Like many today I awoke to the news I didn't really expect: the UK voted to leave the European Union. Yes, as a vaper I'd voted for this, but I wasn't sure if the rest of the UK felt similarly impassioned to leave.
The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is currently in place here in the UK. It perhaps doesn't feel especially imposing to the average vaper on the street right now, after all there is still a wealth of e-liquids, devices, tanks and other additions available on a crowded and growing market. But make no mistake: the effects of TPD on the vaping populace have yet to be truly felt. The golden years and the good times will come to a sharp and dramatic halt in May 2017. For it is in May next year where the truly devastating effects of the EU directive will be felt. From restrictions on tank sizes, to e-liquids reduced only to a maximum of 18mg and limited to 10ml bottles, emblazoned with warning labels. Leaflets containing dire warnings about nicotine and its 'apparent dangers' will be included with every bottle. The submission process for every new vaping related device and liquid on the market will see significant and costly delays, up to 6 months before being brought to market. But it is the sheer cost and scale to meet these regulations imposed on small business which will hurt this industry the most.
At an average cost of £3,500 per flavour, per nicotine strength, as well as an average £100 yearly submission cost to the MHRA, it becomes an astronomical feat to an e-liquid manufacture to meet TPD demand. Tokenvape has six flavours currently. Five of them are in 50/50 in 3/6/12mg (0mg is excluded from the directive) six of them are in 70/30 across 3 & 6. Technically, this means I have 81 possible combinations to submit. If I were to submit the current portfolio of Tokenvape liquids to current MHRA testing costs it would cost me £283,500 in legal regulation fees. Even if I were ruthless and cut everything down to just my best-sellers in 70/30 3mg only it would still cost: £14,000. For a small business like mine that it is simply unsustainable.
Fast forward to today, to a United Kingdom mandated to divorce itself from the EU and things now begin to look different for vapers. Basic logic dictates that we are no longer part of Europe and therefore we are no longer subject to EU regulation. However, like all bureaucracy and crumbling empires, change takes time. The government now needs to adjust to an exit strategy from the EU bloc. For two years, whilst trade deals and much more is negotiated, the TPD will still stand. The real struggle for vapers starts now. We need to unite, more than ever, to have our elected government propel the TPD as priority for reform or outright removal sooner rather than later. The longer the regulations remain, the more we risk seeing small independent businesses fail to survive. Previously, under the EU regulation and with sad news the fatal motion by the House of Lords had failed, we had little to no hope of ever having the TPD reformed. But now, things look different. Nothing is for certain still, but vapers should take solace that a possible end of the TPD just became a tangible reality. Keep up the pressure, vapers. We will hold the government to their promise of acting on the interests of the electorate and we will vote them out if they fail us; something we could never achieve with the elite of Brussels.
You must be aged 18 or over to use these products.
Tokenvape e-liquid may contain nicotine.
Nicotine is classed as toxic.
Very toxic if swallowed.
Very toxic in contact with skin.
Keep locked up and out of the reach of children.
If you feel unwell when using these products, stop and seek medical advice immediately.
May contain traces of nuts.
Only to be used with e-cigarettes.