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Working together to shape a
sustainable vape industry

Many of you know me as the guy that started “that WhatsApp group”. The truth is that I couldn’t sit silently while events unfolded around me. In the past few weeks, over 900 retailers, distributors and manufacturers have joined in the discussion. We united under the belief that what we do is beneficial and worth protecting. Now I want to take what we’ve started further. I firmly believe that we need to unite to advocate for the future of our industry. To this end, I’m creating Our Vape Advocacy - a not-for-profit organisation behind which we can unify, achieve some practical and meaningful goals to shape an industry that will remain sustainable for businesses like yours and mine for many years to come.


Our vaping industry has been under attack for many years. The mainstream media, legislators and increasingly, organisations, such as the WHO adopting a vehement anti-vaping stance.

Though we must acknowledge that some criticisms carry merit, there is a legitimate fear within the vaping industry that new legislation, without proper consultation, will only act to punish those within the industry who are least responsible for causing the problems we face today. There is also the worry that without proper enforcement, any piece of legislation introduced will fuel a black market in illicit products, trading with impunity.

All of us believe that the vaping industry saves lives. Our products help smokers kick a habit that is responsible for over 400,000 hospital admissions and around 78,000 premature deaths per year.

Our Vape Advocacy will begin with a solid foundation of four practical and achievable aims as highlighted within this document. This is our manifesto for a starting point towards shaping a sustainable vaping industry. We ask you all to stand with us in protecting this industry that we love.

Be Part of the Advocacy

Join the fight for good!

Our Aims

A unified voice
Everything that we seek to do depends upon our unity - our ability to work collectively for the betterment of our industry. In fact, our current predicament stems from our lack of unity. We have no voice - no one that effectively speaks on behalf of an industry that has prevented countless premature deaths over the course of its existence. This disunity has allowed certain interest groups to polarise the public through the media.

80% of the British public is either firmly anti-vaping or believe that vaping isn’t a good thing.

Our Vape Advocacy will seek to address this. Through unity, we will implement this manifesto, gather the most comprehensive dataset this industry has ever had. We will engage with the media, legislators, various organisations, and industry stakeholders. Working together with those who both support and oppose our industry, we will not ignore shortcomings, but seek to implement practical changes for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

Tackling illicit products
Did you know that products which are illegal to sell are perfectly legal to import?

This will come as a surprise to many of you, but it’s perfectly true. Under current legislation, such products are only illegal to retail. However, the import of such products is perfectly legal, under the logic that such goods will be subsequently exported to other markets. This logic is flawed. We know that the import of such products is what fuels the black market in high capacity disposable vapes and is a loophole which needs to be closed.

If it’s not fit for retail, it’s not fit for import.

Through the media and the lobbying of legislators, we aim to close this loophole and enable powers for the Border Force to be able to seize illicit vaping products. We believe that such a policy will be highly popular with anti-vaping lobbies, legislators, the media and general public. It’s also a policy that the vaping industry can get behind.

It’s a win for everyone involved.

Tackling underage vaping

Do you have an age verification policy in your store? Can you prove it?

We aim to implement an uniform age verification system, across all retailers, as part of our membership package. We will be using Yoti, a UK based, globally known digital identity and biometric technology company. Yoti was born in 2014 and has spent seven years and £95 million developing a consumer-centric digital identity platform that puts the user in charge of their data. This policy would ask every retailer to verify every transaction through a facial age estimation system. The process takes only a few seconds and provides an independent record proving an active and effective age verification policy is in place.

This policy will not bear any additional cost to the retailer and it supports our organisation in the work we will be doing behind the scenes in impacting the perception of the industry and helping us to shape future policy.


Without proper enforcement, new and current legislation only impacts reputable actors within the industry. At the moment, any complaints of wrongdoing are submitted to relevant authorities such as HMRC or Trading Standards by individuals in a non-standardised and non-coherent manner.

We will attempt to make a meaningful change to this. We will implement a centralised, evidence-led method of reporting infractions committed by retailers, distributors and manufacturers within the industry and submit such complaints, together with details on specific infractions, to the relevant authorities. Such a measure would look to report on issues such as:

▪ Illicit product sales
▪ Underage sales
▪ VAT fraud
By establishing relationships with the relevant authorities and through a centralised means of complaint collection, we can ensure that infractions are reported to the appropriate authorities, in the right format, and actioned in the correct manner. Together with pushing for a ban on the import of illicit products, this proposed enforcement measure will go a long way to placing a higher burden on the individuals and entities engaged in black market activities.

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