While the vaping industry has been around for a while, the biggest thing to affect it is the TPD laws that came in 2016, but what are they and how did they affect the industry?
What is TPD?
The Tobacco Products Directive (or TPD for short) is a regulation by the European Union setting limits on the marketing and selling of tobacco and tobacco related products in the European Union. It was originally created in 2001 but also updated in 2014 to include e-cigarettes.
Once the regulation was authorised, each EU member state had to implement the TPD standards into their laws by the 20th May 2016. The Tobacco Products Directive is an EU regulatory act on the purchase of tobacco products, including e-liquids and vaping devices. The TPD legal requirements are laid out in Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive.
The Main Goals of TPD
Regulation is unavoidable for a booming industry and the Tobacco Products Directive was established to improve the operations of the internal market for tobacco and its related products. Its key goals are to:
- Protect children from nicotine products. It is designed to ensure that only people over 18 can purchase and use vape products.
- Protect tobacco users by setting standards of quality and safety for all vaping products It makes sure end users are aware that nicotine is in the products they purchase.
- Protecting users by ensuring both manufacturers and retailers provide the important packaging information.
TPD's Regulations on E-Liquids
E-Liquids are the most regulated vape products, especially e-liquids containing nicotine. To be compliant, they:
- Must have a limit of 10ml if the e-liquid contains nicotine.
- Must have a maximum nicotine strength of 20mg/ml (2.0%).
- Must be thoroughly tested in a laboratory, including emission tests on nicotine products.
- Must contain information and warnings on the label, including the phrase "This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance." This must cover 30% of the front and back of the packaging.
- Must not contain colouring additives or carcinogenic, reprotoxic or mutagenic colouring ingredients in unburnt form.
- Must not contain other substances related to additives and stimulant compounds, eg caffeine, taurine, etc.
- Must not contain vitamins or additives that suggest a tobacco product has a health benefit or a reduced health risk.
- Must include bottle nozzles that are at least 9 mm long and child-proof caps that restrict liquid flow and release no more than 20 drops each minute.
TPD's Regulations on Tanks
Tanks are one other vape product that was affected by the TPD regulations. To be compliant, vape tanks:
- Must have a maximum e-liquid capacity of 2ml
- Must come with a nicotine warning sticker
- Must have an European Community Identification Number (ECID) and must register on the MHRA website
The Benefits of TPD
The TPD Regulations has many benefits for both customers and businesses.
Due to the revised labels and packaging requirements, including information like health warnings, details on nicotine content and ingredients used in the product, customers are now fully informed about their products.
Vapers can now benefit from better product quality and product safety, since products are now being regulated to ensure that the right ingredients are going in.
There is now an tamper-evident and child protection policy in place that prevents e-liquids from leakage and minimises the possibility of exposure to ingestion or handling hazards by customers. The number of underage people that vape have now decreased significantly. E-liquid bottles are now made from an unbreakable material that avoids risks like animals or children getting into the bottle.
How to Register TPD Products
All vaping products and e-liquids must be registered and approved under the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency), which is responsible for the UK notification scheme for refill containers and e-cigarettes, and also for applying the majority of the requirements of Article 20.
The product can go up for sale six months after its submission to the MHRA. This includes vaping products that existed prior to 20 May 2016 (when the TPD laws came in). However once the manufacturer's notification is published as part of the list of products submitted, they can sell the products even before the six-month period ends. A substantially modified product qualifies as a new product, and must also follow this process.
What are Short Fills?
Short fills are e-liquids containing more than 10ml of e-liquid but with no nicotine. These were developed so that consumers still could vape e-liquids greater than 10ml while still abiding by the law.
Nic shots are 10ml flavourless nicotine liquids that can be added to short fills to get your nicotine. Short fills don't tend to fill the bottle to the top with e-liquid, so a 100ml e-liquid will come in a 120ml bottle, for instance. This helps the user to add two nic shots to the container to receive their nicotine dose with their short fill.
For More Information, see "How Do Nic Shots Work?"