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How the TPD Affects You if you’re a Vaper

If you use electronic cigarettes how will the TPD change your life? 

As of the 20th of May this year (2016) the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will be in full effect.

The TPD is a set of updated or new regulations that cover tobacco products (and electronic cigarettes) that were originally agreed upon by a majority of the European Parliament in April 2014. The final draft was published in January 2016.

While the majority of the document deals with tobacco products there is a hefty amount of new regulation for the world of electronic cigarettes, but is there anything to be worried about?

Probably not, no.
All the new regulations (and the decisions on how to implement them laid out by the UK Government) seem to have been thought out reasonably in an effort to not destroy the fledgling industry while still meeting the exacting standards that ensure electronic cigarettes as a whole are reliable, safe and of a high enough quality for consumers.

What exactly is the TPD setting out as law?
Let’s break down the main points;

      1. E-Liquid with a nicotine concentration above 20mg (or 2%) will no longer be available.
        While some vapers might be a bit miffed that they can no longer get 24mg or higher strength liquid, this isn’t really a problem for the industry as a whole.
        Strengths above 18mg or thereabouts have never been hugely popular and recently the market appears to be shifting towards the lower end on the scale, with 6mg and in some cases even 3mg juices outselling their stronger counterparts sometimes 4 or 5 times over.


      1. E-Liquid bottles will be limited to 10mls (or less) capacity.
        This one I’m personally unsure about. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to limit the units of sale in such a way except to make paperwork easier (we’ll come back to paperwork in a little while). This however won’t really have a huge impact on a good number of vapers as far as I can tell.
        E-Liquids that don’t contain nicotine are not covered by this rule. So you could buy 150mls of 0mg e-liquid in one bottle if you want to.


      1. 2ml maximum capacity on tanks.
        This one is a little more annoying for a lot of vapers.
        The maximum capacity for refillable tanks (and prefilled sealed cartomisers or tanks) is going to be 2ml.
        For a lot of vapers that means they’re going to be filling a tank a lot more often than they currently do (especially the Cloud Chasers, this one will be really inconvenient for them), but for some it won’t change a thing.


      1. E-Liquids will be sold in packages with child-safety features and that are sealed in such a way that you can tell if they’ve been opened previously.
        This can only be a good thing. Right now a huge number of companies already do this with their packaging, but some still don’t. A child-safe cap on the bottle should be mandatory, that’s common sense.
        The second half just means that bottles will have to be sealed with a plastic wrapper to prevent tampering. Again, this is common sense, but it’s strange how many e-liquids manufacturers don’t already do this, especially the ones that use a sealed cap rather than a wrapped one.


      1. Refill containers that ensure ‘leak-free’ refilling of atomiser tanks.
        This point is an interesting one because of the way the article is worded in the TPD document.
        Most people agree that this will mean e-liquid bottles will need a nozzle that lets e-liquid out at quite a slow rate (‘roughly 20 drops a minute when held vertically’ is one interpretation.) and a type of ‘docking’ system in the tank itself.
        Whether this means the small refilling holes that are already standard on something like Aspire’s Triton is unclear, but they would seem to be sufficient as far as I’m concerned (having sold the Triton for ages with no filling problems). It could however mean a specifically designed mechanism.
        The interesting part is that the wording says something similar to ‘every effort should be made to prevent leaking’ which means they recognise that it would be almost impossible to completely eliminate potential leaks.
        Also the word ‘Leak’ is interesting, in that a ‘leak’ is an accidental situation, whereas a ‘spill’ would be a mistake made by the user.
        The TPD doesn’t mention ‘spillage’, so knocking your tank over and having e-liquid leak out isn’t something that manufacturers will have to guard against.
        There are rumours that the UK government are going to challenge the need for a specific ‘docking system’.


      1. A relatively strict ban on advertising.
        Advertising electronic cigarettes and related products will not be allowed except in publications (including websites) specifically aimed at the industry.
        This means there will be no more advertising for e-cigs in magazines, online (on websites that aren’t strictly e-cig related), on TV or on the radio.
        This is annoying for e-cig merchants and customers as learning about new products being released will be a little bit harder and trying to convince more people to switch away from traditional cigarettes will become slightly harder as well.
        However, on an e-cig related website like advertising will still be allowed. This extends to e-cig forums and the few Vaper’s magazines that currently exist.


      1. Some changes to way e-cig packaging will look.
        This change is really for the better all round. Electronic cigarette related products that contain nicotine will now feature a warning label that states ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance’ which will take up 30% of the space on the container and the box it comes in (if it comes in a box). This is going to remind people that electronic cigarettes are still addictive, and are not the same as quitting nicotine altogether.
        The TPD also states that packaging cannot make claims of health benefits, or mention any flavours or flavour profiles beyond the one (of few) that are in the liquid in question. There also has to be a full list of ingredients, so customers will know exactly what is in their e-liquid.


      1. No additives.
        In the most basic terms this means e-liquid will only contain the base liquid (usually a PG/VG mix), flavourings and nicotine.
        So no more e-liquids with caffeine added, no more e-liquids with added vitamin C and no more e-liquids that claim to have aphrodisiac effects thanks to a combination of herbs and spices (yes, they exist).
        All the e-liquid you buy will be exactly what it states in the ingredients list.


      1. Some paperwork and a ‘notification’ requirement for new products.
        The small gritty details of this one are only really important to companies that sell e-cigs.
        There will be an impact on the customer though, and the industry as a whole.
        Essentially every new product that is going to be released will need a 6-month notification period wherein the government are given a raft of paperwork that allows them to track the manufacture, materials and emissions reports for the specific product.
        This is going to slow down the industry in terms of new products.
        Whether this annoys you is going to depend on what type of vaper you are.
        For a few it’s going to be annoying because they like to grab a new atomiser or a new mod once a week and are always after the newest product.
        For many it won’t make any difference at all.
        For a few more this is actually better, because it allows time for problems to be found and fixed, and gives time for a good think before they buy a new piece of kit.


That’s the major changes to the UK electronic cigarette industry covered.

Whether this is going to change the way you vape or buy vaping products is really up to you.

Personally I think that the vast majority of these changes are good for customers. They allow for more transparency when it comes to buying e-liquids and tanks so you know you’re always getting good quality products.

There really isn’t going to be a huge impact on customers beyond the liquid capacity limits, and the quality control on products can only be good for you and for us as retailers.

So if you were worried about the state of electronic cigarettes post TPD, don’t be! Everything looks like it’s going to be fine. Or even better!

If you want to read the full Government Response to the Consultation on Implementation of the Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) click here.

If you want to know more about electronic cigarettes get in touch with us at TABlites.
or give us a call on
0161 832 4311

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