This year, our industry has undergone some of the most radical changes in its history, with the implementation of the EU-wide Tobacco Products Directive. But what do these changes mean for you?
In truth, much of what you already know and love about vaping will remain mostly the same, at least from the point of view of the consumer. While you may notice some of the impact of the new laws, for many vapers, not much will change.
To help give you a clearer idea of what's involved, we've created this handy cut-out-and-keep guide.
From 20 May 2016
- All new products entering the market must be tested, and the regulatory body notified.
From 20 November 2016
- All products retailers wish to continue to sell after 20 May 2017 must be tested, and the regulatory body notified.
From 20 May 2017
- All products sold from the point on (even those which were available prior to the TPD coming into effect, must be tested, and the regulatory body notified.
WHAT IS REGULATED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE TPD?
It may not seem like it, but the TPD doesn't cover each and every e-cigarette product on the market. Many components, particularly batteries (for some reason), are outwith the scope of the new laws entirely, meaning that nothing will change for consumers!
Those products which are now regulated, include:
- Tanks (and coils)
- Starter kits (which include a tank)
- DIY base liquids (where they contain nicotine)
Those products which are not regulated, include:
- Mods sold on their own, though those sold packaged with a tank will be subject to the regulations
- 0mg (nicotine-free) e-liquid and DIY base liquid
- E-cig batteries (IMR, eGo, cig-a-like, or otherwise)
- Most Vaping accessories
A large proportion of the new laws cover what retailers are allowed to sell (and JAC isn't exempt from this, sadly). Restrictions affecting e-cigarette products, include:
- E-liquid must be sold in bottles no greater than 10ml in volume.
- Tanks (including RTAs) are limited to a maximum capacity of 2ml.
- E-liquid is limited to a 20mg/ml maximum nicotine strength.
- Glass dropper bottles are banned.
Now, if you're currently using an 18mg e-liquid in a 2ml tank, you're not going to notice any of this, but some vapers who are still using 24mg (or higher) e-liquids, will need to start thinking about moving down in strength soon before they're removed from sale.
We've discussed this before, but switching to a sub-ohm device can help vapers quickly move down to much lower nicotine strengths, so if you're one of those affected, it might be something to consider.
While there haven't exactly been loads of e-cig ads jostling for space on your retinas, the new regulations will effectively put a stop to them completely.
The exceptions to this, include:
- Print advertising (via leaflets, direct mail etc.)
- Billboards and hoardings
- Bus and taxi ads
While the specifics may not interest everyone, the overall impact most certainly will. We all want the e-liquids we use to be held to the highest possible standards of quality and safety, don't we?
The TPD requires manufacturers (and retailers who import and/or rebrand) to test three main areas:
- The emissions test analyses the vapour produced when the product is used and allows vendors to identify any potentially harmful components in the vapour.
- Testing the nicotine dosage allows vendors to determine how much nicotine is delivered ‘per puff’, and allows vendors to ensure that the dosage delivered is consistent.
Toxicology (e-liquid only)
- A toxicological assessment looks at the constituent components of the e-liquid individually to ensure that no ingredients are known to be harmful to human health