Due to a lack of media coverage, you'd be forgiven for not being aware that the House of Lords has been considering a fatal Prayer Motion recently which, if passed, would have stopped the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive in its tracks.
We say 'would have' as, sadly, due to mounting pressure from opposition parties, Lord Callanan's motion has since been amended to one of a 'regret'. While remaining critical of the legislation which came into effect on May 20th, it will now have no power to annul it.
Lord Callanan's motion was always going to be a long-shot, despite the massive public backing it received, but it's still disappointing that this last-ditch effort to overturn the TPD in the UK has failed.
So, what does this mean for vapers?
Well, as the TPD has already come into effect, the changes which it brings with it will go ahead as planned. Some of the new rules are already in place, others are being phased in after a defined grace period. These rules affect all of us, and compliance is a legal requirement for all e-cig vendors.
Some of the main effects of the TPD are:
- Bottles of e-liquid will be limited to a volume of 10ml, though we are able to continue stocking our 30ml bottles through to May 2017 so they're not going anywhere just yet.
- Nicotine concentration in e-liquid itself will be limited to 20mg per ml (2.0%). We will continue to stock 24mg versions of our e-liquids until as close to May 2017 as possible when they will have to be removed from sale.
- Refillable tanks and cartomisers will be limited to 2ml in volume.
- Heavy restrictions on how and where e-cigs can be advertised.
- A 6 month notification period for new products coming onto the market.
We've also looked at some of the other effects of the TPD in greater detail elsewhere.
While it's true that these rules do represent big changes for vapers, with some of them seemingly arbitrary and with with no real effect on the end user other than inconvenience, it's also the case that ours is an industry which prides itself on its innovation. We can and will adapt.
The TPD also contains much that consumers can welcome - a restriction on additives in e-liquid and a requirement for vendors and importers to institute full batch traceability recording, for example.
From humble beginnings a decade ago, the number of vapers in the UK alone has swelled past 2 million and they're joined every day by more and more people seeking a healthier alternative to smoking. We're not going anywhere.