On the 20th May 2016, the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations implemented TPD2 (Tobacco Products Directive).
This regulation set out the requirements for nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and refill containers (e-liquids). There has been a transitional period of 12 months where manufacturers and retailers can prepare for the regulation to come into full effect (See timeline below).
Realistically, the vape industry had to be regulated at some stage, in order to protect consumers from bad vape products, as well as e-liquids containing substances that could potentially cause harm. The TPD legislation does do this, unfortunately, it also goes beyond just consumer protection and restricts products at a level that makes it difficult and confusing to sell e-cigarettes.
Thus leaving many consumers falsely disillusioned as to whether they should be taking the proven 95% safer alternative to smoking. With this said there is little gained from kicking and screaming, let’s look at the positives and hope that we can achieve a sensible, unbiased approach on any future regulation.
20th May 2016
20th November 2016
20th May 2017
The regulations define a producer as:
“Anyone who manufactures or imports these products or who re-brands any product as their own.”
There will inevitably be some changes to the products we see in stores, initially, there will be less available, as retailers sell off the existing non-compliant
stock and convert to compliant stock. Some liquids will also cease to exist on the market as manufacturers decide whether to proceed with testing and compliance.
E-liquid will only be available in 10ml bottles moving forward, with a maximum strength of 20mg (realistically, manufacturers aren’t likely to produce liquids over 18mg,to allow some margin for error). E-liquid with no nicotine (0mg) does not need to be tested and is unaffected by the TPD. So we may see an increase in 0mg lines where nicotine can be added ‘optionally’.
Only tanks with a capacity of 2ml and below will be available. Tanks must also be ‘leak proof’ at the point of refilling’ and deliver a ‘consistent dose of nicotine’.
Thankfully, the TPD has focused on the e-liquid bottle, rather than the tank, when defining what ‘leak proof’ refilling’ means. New tanks designed to fill via a small hole that the nozzle of an e-liquid bottle fits snugly into should suffice.
Manufacturers are just starting to release these ‘top-hole’ tanks that should satisfy the TPD’s criteria. At the moment they are only addressing the higher end sub-ohm type market. However, over the coming months, we are confident that we will see a diverse range of tanks available.
On the ‘consistent dose of nicotine’ issue, it looks as if there will be some leniency in interpretation. As long as the tanks deliver a reasonably consistent nicotine dose in lab conditions (which sidesteps un-quantifiable, real-world variables, such as how hard or long a user inhales),they will be fine.
As far as we can see, batteries, mods and RDA’s sold ‘without a tank’ should be unaffected by the TPD. This is because they are not capable, in isolation, of vapourising e-liquid. However, if a battery and tank are sold together as a kit, the whole kit would need to be compliant.
After May 20 we will likely see a lot ‘TPD compliant’ kits as well as new versions of the tanks we know already,
adapted (Probably reduced capacity, with an “optional glass”) in order to be compliant at the point of sale.