Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) by the European Union places limits on the sale and merchandising of tobacco and related products. This is an attempt to improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco, while supporting a healthily lifestyle for European citizens.
TPD doesn’t stop with that, it also governs traditional manufactured tobacco cigarettes, any herbal products that have been designed with smoking in mind, also the electronic cigarette market.
So here is what exactly E-Cigarette world should watch out for:
Article 20 of the TDP is dedicated to electronic cigarette industry. These regulations are quite like those tobacco regulations, when used against the very different e cigarette industry they are at best restrictive.
One such regulation says e-cigarette manufacturers will be required to submit any or all ingredient lists to the Commission before they will be allowed to sell these within the EU. This process should be followed for any changes to ingredients, regardless of how minor. For e liquid manufacturers, this comes in as a drawback given that they follow this for all product of new flavours and quality improvements.
The main concerned for the electronic cigarette industry is the delay between sourcing new products and receiving the go ahead to proceed with selling within the EU. They are also concerned that this may damage their businesses past the point of recovery, drastically for those running smaller enterprises. Current guidance suggests that products proposed for sale must be sent to the TDP commission six months prior to being them being made available to consumers.
Many are concerned that e cigarettes and their associated products have been treated with the same brush as tobacco cigarettes. These regulations do not give credit to e smoking for the downfall in the numbers smoking proven harmful tobacco products and little concern has been shown for the huge impact these regulations could have on electronic cigarette and e liquid businesses. In their own FAQ, the European Commission responds to the concern that these changes will cripple small businesses with the reassurance that such business will be given time to sell of their existing stock that will not be appropriate for sale after the deadline. Many see this as a further indication that the EU and TDP have a vague at best understanding of the industry.
Once again legal challenges have been made and e cigarette bodies are lobbying the EU and their own governments to encourage an overhaul of the TPD regulations. While e cigarette manufacturers and retailers are happy to work within the confines of the law and suitable regulations the restrictions they are facing do not seem to benefit anyone. If at all they appear to have been designed in any manner to damage and even destroy parts of the e cigarette market.