Vaping News

The Impact of the TPD

The Tobacco Products Directive has come to pass, and Britain may pay a heavy price.

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“The new laws are crazy,” a vape storeowner told the journalist from his local newspaper. For those businesses who sought to keep themselves legal, it has come at a price: the ridiculous extra hours of work, the reams of paper to be read or filled in, the loss from having to discount perfectly acceptable stock and the direct costs involved when seeking compliance. And then there are the small voices warning that this could kill the huge advances made recently with tobacco harm reduction.

Mike Zorab from Up In Smoke pointed out to The Visitor just one of the little things that have been overlooked by the authorities: “One of our most popular flavours, pineapple, is sold in a 100ml bottles. We can’t do that any more. 10ml bottles are harder to squeeze than the bigger ones. This makes it harder for older clientele and people with conditions like arthritis to use.”

Chris Snowdon, writing for The Spectator, terms the new law “a triumph of the busybodies.” Every vaper has a favourite flavour and, as many have noted, lots have been discontinued due to the cost of meeting the new demands. “Every flavour has to be officially approved and certified,” Snowdon writes. “As this is an expensive process, it makes financial sense for companies to discontinue their less popular lines rather than deal with the red tape.”

Snowdon contends that the combined effect of the attacks on smoking and vaping bode ill for those keen to see a continual decline in smoking rates: “Smaller bottles of vape juice, larger packets of tobacco and a policy that has led to a surge in cigarette sales in the two other countries to have tried it.”

There’s little by way of disagreement from Richard Hyslop, chief executive of the Independent British Vape Trade Association: “If you are continuing to have to refill, it’s annoying that you now have to carry more stuff with you. From a public health point of view, vaping succeeds or fails on the number of smokers who switch to it.”

“If you’re looking at vaping compared to smoking, with smoking you just take a cigarette out of the packet and light it. With vaping you’ve got to have all this kit and keep refilling because the tank’s so small and the bottle size is so much smaller,” he added. “There’s already an informal economy in cloned devices and poor-quality stuff. Now people wanting to buy devices with bigger tanks or liquid in a bottle that’s bigger than 10ml won’t be able to buy it legitimately in the UK but will be able to go to grey or informal areas and buy it.”

Gerry Stimson, one of the foremost experts in tobacco harm reduction, commented: “Vaping has helped 1.5 million give up smoking. This extraordinary success is put at risk by rules that make vaping less attractive to Britain’s 9 million current smokers.”

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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