“This product contains nicotine…”
We were amazed when we were told that due to an unfortunate oversight by regulators, our favourite European Directive had a really bizarre unintended consequence. The Tobacco Products Directive defines any non-medicinal product that can be used for nicotine vapour production for inhalation as an electronic cigarette. That seemed fair enough, but further on in the regulations it also said that all electronic cigarettes must have a warning, covering 30% of each of the two largest surfaces of the pack, emblazoning the legend.
THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS NICOTINE, WHICH IS A HIGHLY ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE.
Slightly bemused, we ignored the second untruth in the statement (turns out nicotine is not that addictive on its lonesome without TSNAs and everything else in tobacco smoke). The first one was more of a problem, and we had to inform regulators that our electronic cigarettes actually don’t contain nicotine in the “as sold” condition.
Well in those few cases we’ll need to think again.
Was the reply.
It’s not just a few cases though, it’s pretty well every electronic cigarette we sell. We are left with the choice of breaking consumer regulations or the new e-cig regulations, because we cannot comply with both. The products don’t contain nicotine.
We’ll ask our lawyers to look at this and get back to you.
said the regulators.
What they came back with has resulted in truly bizarre packaging artwork. All of our e-cigarette kits compliant under new regulations have a blatant lie covering almost a third of their front and back, and right next to it a little statement that “unsays” the lie.
This warning only applies once the device has been filled with nicotine containing e-liquid.
There was a temptation to add a similar warning that the products may contain nuts, but obviously only after nuts have been added. Given that such a warning could apply to a huge proportion of consumer products, we were left with a clear idea of where the nuts were really contained – a large room in Brussels in this case.