The UK’s “single largest public database of all legally listed vape products” has been launched so consumers, retailers, brands and compliance officers can easily look up products and check they are safe to buy and sell.

Vapeclick was created in collaboration with regional Trading Standards officers, compliance agencies and members of the UK vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) by Yorkshire-based firm TechStream.

The platform claims to be the only dataset that uses the complete list of branded vape products that have been ‘submitted and notified’ with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) since 2016 – indicating they have been approved for sale - and offers it up in an “easily searchable format”. Sourcing that information has “historically been problematic” TechStream said.

“The vape industry has been the brunt of intense criticism regarding the thousands of illegal disposable products which have seeped into the market. One of the main challenges for retailers and enforcement officers has been easily identifying compliant products,” said Andy Roberts, director of TechStream.

“By providing retailers, enforcement agencies and consumers with an easily accessible list they will now be able to make informed decisions regarding the products they can legally sell and where to buy them from,” he added.

Ahead of its official launch, a trial with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (COSI) tobacco Control Team saw Vapeclick accessed by dozens of trading standards officers “as a first step in identifying legal and illegal vape products”.

The platform is free to use and search with, however vape manufacturers will be able to add “enhanced listings” of their products to the platform such as product images, flavour details, barcode information and brand information, for a charge. Brands can also use the platform as a direct sales channel.

“This will further reinforce consumer confidence, protection, and awareness while at the same time providing a complete almanac of all legally listed vape products in the UK,” TechStream said.

The platform’s back-end data is also expected to be accessible for a charge in the future.

VapeClick will become “the central resource for the entire vape industry” TechStream said.

“This is a fantastic development for the entire UK vape industry and should be viewed as a step forward in self-regulation. We welcome the initiative and the many benefits it will provide.” said John Dunn, Director-General of the UKVIA.

Leading disposable vape manufacturer Geek Bar has also launched an online platform, called VapeWatch, aimed at helping retailers, wholesalers and distributors, “keep on the right side of the law when it comes to supplying and selling disposable vapes”. The site features various resources on how to check products are compliant with regulations, including information for parents and schools on how to report retailers that they suspect of breaking the law and selling vapes to children.

“It provides all the information for retailers, wholesalers and distributors to do the right thing. And if they don’t, it provides the tools to empower parents and schools to take action against those vape traders acting illegally,” said Allen Yang, chief executive at Geek Bar.

“Purposely, we have not associated our brand with VapeWatch on the actual platform as we did not want it to be perceived as a promotional vehicle for our business but a genuine move to support the industry and other audiences in ensuring vapes are only used by former or existing adult smokers and that only compliant products are supplied and sold via online and offline retailers,” he added.