A couple of nights ago, the newly revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was discussed in the House of Lords.
With plenty of ‘my noble friend’ and ‘my noble lord’ phrases being thrown around to try and impose some sort of politeness in the debate which quickly pulled apart the government’s decision to adopt the new directive, some very interesting points emerged both for and against the controversial petition.
What is TPD?
The newly revised EU Tobacco Products Directive (the first one was implemented in 2001 and then again in 2014) is set to come into force on the 20th May 2016 – very soon. This petition includes regulations for vaping devices such as our beloved e-cigarettes which has resulted in a crack down on the amount of nicotine allowed in each container.
The implications of this new legislation are huge for the vaping industry and it is something that we are all waiting for with bated breath.
What are the Rules for the EU including the UK?
Here are a few examples of the most impactful parts of the directive which will infiltrate right into the heart of the UK e-cigarette community:
- The maximum size of refill containers of nicotine containing liquid will be 10ml
- Maximum size of cartridges or tanks are not to exceed 2ml
- Maximum strength of nicotine is to be 20mg
- Electronic cigarettes will need to provide a consistent dose of nicotine
- E-cigarettes and refill containers are to have a mechanism to ensure leak free refilling
- If any ‘competent authority’ believes that any product may present a health risk, then they are entitled to prohibit them
- Other restrictions involving detailed information on each product including: ingredients list, toxicological data, absorption data, opening and refilling mechanisms and product processes for every single product
What Did the House of Lords Have to Say FOR the TPD?
The main speaker at the session who was repping a very funky tie, began with explaining that the government recognises that e-cigarettes indisputably help people to stop smoking. He then went on to explain that the primary reason as to why the TPD has come into place: to protect the sales of vaping devices in the the UK and the rest of the EU as some countries want them completely banned. As a result, there is a strong need for a regulated market which will monitor nicotine quantity for a safety agenda across Europe.
Similarly, in response to a lot of criticism and backlash from ‘the noble lords’, Mr Funky Tie continued on to say that whilst he agrees with his fellows that we as a nation and as individuals are perfectly capable of looking after our own devices, an issue may occur when we want to sell to the rest of the European Market as we would absolutely have to abide by their regulations – not taking on the TPD would leave us worse off economically.
What Did the House of Lords Have to Say AGAINST the TPD?
In short, plenty. God bless them, they stood up for all the positives that we ourselves see in vaping devices. One chap piped up with a David Cameron quote, boasting the statistic that 1 million people in the UK have given up smoking as a result of e-cigarettes – a pretty phenomenal amount.
As a direct result of this, the UK has saved £74 billion in public health benefits. The disbelief that the government could possibly think that regulations need to change for vaping devices with these statistics in mind, triggered the response from one Lord who stated that he believed the government was supporting the TPD on the grounds that pharmaceutical sales are going down because of e-cigarettes. The Lord then continued on to say that he believes that the hope of the TPD implementation is that people will either go back to traditional cigarettes or stop switching to e-cigs which will bring pharmaceutical sales back up - The TPD is going to make it so much harder for e-cigarettes to be promoted because of the lack of nicotine.
Other important points that were brought up included the argument asking why vaping devices are a part of the TPD at all if they’re not even tobacco. On the same page, was another man in a very dashing bow tie who quoted the research from New Zealand which found that e-cigarettes are substantially more effective at helping smokers to quit than placebos and nicotine patches which (as the previous statistic proved) saves the NHS an exponential amount of money. Bow Tie Dude ended with the statement that this was frankly a ‘badly thought through directive’ – hear, hear.
Here's the whole thing: