The growth of e-liquids and e-cigarettes has continued to be a strong one and recent figures say that over 2.5 million adults in the UK use these products. But as with anything that becomes wide spread, new regulations and rules will always be brought in. Here we look at the newest legislation regarding e-liquids, brought into force in May 2016.
At first glance, it seems that the new EU regulations, the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 are aimed at making vaping as hard as possible while stopping just short of completely banning it. This is in contrary to the declaration last year from Public Heath England that backed the availability of e-cigarettes and e-liquids on the NHS due to their ability to help people stop smoking.
The regulations start with the new limitation on the size of refill containers. Previously unlimited, this will now have a maximum size of 10ml so users can no longer buy in bulk to save money. The result could also mean that vaping will cost more money. Cartridges are also reduced in size to 2ml.
Another facet of the regulations involved limited the maximum strength of the products. Currently, this stands at 24mg but this is going to be reduced to 20mg.
The government will also have additional powers to scrutinize the products including making manufacturers submit detailed and transparent information about the contents of their products. This may lead to manufacturers who sell poor quality products dropping from the market but should have little effect on those who ensure their products are of the best quality.
Finally, there have been concerns that the popularity of vaping will lead to children taking up the habit and therefore, all packing on e-cigarettes and related products must be ‘child proof’ with the aim of preventing this.
Other changes involve the promoting of e-cigarette products and the process required to launch a new product has become more complicated.
Promoting e-cigarettes and e-liquids will now be banned under the legislation. This means that bloggers, YouTubers and others who showcase the products will no longer be able to do this in the same way as before. They may be able to review the products but they cannot mention price.
Likewise, the process for creating new e-liquids has also become much more stringent. Liquids now need testing and separate checks for each batch strength as well as registration fees for companies creating this. It is uncertain if this will have an effect on the price for the customer at this stage.
Alongside these changes, new organisations have been created to help look out for e-liquid users. These include the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), a grassroots network that is designed to look after users. But it seems that the days of carefree vaping may be over and we wait to see what the practical effects of the new legislation will be – and if the Brexit vote will have an impact on them in the near future.
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