Vaping regulations have been up for debate since the introduction of e-cigarettes. Now, with the UK leaving the European Union (EU), many people are wondering whether there will be any changes. This article will give you an insight into the current EU vaping regulations, present vaping scenario in the UK, and changes that can be expected in the UK post Brexit.
Current EU Vaping Regulations
At present, most EU members follow the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which was introduced in 2014. Most of these rules are related to packaging of e-liquids, safety and quality standards, product information, protection of products from children, etc. Some of the main rules that impact people are:
- Vape tanks cannot exceed the 2ml capacity limit.
- Bottles with nicotine containing e-liquids cannot exceed the 10ml mark.
- E-liquids cannot have a nicotine strength of more than 20mg/ml or 2% in a 10ml bottle.
- All nicotine-based products must be tamper-proof and child-resistant to ensure safety.
- Non-essential ingredients like taurine, caffeine, and artificial colourings are banned.
- All nicotine products should be labelled with necessary information and warnings for users.
- All vaping products should be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before being sold in the market.
Most of these regulations impact manufacturers and distributors, but regulations on tank size and e-liquid bottle capacity interest vapers and are often strongly opposed by them.
Vaping Scenario in the UK
Health bodies in the UK have a positive stance towards vaping, which is a rarity in the EU. Respectable health bodies like the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England recommend vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. However, a significant fraction of healthcare professionals believes that e-cigarettes can become too deregulated. They fear that big tobacco companies that also manufacture vaping products will find ways to hook the younger population onto vaping.
What Changes Can Likely Happen?
Although there is nothing in black and white, there have been several draft resolutions making the rounds in parliament, which give us an idea about the likely changes. Some of these changes could be:
- Regulation on usage of e-cigarettes in public places.
- A review on nicotine strength of e-liquids that currently stands at 2%.
- A review on restriction of tank size to 2ml and bottle size to 10ml.
- Removing advertising restrictions on vaping products to inform adults about quitting smoking (However, abuse of the advertising privilege to target adolescents should be dealt with strictly).
- Incentivising e-cigarettes considering their benefits by removing tax-duty.
Considering the positive stand of the UK government towards vaping in the past, it is likely that certain rules will be relaxed to make the UK a more vape-friendly nation. In addition, there will be changes in identification symbols on packaging to differentiate the product between the UK and the EU. We firmly believe that these new regulations will ensure the safety of vapers and help vaping further in the UK.