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Tobacco Products Directive 2016

It’s as good as set in stone, so what does the TPD mean to UK vapers?

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While we were settling down with eggnogs and pints of Baileys, the European Court’s Advocate General release her findings into the Totally Wicked legal action against Article 20. It unequivocally sides with the European legislators and against the electronic cigarette company. So what does this mean for vapers in the United Kingdom?

Her finding is not binding on the judges and does not mean that they will reach the same conclusion – but it is more than reasonable to accept that the fight is over. When the final verdict is given the door is firmly closed to an appeal although they or any other company are free to bring a different legal action against Article 20 based on new information or a new tack.

So, as Vic states so eloquently in the video below, the fight is truly over. In fact, in his opinion, it was over last year when the TPD began to be implemented.

Vaping With Vic

The implementation of the TPD is something that has drawn wide comment. Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP, said: “the EU is stepping in to crush the e-cigarette. In May, they will become subject to the EU's Tobacco Products Directive. Think about how absurd this is for a second: the whole point of e-cigarettes is that they are not a tobacco product.” But the thing is, whether anyone likes it or not, the restrictions will begin to be rolled out from May of this year.

The Independent sums it up as: “The maximum size of refill containers and cartridges is now being limited (to 10ml for a refill container and 2ml for the cartridge slotted into the e-cig itself), while the maximum nicotine strength is being limited to 20mg (about the same as a strong cigarette).  Meanwhile, the EU is reserving the right to ban the devices outright if three or more member states decide they are harmful enough to be made illegal.”

What it doesn’t mean is that you will be breaking the law by continuing to use your dripper, DNA200 mod or sub-ohm tank. In fact sales of the things you can currently buy will continue beyond the May deadline – Vic’s video above goes into further details about this. For most vapers, the kit they currently own or buy during 2016 will last them for as long as they wish to continue vaping. The major impact will be on those looking to switch from smoking and the quality of what will be available will, in turn, dictate how successful it is and how much they enjoy it.

As the BBC explained, a ban already exists in Belgium but it hasn’t prevented those who wish to vape. By far the greatest impact for current vapers will be the supply of juice. For some, they will be happy to switch to other brands (albeit in 10ml bottles) but others may find their favourite brands leaving the market. The state of the liquid market is still shrouded in confusion.

While some are still banging the drum to campaign against the TPD, and some public figures have arrived late to the protest party, there are many that now see petitions as futile and the way forward as one of preparing for the future. While the TPD leaves the option open to ban ecigs entirely it currently appears unlikely that the UK will go down that route.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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