeland are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.
Spot-checks by council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are still not complying with the legislation.
The government introduced smoke-free laws in 2007, which made it an offence to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles.
Managers of smoke-free premises have a legal responsibility to prevent people smoking and part of the law requires no smoking signs to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to the premises.
Failure to comply with the laws is a criminal offence. Failure to display no smoking signs carries a fixed penalty notice of £200 imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke-free premises or vehicle, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers are responsible for enforcing the law and can offer information and support to help businesses meet their legal obligations.
The council operates a ‘progressive enforcement’ policy, giving advice to businesses initially and only resorting to prosecution if the business fails to act on the advice.
“So far everyone we have spoken to has listened to the advice and we haven’t needed to issue any fixed penalty notices.
“But our recent checks have shown there are still many businesses that are not complying with the law. We just want to remind them that there is the risk of a fine or prosecution if they don’t do something about it.’’