The infamous “TPD Article 20”

TPD Article 20 imposes regulations on e-cigarettes and e-liquid including restrictions on bottle sizes, nicotine strength, tank sizes and devices that will be available. It prohibits advertising, and introduces a number of testing and reporting measures that will significantly increase production costs and therefore sale prices. The current indicative time frame has “implementing act” requirements starting in the last quarter of 2015, with an expectation that several if not all of the more severe restrictions will be in place by May 2016.

Reasons why you should support the legal challenge:

Vapers:

  • You will not be able to buy the devices you use now! 2ml tank capacity limit means a huge swathe of the most popular products will be unavailable. (The wording of TPD Article 20 is ambiguous in respect of this limit, but the first Member State to implement has decided on an outright ban on tanks over 2ml capacity.).
  • You will have less choice of e-liquids! Harsh regulations around fluid and emissions testing mean that small and artisanal e-liquid manufacturers will be unable to compete, or in many cases even stay in business. Larger manufacturers will be forced to restrict the choices in their fluid ranges.
  • You will have less choice of nicotine strength! The 20 mg/ml nicotine strength limit means that those most at risk from combustible cigarettes (heavy smokers) are least likely to be able to satisfy nicotine craving with e-cigarettes.
  • All e-cigarettes will start to look the same! Ensuring “leak free refilling” (to be supported by a proposed Pan-European standard filling mechanism) also outlaws the vast majority of refillable and all rebuildable products, to be replaced by e-cigarettes with the same generic and standardised filling mechanism.

Industry:

  • Advertising restrictions – we are unable to inform customers to enable them to make a positive choice for an alternative to combustible cigarettes.
  • Pre-market notification gives us a huge administrative burden, and a 6 month delay in getting products to market, but there is no evidence of any risks for this notification to mitigate.
  • Listing of all ingredients (recently suggested at down to 0.1% by the European Commission) in pre-market notifications and making that information publicly available means that we are forced to make public full “recipes” for flavoured e-liquids.
  • Toxicological testing of fluids and emissions for every product (every flavour, every strength) will present a disproportionate burden to suppliers that have the widest and most innovative e-liquid ranges. There is no precedent for this type of testing, and very little toxicological data available for flavourings “by inhalation”, so the costs are likely to be in excess of £10K per flavour and strength.
  • A standardised refill mechanism destroys a huge market sector, restricts innovative product designs, and homogenises a vibrant and diverse competitive market.

When does this disproportionate legislation become law?  It already is – and, unless this legal challenge is successful, it will come into force across the EU in 2016.

If you’re against it (being a vaper yourself or not) please sign and share with family and friends! You can do so clicking here

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