Vaping – It’s the law

If you sell vaping products in your wholesale business, make sure you keep up to speed with what the law demands. Upcoming regulation and ensuing restrictions will mean that the way people vape will almost certainly be affected, and so will the products suppliers provide.

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First, the Welsh Government’s proposed ban on public vaping is set to come into force next year. Local government in other parts of the UK will no doubt keep a close watch and think about following suit.

And not only that, across Britain as a whole, electronic cigarettes face further regulation under two separate routes: as tobacco products under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TDI), and as medical products with licensing from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA.)

The new laws are coming, and the industry is very concerned. One company that has given this much thought is Cigelectric.co.uk, the Suffolk-based, family-run electronic cigarette company.

As the informative article on the Cigelectric website says, the first EU Tobacco Products Directive, was released back in 2001, before e-cigarettes. Its main goal was to reduce tobacco usage across Europe, especially for the younger generation.

Then in 2014, the EU decided behind closed doors to add electronic cigarettes to this directive to allow regulation of these devices by classifying them as tobacco related products. After several failed attempts to get a majority to agree on the new revision to include e-cigs, these new regulations were bundled with several other proposals such as plain packaging, tighter age restrictions and larger health warnings for tobacco cigarettes to finally get enough votes for it to pass.

The newly revised Tobacco Products Directive proposes to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco related product. These new rules set to be implemented across EU member states will specify how tobacco related products including e-cigs can be sold, presented and manufactured. The new directive will come into force on the 20th May 2016.

The Tobacco Products Directive stipulates:

1. The maximum size of refill containers of nicotine containing liquid is 10ml.

2. The maximum size of cartridges or tanks must not exceed 2ml.

3. The maximum nicotine strength of e-liquid is 20mg

4. Electronic cigarettes must provide a consistent dose of nicotine.

5. E-cigs and refill containers must have a mechanism to ensure leak free refilling.

6. If a “competent authority” believes any product may present a health risk they may be prohibited.

For more details visit www.cigelectric.co.uk

WHAT’S UP, DOC?

On top of the EU restrictions in the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), the Medicines and Health Care products Regulation Agency (MHRA) is also looking to add new regulations.

The MHRA is currently accepting applications for medical approval of electronic cigarettes. With a successful application these products could then be licensed and marketed as a healthier alternative and effective at helping smokers quit. However, as the Cigelectric article points out, every single product variation would need its own licence. With each license costing over £2 million this will be impossible for anyone other than big multinational tobacco companies to even dream of.

One ecig company who contacted the MHRA was told they would need 900 licences to keep selling their current product range, which would cost in excess of £1,800,000,000. And with no guarantee that any application would be successful, this is a massive gamble that only Big Tobacco’s cig-a-likes could afford to make.