December 23rd the day long awaited by vapers and the industry - this was the day when the EU Advocate General would discuss the merits of the legal challenge against TPD -The Tobacco Products Directive. Of course that also includes the entirely non tobacco based electronic cigarettes, for reasons that can only be answered by last years leaked lobbying memo's between MEPs and Big Tobacco.
What happened? Well safe to say that if you care about your vaping and your ability to buy 24mg Tobacco eliquid, a 5ml subtank, or even a 30ml premium cloud chaser - then you should be alarmed. Very alarmed. With 2.6 million vapers in the UK, it appears less than 10% are truly aware of the regulations that will fall into place come May 2016.
Vaping in the UK is believed to be behind 40,000 + jobs. Vape shops pay millions of VAT revenues into the economy and importantly are proving on the face of it, to be the best method of helping people quit smoking in, about ever. Come May, in less than 6 months time, the landscape legally will be very different. Don't ask for a 30ml bottle, as they just won't be around - we probably shouldn't even sell you a subtank, as it allows for variation in your nicotine delivery.
Vape and Juice as an online platform hosts it's Servers in the US, more by luck rather than judgement; however come the time our existing stock supplies have been sold down during a transition period, we will be moving operations outside of the UK, allowing you the consumer to continue to buy those items you need, while allowing us to avoid clashing with EU regulations. Thanks to historic land grabs by the HM Government, the UK hosts a wealth of crown dependencies that are not members of the EU. Fortunately the postal service is similarly priced and far quicker than vapers having to buy from China. Fear not, the Vape and Juice online store will go on and your 30ml eliquid will be just around the corner.
There still remains one area that has yet to be defined by this TPD EU regulation on electronic cigarettes and this is Article 20:
3. Member States shall ensure that:
(a) nicotine-containing liquid is only placed on the market in dedicated refill containers not exceeding a volume of 10 ml, in disposable electronic cigarettes or in single use cartridges and that the cartridges or tanks do not exceed a volume of 2 ml;
The Key area here is the point (a) being focused on how nicotine containing liquid can be sold, 'placed on the market'; one would assume. Therefore this point states that it can be sold in single use cartridges, and that the cartridges or tanks do not exceed a volume of 2ml.
It does not say single use tanks, nor does it define it as a refillable tank.
It does not state maximum non filled capacity
It does not state what rules are on single use or non single use tanks if there is no eliquid available.
Interestingly it states: 'Cartridges OR tanks' and not 'Cartridges AND tanks'.
For the purpose of avoiding doubt, as any legislation afficianado would be aware; legal terms are usually specific and to the point to avoid confusion. If this is worded as it is intended; then the failure to mention the rules on non eliquid bearing tanks, is because they do not fall within the article. Likewise, the failure to differentiate between tank and cartridge in a discussion when they are highlighting how ejuice can be sold, suggests they are still referring only to single use tanks.
It is true they did not say single use tanks, but they also did not say single use cartridges again when discussing said volume. Had it wanted to discuss refillable multi use cartridges and tanks, it would surely have illustrated the explicit nature of that genre of cartridge or tank. Does this present a loophole, a badly worded document, or a decision to care less about capacity of empty vessels.
Speaking of empty vessels, here is a write up from ECig Intelligence on today's EU Advocate General's comments:
We at Vape and Juice towers in our ecig and vape shops in Enfield, Winchmore Hill, Archway Road, North London; Clacton, Colchester, Southend, Southchurch, Wickford, Essex, and Canterbury, Kent - will be closely tracking this to ensure you guys are kept up to date.
You can write to your local MP expressing any concerns to >> writetovape.co.uk