BREXIT: Liberation for the vaping industry, or ever more restrictive legislation?

Introduction 

As the Brexit deadline draws closer everybody is wondering what it will mean for them, the vaping industry is no exception. The EU commission has long sought to tighten the regulations on the vaping market.

The UK Vaping Industry & Brexit 

In December, Westminster claimed it was not ruling out the option of revisiting vape regulations after Brexit. Previously it had been thought that the TPD ( Tobacco Products Directive ) would remain consolidated into British law. TPD whilst providing customers with tested e-liquids that are safe for consumption has been seen by many in the vaping industry as a draconian collection of restrictions.

A poll on the Ashtray Blog showed a majority of the roughly 1200 vapers that responded (56%) expressed their desire to split with the EU commission, and (89%) of them cited the TPD as the main driver for this vote.

After a report published by the Science and Technology Committee in August 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care did suggest that it would consider the options that extrication from EU directives would present the British vaping market, the third largest vaping market worldwide.

“The government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. The government will explore those areas identified by the committee, such as the 20mg/ml maximum nicotine refill limit, a size restriction of 2ml on the tank, a block on advertising e-cigarettes’ relative harm-reduction potential and the notification scheme for e-cigarette ingredients”

Far from looking to maximise any new found freedoms, MP’s have already agreed on two pieces of EU tobacco regulation they want to see signed into UK law, allowing for TPD and TAD (Tobacco Advertising Directive) to remain in place in the event of a clean break.

However MP’s have confirmed three main alterations to the regulation of the UK’s vape market should EU intransigence force a no deal scenario.

  1. The Australian Government will supply the graphic imagery displayed on tobacco products free of charge.
  2. The UK will develop its own notification systems for companies that wish to sell tobacco products and e-cigarettes in the UK market.
  3. Herein lies the meat and potatoes of any meaningful change, A transition of powers will be required from the EU commission to the government’s Secretary of state. The commission’s powers under the TPD arrangement enable it to respond to what it sees as threats to the market, safety and quality standards.

Given the little to no emphasis placed on possibly freeing up the UK’s vaping market only time will tell whether or not the creep of restriction will continue unabated.



(The opinions expressed in this review are those of the reviewer and not those of Dragon Vapour LTD)

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