The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 came into force on the 20th May 2016 but retailers have been given until the 20th May 2017 to sell off their existing stock that does not comply with the legislation. Many suppliers across the UK are aware of these regulations and have started the process to ensure the products they sell and produce are TPD compliant.
Without a doubt, the stock in your vape shop will change in the coming months as the period to sell existing stock comes to an end.
We take a look at what will change and how this will affect the vaping economy.
Although the United Kingdom recently voted to leave the European Union also known as Brexit, the regulations will still continue to come into effect.
Many people are puzzled with these regulations and why they are needed. Campaigners such as Vapers in Power and the 100k Campaign fought hard to stop them going ahead and many petitions were setup online that attracted 1000’s of signatures but none these stopped the TPD regulations coming into effect.
It seems to use that these regulations were put into place to disrupt the vaping economy and punish vapers.
Nicotine Base and the TPD
There are many vapers out there who mix their own e-Liquid using nicotine base, PG/VG and flavours to reduce the cost of vaping. Many online vape shops sell nicotine base but they will be unable to sell it to consumers from the 20th May 2017 due to the TPD regulations.
The TPD regulations have limited the maximum nicotine concentration to 20mg/ml maximum meaning that concentrated nicotine such as 72mg cannot be sold anymore.
Vapers who are mixing their own e-Liquid have been stockpiling bottles of nicotine to ensure they can continue with their hobby and reduce their costs. This could be dangerous if bottles are not stored securely especially if there are children or pets in the household.
Nicotine also has a lifespan but this can be extended by keeping it in glass bottles and in a cool dry place or the refrigerator.
Retailers that sell nicotine base will lose out but there could be an increase in vapers purchasing ready made e-Liquid after they have run out of their stockpiles.
The regulations do not apply to trade sales though providing that industrial quantities are being sold to another business. Could we see vapers setting up a fake company and purchased litres at a time to get around the regulations?
We could also see more vapers importing nicotine base directly from China which could increase the risk to health if there are any problems with the production of the nicotine base.
Bottle Sizes and the TPD
Vape shops stock e-Liquid usually ranging from 10ml to 30ml but online vape shops in some cases stock 500ml quantities.
The TPD regulations state the maximum capacity for a bottle of nicotine containing e-Liquid must not exceed 10ml.
This will mean the end of those glass bottle gourmet e-Liquids that are currently stocked in shops across the country and online.
This limitation will affect the environment and the amount of bottles thrown away in general waste and could also increase the production costs for producers of e-Liquid.
A vaper will still be able to buy as many 10ml bottles as possible though so we are not sure why this regulation was put into place?
High Strength Nicotine and the TPD
Vape shops stock a range of strengths in e-Liquid, anything from zero nicotine up to around 32mg to cater for people quitting smoking. This ensures that they have enough nicotine intake to kick their nasty habit of smoking.
As stated in the Nicotine base section of this article, the TPD brings in regulation to stop anything sold above 20mg so this could have a drastic effect on those who smoke large quantities of cigarettes and switch to vaping because they will only be able to buy up to 20mg e-Liquid.
Vaping may become less effective for those who smoke heavily, giving up nicotine addiction is all about reducing the amount of nicotine in your body so that eventually you crave less to either smoke or vape. Some people decide to be dual users by smoking and vaping, this might be the solution for those that are new to vaping and finding it not very effective with these new limitations.
Tank Sizes and the TPD
Unfortunately, the majority of the tanks on the market will also be affected, bringing into force a new limit on the tank capacity with a maximum capacity of just 2ml.
Tanks that are TPD compliant have already started to appear on the marketplace but this will mean filling your tank up more often and those huge 5ml tanks will no longer be sold after the 20th May 2016. This is a real shame because there are some fantastic large capacity tanks out there that some vapers have used since they were released.
Remember that this only affects products sold in the EU so we could start to see vapers importing large capacity tanks from China and other countries to get around this. This could however affect the businesses in the UK and will surely disrupt the market.
The TPD regulations also has new strict notification, labeling and packaging requirements including submitting products to the MHRA.
Those small vape shops that mix their own e-Liquid in-house will be hit hard unless they create a laboratory that can measure a range of specifications required by the TPD. Before these regulations then a small vape shop could have create numerous different flavours and put them on the market but the new regulations means that every product has to be submitted to the MHRA. In addition this also carries fees for processing submissions which some smaller companies will simply not be able to afford or we could see an increase in prices to the consumer.
We have already seen a number of vape shops closing up business due to these strict requirements.
The large companies in the UK could benefit by becoming the main trade suppliers to vape shops across the UK. We could also see some USA e-Liquid manufacturers excluding their products from the UK market but we will have to wait and see.
We believe that products should contain a full list of ingredients and welcome some form of quality control but are these regulations pushing it too far?
Cross Border Sales
Online vape shops that sell their products across the EU need to register with the EU government before they can do cross border sales. A full list of retailers can be found by clicking here.