What Can We Do to Save Vaping? The EU and the TPD
The position of the vaping industry in the European Union (EU) is very similar to the American one. The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which will be implemented in May of 2016 throughout the EU, will probably be nearly as destructive as the deeming regulations.
Among other rules, the TPD will limit all retail e-liquid to bottles 10ml or smaller, limit e-liquid to strengths of 20mg/ml or lower, limit refillable devices (tanks) to 2ml or less, and require tanks and all refillable devices to be leakproof.
On the (slightly) bright side, the British government has decided that, in the UK at least, vendors will have a full year to sell any remaining non-compliant products, consumers will be able to buy from vendors in other countries (as long as they prove an online age verification system), and that zero-nicotine products will not be covered by the rules.
There are restrictions on advertising too, and it appears they will be very harsh.
Andy Sutton from the UK has made an excellent video exploring the advertising rules.
British eliquid maker Totally Wicked has challenged implementation of the TPD in the European Court of Justice. While that case is not decided yet — and is really the only hope to prevent the TPD from going into effect just six months from now — the court’s advocate general issued an opinion in December that the TPD is valid. Experts say that all but guarantees that the court will decide against Totally Wicked’s challenge.
Since individual countries within the EU have a lot of latitude in how they enforce the TPD rules, I suggest contacting the organizations that represent vapers and vendors in each country to find more details on how the process will be handled there.
As with the deeming regulations in the US, the TPD will change how many companies do business, and will restrict access and choice for vapers and for smokers interested in trying vapor products. It’s important that vapers learn the issues, and stand up whenever possible to oppose unjust regulations.
Here’s a brief list of organizations representing vapers and vendors in Europe. Please check out the ones in your country. If I’ve missed any, please let me know or make a comment.