The End of the E-Cigarette Transition: Why 20th May 2017 is an All-Important Day for Vaping.
It’s time to raise your head out of the sand. Whilst the ostrich impersonation has its benefits (ruffled tail feathers anyone?) stakeholders in the Electronic Cigarette industry; manufacturers, retailers and even humble users need to know why 20 May 2017 is the all-important date. And it’s not all bad news, I promise.
Wasn’t it the 20 May Last Year?
Don’t be fooled in to thinking that the EU changes to the Electronic Cigarette industry have been and gone, and it made for a smooth transition without you really noticing. Also, don’t be fooled that Brexit means it no longer needs to be on your radar. 20 May 2016 simply heralded the start of a Transition Period. A Transition Period, which, in our experience hasn’t been used to its best advantage, and is still going to leave much of the Vaping world in shock come its end: 20 May 2017.
TPD – What You Need to Know
The Tobacco Products Directive 2014/14/EU (TPD) has a worthwhile purpose, even if you’re grumpy because it is change, and we all hate change. It’s not the Electronic Cigarette industry that needs to quake in their boots – we’ll leave that to the tobacco guys. For the Electronic Cigarette marketplace, TPD is actually welcome news. Let’s take a closer look…
Electronic Cigarettes were introduced predominantly as an option away from traditional tobacco smoking. Something to replace that ‘need to smoke’ whilst reducing the health impact of harmful tar and toxins, and whilst making ‘the habit’ something far more fit for purpose in our modern instant-gratification world awash with choices.
Last year there were a staggering 2.8 million adults using Electronic Cigarettes, and it should be noted that the vast majority of these were either smokers already (1.4m), or ex-smokers (1.3m) (Source: http://ash.org.uk/information-and-resources/fact-sheets/use-of-electronic-cigarettes-vapourisers-among-adults-in-great-britain/). It’s a big market and it’s new. It needed regulation. We welcome it.
TPD – Facts & Stats for 2017
For Electronic Cigarettes and E-Liquid the TPD is all about regulation. With such a rich customer-base the industry was seeing some unsavoury goings on, and was disorganised at best. Sorting the wheat from the chaff was becoming a tall order. Therefore, the TPD was the knight in shining armour bringing the industry:
- Minimum safety and quality standards on vaping equipment
- Information for the vaper so they can make informed choices
- A safer environment to protect children
For manufacturers, producers and marketers within the industry, this means changing the way you operate to stay within the framework of the law, most notably submitting information about your products to the MHRA. This involves;
- a) some forethought to give yourself time-to-market, and
- b) a cost, of course.
For the vapers themselves, this means changes in terms of product specifications such as maximum tank sizes and maximum nicotine concentration in your e-liquid. Reviewing the purchasing behaviour of our customers at Love Vaping, this isn’t such a drastic change. What it does mean, however, is that you can be reassured of the quality of the products on offer.
20 May 2017 matters because although the TPD was implemented one year ago, the industry has until this day to get its ducks in a row and to phase in the changes. This means that come this all-important day we’ll see the real changes in action.
20 May 2017 – Time to Say Goodbye
Up until 20 May this year it’s still possible for you to buy electronic cigarettes, e-liquid, and all other vaping equipment released for sale before 20 November 2016 (thanks to Article 30 of the TPD). So if you’re retro old-school, or just a little stuck in your ways and want to buy some time, then you’ll still be able to get hold of what you’re looking for over the next couple of months until stocks have dried up.
However, if you look to the future, from 20 May 2017 you’ll see a safer industry with detailed product quality control in place. This means the cowboys will quickly find themselves booted out, and consumers can be certain about the quality of product purchased from vaping stores in the UK.
The Future of Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping and the TPD
As I mentioned, this industry is still young. The TPD represents a coming of age. We’re no longer doing things haphazardly, and that’s good. We’re now standing on our own two feet (with our heads out of the sand) and for the UK consumer and the wider vaping market, this is brilliant news.
However, don’t rest on your laurels. Understanding and regulation of the electronic cigarette industry remains inconclusive. Research is still being conducted on the nature of the beast, how smokers and ex-smokers alike use the products on offer, and how this will translate in to the reality of the future.
One thing is certain – regulation of the market is now here to stay, it’s in everyone’s interest, and if you’re not aligned with it by 20 May then you risk falling foul of the law.