As many of you may already know, the Tobacco Products Directive is being rolled out across Europe and it has the potential to do a lot of damage to the vaping industry.
If you don’t know about the Tobacco Products Directive, it is the body that creates the laws surrounding the manufacture and sale of tobacco products and it has been doing so for the last ten years. It is responsible for things such as the graphic health warnings that cover packets of cigarettes and pouches of tobacco.
In 2012, The European Commission pushed for a revised directive that included ideas of how to deal with electronic cigarettes, tobacco products sold online and tobacco packaging amongst other things. The directive now classes e-cigarettes as tobacco products. It entered into force in 2014 and is to be fully implemented across Europe by 2016/17.
A lot of people see big problems with how some of the new laws affect e-cigarette users and the e-cigarette industry on the whole. Article 20, the section of the directive that deals solely with vaping, contains laws that many view as impractical. Here are some of the planned laws:
Restrict e-liquid tanks to 2ml – This is a law that many feel is a pointless restriction; only affecting how often people have to refill their tanks.
E-cigarettes must deliver a consistent nicotine level – This is something that is impossible with current devices, since the strength and duration of each drag varies each time. Even normal cigarettes don’t deliver consistent nicotine levels with each drag. This would make all devices with variable voltage illegal, meaning all that would be available would be cig-a-likes; ironically mainly produced by the tobacco industry.
Maximum nicotine strength – The directive would stop e-liquid with nicotine strength over 20mg from being sold.
Maximum refill sizes – Again, popular opinion is that this regulation doesn’t really help anyone. It means that anyone who used to save money by buying e-liquid “in bulk” will now only be able to buy 10ml refills.
E-cigs and tanks must not be able to leak or break – This is another regulation that would outlaw most devices that aren’t cig-a-likes. Most tanks are made of glass so it can’t be guaranteed that they will not break. Refillable tanks also can’t guarantee any leaks so they would most likely be banned.
UK e-liquid company Totally Wicked have won the right to fight against Article 20 in the European Courts; you can see their arguments and choose to support them here. If their challenge is successful, Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive will be scrapped.
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