Since it’s legislation in 2017, the TPD laws have changed the way we approach the selling of tobacco and nicotine products. In a bid to curb the detrimental effects of, and long-time conglomerate grip on smoking tobacco, the TPD laws set out a wide range of rules and regulations. From the culling of tobacco advertising to stringent rules on where you can and can’t smoke, a knock-on effect was the regulation of vape products. From maximum nicotine concentrations within pre filled liquids to caps on tank sizes, vaping was a contradictory victim of the TPD regulations. From retailers’ qualms about what they saw as unnecessarily strict testing regulations to the consumer caps on 30 ml e liquid bottles, there was widespread dissatisfaction at what these May 2017 laws proclaimed.
Recently, the European Vape Alliance set out a pledge to lobby for edited regulations, their agenda being that vape devices were differentiated from the laws which recognise it as a “related product” to tobacco.
Who are the IEVA?
The European Vaping Alliance was founded by Dustin Dahlmann to bring together a group of Europe’s vape lovers. This wasn’t a mere online community, not only would they exchange tips on dripping and the perfect e cig battery, but they would explore the possibilities of developing and bettering vaping law. This group are the instigators of an international push to recontextualise vaping within the current laws set out.
What are they lobbying for?
Vaping has become one of the main instigators in smoking cessation over the last decade. It is for this reason that the EVA are attempting to change the way the smoking cessation tool is perceived within the TPD regulations. The idea behind the petition to the EU is to create a country to country set of laws surrounding vaping, rather than a blanket law within the continent. The fact of the matter is that a bespoke set of laws for each country would be far easier to control and operate, also ensuring that smokers could access vape products when attempting to quit cigarettes. The more independent control over the vaping market, the more the market will thrive, blanket laws often ignoring the details.
Are the TPD laws stifling innovation?
One problem with vaping laws as they stand is that they have the potential to harm the creativity and potency of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. This is paradoxical, in that the TPD laws were created to curb smoking habits. As many charities, companies and even the London fire department are backing vaping as a useful way to cull the damage of smoking, vaping has the potential to be more of a cause for good than are allowed under the current TPD laws. One aspect which debilitates vapers, especially ex-smokers, is the caps on pre filled nicotine contents within vape devices. Currently, 20 mg is the maximum per 10 ml bottles. This may very well not be high enough for heavy ex-smokers, and independent laws from the TPD regulations focused on the transition from smoking to vaping would be a big benefit from an independent vaping regulation system. On top of this, better manufacturing standards than that which is implemented by the TPD laws would ensure that high quality vaping products would become better priced and more widely available.
In conclusion, with some luck, the vaping regulations petition will be recognised by EU member states, and some productive talks will hopefully emerge when it comes to reconfiguring the vaping laws in the year 2020.