Given that there is some concern over the quality of some of the e-cigarettes currently on the market, we wanted to just go into a bit more detail on the subject to put all of you (our lovely customers!) at ease. There are lots of reports out there talking about the “unregulated” e-cigarette industry. Officially it is currently unregulated but those of us who are serious about our customers’ welfare and our business self-regulate to ensure our products meet high standards of quality. We would particularly recommend that you ensure any e-cigarette brand you use is a member of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association.
To go into a bit more detail about how we work and ensure quality control, we need to start at the blu factory…
We work very closely with our manufacturing partner, who is based in Shenzhen, China and have established an impressive element of control over our manufacturing arrangements. Whilst the majority of electronic manufacturers produce a range of electronic products in addition to electronic cigarettes, blu’s facility focuses solely on the production of electronic cigarettes. We specialise in what we do. The facility is ISO 9001 and GMP certified.
The close relationship we have with our manufacturing partner is further enhanced by having blu senior members of staff regularly visit the facility and work directly with our contacts there, which allows us control of the manufacturing process. We also have an in-house technician (the very skilled Trevor Bond) to carry out checks on every batch for quality. He is based here in Edinburgh at the blu UK headquarters.
Due to the unique relationship with our manufacturing partner we have the ability to incorporate higher quality components into our products. We also deliver high levels of quality assurance and control to ensure our products meet exacting standards. Part of this includes having a facility which manufactures exclusively for blu and a reliable team present oversee on our behalf to our standards. If an issue should ever arise, all of our products carry a batch code that can be traced back to the order and production date.
Now that we’ve let you know a bit about our factory and the close eye we are able to keep on our product development and manufacturing process, we can move onto letting you know more about the details of our self-regulation which we so often mention.
First of all, under UK law, an electronic cigarette is classified as a general sales product, which requires all factories making e-cigarettes to meet a strict health and safety manufacturing environment, for the benefit of those working there. We opted to become a board member of ECITA (Electronic Cigarette Independent Trade Association), an organization which has combined the UK and EU legal requirements and government guidelines to develop an Industry Standard of Excellence. That’s what we abide by – a carefully developed Industry Standard of Excellence. This includes regulations relating to waste and electronic equipment; chips; plugs and sockets; weights and measures; distance selling; online privacy; imported goods; waste batteries; and sale of batteries in the UK and EU.
To ensure compliance and consistency we submit product samples to ECITA on a quarterly basis. These samples are analysed to ensure continuity of quality and, in the case of cartomizers, that the stated level of nicotine is accurate. In April 2013, blu (SKYCIG at the time) underwent a full audit by ECITA’s technical lab to ensure ISE standards were met (they were). All blu packaging and products also include appropriate health and safety certifications, as required by regulators, including the National Measurements Office.
So there you are! Inside and out, this is what we mean when we let you know that we have a high level of control over our supply chain and factory and self-regulate to ensure that we provide you with the some of the very best quality electronic cigarettes on the market.