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Exclusive interview with Hall Analytical's Scott Fletcher on analysis of liquids and hardware

1. Your presentation will look at ‘analysis of liquids and hardware’, would you be able to expand what this will cover?  And why is this topic pertinent to the ENDs community and what can they hope to learn?

The recent implementation of the TPD Regulations in Europe heralded a new era in the volume, and type, of ENDS being analysed.  At Hall Analytical we have been analysing electronic cigarettes from their very early days and have seen significant evolution in hardware and e-liquids.  However, even we were taken by surprise by not only the number of manufacturers but by their diversity and how much they had advanced.

It was the first time there had been a regulatory drive to analyse for specific chemicals in the aerosol as opposed to the liquid.  This not only brought it’s own challenges but the ever increasing range of technology advanced hardware now available,  and the huge array of complex flavours meant we were continually being challenged to provide accurate and precise analysis.  As a skilled group of analytical scientists serving the vape sector for over a decade, and with a plethora of advanced equipment at our disposal, we are able to stay one step ahead of the industrial developments……just!

In this presentation I will not only share some of the ‘interesting’ experiences we had, and what we learnt during the TPD tranche of analysis, but I will also look forwards towards the tighter and more demanding PMTA for ENDS regulations and their associated HPHCs.  This is an area we have been investing a significant amount of resource in order to ensure we are able to support our customers and meet the FDA’s requirements.  I will also draw parallels with the incredibly analogous pharmaceutical inhaler industry – usually given the snappy acronym OINDP (Orally Inhaled and Nasal Drug Products).  Having personally spent many years developing Dry Powder Inhalers I am acutely aware of the testing protocols employed in the closely related field.  I will discuss our research in application areas that are aimed at further investigating ENDS to not only improve our understanding of them, but to provide scientific rigour and wider public acceptance.

2. In the last 5 years, have you noticed an increase in this industry and where do you foresee ENDS testing and best practices headed in the future?

As eluded to above, we were only just scratching the surface with TPD implementation and are already seeing a much more demanding set of regulations being proposed by the FDA for the US market.  The level of analysis required only ever increases.  This can be problematic but can also be advantageous as it demonstrates greater understanding of ENDS and also serves to reassure the public and maintain their confidence.  It is however essential that any testing required is carefully thought through and the right level performed – a common kneejerk reaction from regulatory authorities can be a requirement for an over excessive amount of testing, especially where the product in question is not fully understood.     

3. What are you most looking forward to at the inaugural ENDS 2017 conference?

The ENDS market place continues to develop and evolve at an astounding pace and is a sector which attracts some of the most technical and creative people, not a skill set commonly found together! I relish the chance to meet and converse with likeminded people.