Although the technology was originally developed in the 1960s, vaping is a relatively new phenomenon that has become increasingly popular in the last decade.
Because vaping is so new the laws regulating the industry are also new and being developed constantly to keep up to date with changing technology and research into the effects of vaping.
Most countries in Europe follow the Tobacco Products Directive or PDT which outlines the rules for manufacture and sale of vaping products.
Recently the law changed, limiting the volume of e-liquid that can be sold per bottle as well as the size of tanks. Vape tanks can’t contain more than 2ml of e-liquids and refill containers are restricted to 10ml of juice.
By law the packaging for all E-liquids must now be child-resistant and tamper proof as well as displaying new health warnings. There have also been new restrictions, in keeping with regulations on food production, controlling ingredients like caffeine and taurine along with a range of flavourings.
These new regulations also require all vaping products to be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before they can be sold in the UK. This change means that all vaping products are safe and meet the required standards, but it does limit variety.
Explore our store and you’ll see that these changes have already been implemented at Medusa Juice. All the great E-liquids available through our shops and online store meet the new TPD regulations.
As vaping is very new compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes, the law regarding vaping is also new and likely to change to keep up with the developing industry. The rapid rise in popularity of vaping as well as new studies in the health effects compared to smoking also effect how much focus lawmakers put on vaping. The more popular vaping becomes, the more interested people are in regulating the industry and most governments around the world are playing catch up after the incredible success of vaping in recent years.
Different countries have their own laws including some like Russia where the industry is largely unregulated and others like Thailand or Vietnam where vaping is banned. The UK is generally considered very progressive when it comes to vaping, in keeping with recent medical studies showing that vaping has significantly less health risk compared to smoking.
In the UK the laws about vaping are based on the Tobacco Products Directive or TPD which are a set of regulations created by the EU. It is possible that some of these regulations could be changed if there is a repeal of the laws after brexit. But at the moment these are the laws that the vaping industry and anyone who vapes in the UK will need to be aware of.
Some of these laws are intended to regulate manufacture and sales of e-liquids and vaping accessories so that customers can be sure that any products they buy meet the same requirements. These laws are also designed to reduce the appeal of vaping to children as well as reflecting changes to food and drink regulations as E-liquids contain ingredients also used in food production.
Warnings and Regulations
One of the biggest changes in the law is the limiting of E-liquids to a nicotine strength of 20mg. Previously 24mg was a common strength used by people who start vaping to help quit traditional tobacco cigarettes. And even higher amounts of nicotine were sometimes used by people mixing their own E-liquids.
These new regulations mean that the throat hit of E-liquids will be a little less intense compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
The new TPD regulations mean that the maximum tank capacity in the UK is 2ml. The most noticeable effects of this new law is the loss of larger, high performance vaping equipment and that tanks will need to be refilled more often.
As well as limiting tank size and nicotine content, the new laws reduce the maximum size of refill bottles to 10ml.
Nicotine Product Packaging
The new laws require all nicotine-containing products and their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident. This tamper-evident packaging puts E-liquids in a similar category to medicines and the child-resistant containers are another safety device.
Certain ingredients, including flavourings, caffeine and taurine are no longer allowed to be included in E-liquids. Some of these restrictions are in line with new regulations on food production, although the restrictions are more strict with E-liquids.
Labelling and advertising
All E-liquids and vaping equipment sold in the UK will be required to include new labelling and warnings.
In addition to the new warning labels on packaging, E-liquids have been given advertising restrictions just like tobacco products. These restrictions are despite the fact that vaping has been shown to have significantly fewer health risks compared to traditional tobacco products and has been proven to help people trying to quit smoking.
The new warnings and advertising restrictions are intended to make vaping less attractive to younger people.
Before they can be sold in the UK, E-liquids and vaping equipment must be registered with the heath regulators, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. This means that all E-liquids will meet the same levels of safety and quality. However, like the control of ingredients, this will result in less variety as some products will no longer meet the new regulations.
There have been concerns that some of these new laws are too restrictive and unfair. Limiting the amount of nicotine to 20mg has received the most criticism as this could make it more difficult for anyone using vaping to help quit smoking. The restrictions on advertising in line with traditional tobacco cigarettes has also received criticism as E-liquids don’t have the same health concerns as cigarettes and many have said that these laws make it harder for people to find a safer alternative to smoking.