If you were wondering what controls or regulates the growing market of vape products, wonder no more. All legally sold vape devices and e-liquids in the UK have to play the rules of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
The TPD is an EU Directive that "aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for European citizens."
"The Directive, which is based on the proposal of the European Commission, entered into force on 19 May 2014 and became applicable in the EU Member States on 20 May 2016."
For the political keen beans, the Directive is implemented in the UK by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 Act. Fascinating.
Now clearly vaping isn't related to tobacco at all, quite the opposite. We'd go so far as to suggest that vaping is the harbinger of doom for tobacco! But perhaps we're splitting hairs. Those goods sorts in Brussels just added in the regulation of e-cigs, vape juices and the rest as a revision to the older TPD.
So what are the key points to this set of regulations as far as the vaping crowd is concerned?
- Limits refillable e-Cigarette tank capacity to no more than 2ml
- Limits volume of e-liquid bottles containing nicotine to 10ml
- Limits nicotine strength of e-liquids to no more than 20mg/ml
- Requires products containing nicotine and their packaging to be tamper proof and resistant to child tampering
- Prohibits certain ingredients including taurine, colourings, and caffeine
- Requires use of new labelling and health warnings on packaging
Getting deeper into the details reveals further controls that ensure device e-liquid safety, and limit potential harms to users. Those harms largely relate to deterring excessive use or nicotine consumption, but the overall takeaway of these regulations is simple.
Vaping is officially deemed safe by the powers that be, for private manufacturing and public consumption. It's been studied, and like practically every product on the free market, a few rules were thrown in to avoid any accidental tears.
Now, there's an afterword to throw in to this piece. The UK is obviously in the process of withdrawing from the EU, and there is a question of what regulation is going to be retained, changed or chucked outright.
With regards to vaping, there are detractors calling for sterner controls or even complete bans. However, it seems the overwhelming body of legitimate scientific and health opinion leans favourably towards vaping for its public health benefits with regards to reducing smoking.
The UK government will have a decision to make once the cord is severed, though we're perfectly confidant sense will prevail and the TPD will be essentially unchanged.
Britain is one of the leading vaping markets in the world, with some of the best producers to boot. Here's to keeping the ball rolling.
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