I’m guessing that got your attention, but it is not for the positive reasons you might have hoped for. The UK Government has now almost finished its transposition of the Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU) into UK law, so although the TPD will have no direct effect, we will be governed by a new set of regulations called The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.
The TRPR is a very direct and literal interpretation of the TPD, because it has to be by EU law, and it will be laid before Parliament in time to come into force on May 20th, 2016. Following this, there will be a year’s transition period before the regulations need to be fully complied with, so Totally Wicked’s customers will experience a slow and inevitable shift in what is available for them to buy.
The first thing to go missing will be advertising. From May 20th advertisements on radio, television and in periodical publications will disappear. We will also be required to ensure overt promotion does not appear on our website, but we are seeking clarification on what that actually means. Potentially little change, as we tend to be factual rather than effusive in our marketing.
Also from 20th May, we will no longer be allowed to introduce new tanks to market that can contain more than 2ml of e-liquid, so if you are a shiny-itis sufferer, you might find you have to fill up a little more often than you used to.
Between May and November this year you will start to see some small changes in product packaging. Health warnings will appear on e-liquid bottles, and, as the law currently stands, we will have to put a label on our device boxes saying “Warning: this product contains nicotine”, even if they don’t!
The most important thing is that by November 19th we have to stop making e-liquid at strengths greater than 2.0% (20mg/ml), and stop putting it in bottles of more than 10ml. We also have to stop importing tanks that can hold more than 2ml of e-liquid.
Between November 2016 and May 2017 Totally Wicked, its shops, and its reseller network will sell through all of their stock of non-compliant product, and from May 2017 the only nicotine containing fluid products available on the UK market should be e-liquid of less than 2.0% nicotine in bottles of 10ml or less.
The only tanks available should be of 2ml capacity at most. And while it is entirely possible that a few people will consider making or importing products that don’t comply with these regulations, they will be risking up to 2 years in prison, a fine, or both.
For those thinking that “Brexit” might offer us a way out, remember that by the time the referendum on UK membership of the European Union comes around, TRPR will have already passed into UK law. So feel free to vote with your conscience on this, the UK government and several of our MEPs were very much a part of the creation of these largely unnecessary and disproportionate new laws.
How will vapers and the vaping industry cope with it all? We’ll live…
Want more Vaped? Check out our Article ‘Do You All Day Vape or Flavour Rotate?’