The TPD - What it means for you.
The TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) has now taken effect across the vaping industry, and all retailers should now be complying to these regulations. We're going to break down the basics of the TPD for you and provide links to additional reading should you be interested.
1. E-Liquid with a nicotine concentration of above 20mg (2%) will no longer be available.
For the industry as a whole, this shouldn't be too big of an issue, as higher strengths were never widely popular and were mainly used by heavier smokers who really needed that high nicotine hit to curb their cravings. With new device technology and variable power outputs, this shouldn't cause too many problems as these users can simply turn up the power on their device to deliver more vapour to their lungs and therefore more nicotine content at one time. As far as we can understand, this rule has been changed for safety purposes, which ties in with the following rule.
2. Nicotine containing E-Liquid bottles will be limited to 10mls capacity.
This one is a bit iffy. Limiting vapers to 10ml bottles will cause a couple of problems, namely that transport of liquids whilst out and about will become more awkward for heavier users as they will be carrying multiple bottles. It will also cause vastly more wastage of plastic bottles which could eventually culminate to cause environmental issues. We believe one of the reasons that this has been put into place is that if, for example, a child were to find their way into an E-Liquid bottle and decide they fancied a drink, ingesting 10ml of any nicotine concentration up to 20mg should not be lethal and will only cause sickness. The offset to this is that any nicotine-free liquids are still legal to be sold in bottles larger than 10ml.
3. Maximum capacity of tanks limited to 2ml.
This one will be a bit more annoying for most vapers. Particularly for those using sub-ohm kit which goes through a lot of juice. The average sub-ohm tank at the moment can hold between 4-5ml and needs to be refilled every few hours with average use. Limiting these vapers to 2ml will require refilling much more often which is just going to be an inconvenience. A little bit of a grey area at the minute are "extension tanks" which are intended to increase the capacity of a tank.
4. All E-Liquids must be sold in packaging with child safety and tamper-proof features.
This one can only be a good thing, and for most users won't bring about any changes, as most E-Liquids on the market currently are already compliant with this rule.
5. A relatively strict ban on advertising
Advertisement of all electronic cigarettes and related products is now essentially banned, with the exception of any publications, including websites, aimed specifically at the vaping industry. This means no more TV, radio or website adverts that aren't specifically intended for a vaping audience.
6. Changes to E-Cigarette packaging
With the new rules, all electronic cigarette and E-Liquid packaging containing - or intended for use with - nicotine must feature a warning that takes up at least 30% of the visible area of the packaging. This is not going to cause a major problem and only serves to show customers which retailers are strictly adhering to the rules and regulations.
7. Registration and notification requirements of products.
This one's a biggy. In basic terms, any new products that a retailer such as VapeHQ wants to bring to the market will be required to undergo a 6-month notification period before sales can commence. This is to provide full traceability for the product down to the manufacturer, the materials used and the processes undertaken to produce the product. In essence, this is going to slow down the market a lot and will mean less innovation, fewer options and in general an increase in price for new devices.
How this will affect us
- We have had to change how our in-store (not applicable online) VapeHQ Loyalty scheme works in order to comply with these regulations. Previously, loyalty was earned on any products purchased in-store and was redeemable on any E-Liquid. Now, we have had to change this as we can no longer incentivise the sale of nicotine containing products. In essence, Loyalty will no longer be earned on any devices intended for use with nicotine or any nicotine containing E-Liquids. In return for this change, we have adjusted our pricing scheme to provide better value for money for our customers.
- Previously in our stores we ran a bulk purchase offer wherein a customer could purchase for example 3 White Label e-liquids at a reduced price. This is no longer allowed and is another reason we have adjusted our pricing scheme to match.
- For our online customers, we will no longer be able to run any discounts or provide any discount codes for any nicotine containing E-Liquids, again relating to incentivising the sale of nicotine.
In all, the TPD is a good thing for the industry - regulations are a way to keep vapers safe and ensure that everyone selling these fantastic products are all on the same page, working towards the same goal which is getting people off the cigarettes!