The TPD - Tobacco Products Directive is cemented into action next May 2016 and we at Vape and Juice towers, in our vape shop in London have been feverishly reviewing products that pass the muster when the inspectors come knocking. While we embrace regulation that is to the benefit of the consumer, we like many in the industry are a little concerned that ecigs have been lumped into a tobacco legislation and that the reason for all of this is to find a way to tax it all.
The legislation will ensure the following points are enforced:
- Juice can only be sold in 10ml bottles, that are tamper and child proof
- Juice nicotine levels should not exceed 20 mg
- In some cases where states request to do so, flavourings may be banned
How will these obstacles prove a problem for vapers? Lets dive down into it all.
At Vape and Juice we currently sell our entry level juices in 10ml bottles, we offer 3 for a £10er. So thats 30ml of eliquid for £10; but it comes in three bottles not one. Does it make it any less 30ml? Does one and a half bottles be any less than one 15ml bottle? Is there any point on restricting sizes of bottles when there is not restriction on quantities of purchase? The answers to these, is no, no and er well no! Why this particular piece of the legislation has been included is beyond the reasoning of anyone, suffice to say that the unelected overpaid bureaucrats who sat down to discuss this all, were trying to rationalise that too much eliquid could mean a child could drink it thinking it was a tiny beverage. Perhaps they may wish to limit the size of bleach then for the very same reason, or toothpaste, mouthwash, cleaning fluid, kitchen knives etc etc We don't get it, nor do you, nor do they. But we won't stop you buying as much juice as it takes to reach 30ml if thats what you want, it just means the EU will encourage more plastic consumption as we have to sell it to you in 10ml bottles. (Panic Level 1 out of 5)
Next, Nic levels not to exceed 20mg. This will likely mean most producers stick to retailing 18-19mg as there is the danger that a 20mg juice may be 21 and therefore breaching the rules and regs. With the advent of the low resistance coils, sub tanks, high wattage units etc its possible to get that hit without needing 20+mg. It does mean consumers will need to buy pricier set-ups, but at least they will have better quality kit with less need to keep sourcing a replacement. Ultimately, while the pharmaceutical companies are still selling nicotine patches with 24mg + of nicotine, there isn't a valid reason for stopping the sale of high quality e-liquid of 21,22,23 mg etc. It is essentially one rule for one group and one for another. There is a lot of talk that the TPD is a set of rules written by Big Pharma for Big Pharma; controls like this, will only further fuel the Big Tobacco Big Pharma anti-ecig conspiracy. The sad aspect of this rule, is that those who are in worse financial positions will struggle to find the nicotine hit they need if they are using starter kits and are likely to return back to cigarettes. (Panic Level 2 out of 5)
The banning of flavours is little more than an irritant. Another way of removing the allure of ecigs compared to smoking. We always say 'Why smoke ash, when you can vape cherry', but what will happen if we can't vape cherry. Fear not Vape Kings and Queens, the flavourings you vape in your favourite tipple is little more than sugar free food flavouring. You can literally add it direct to your tank or juice and give it all a little shake and a moment to infuse. Think of it all as cordial or squash mixture. Short of causing an earthquake and possibly gastronomical civil unrest by banning the sale of food flavourings, its going to be hard to prevent people from making up their own flavours. Evidence has shown that young people are still drawn far more toward cigarettes than e-cigs, despite the ability to advertise in the media and offer a better taste. Therefore banning flavours is neither evidence based or sensible, when you take away a reason why smokers may be more inclined to quit. In fact, anything that makes vaping more desirable to smoking should be applauded. Banning flavoured eliquids is another way to strengthen the hands of the big tobacco and pharma groups who's e-cigs lack any discernible quality in their flavours. These companies will only be too aware that the vaping community favours an Avante Garde Lemon Meringue Pie over a Vype menthol - so any legislation that supresses the growth in the flavoured eliquid market is bound to be supported by corporate lobbyists. This is not something that can't be overcome if blueberry is your bag, but it will require a little patience and effort, and for many that's too much already when it comes to a nicotine addiction. (Panic Level 3.5 out of 5)
If you want to come in and have a chat with one of our specialist vaping staff and find out more about electronic cigarettes, vaping etc please feel free to pop in to one of ecig vape shops in Enfield, London; Southend, Southchurch, Colchester, Clacton, Essex; or Canterbury in Kent. We stock a wide range of budget and gourmet high quality ecig ejuices; as well as a wide line of devices and kits to get you started or take you to the clouds.