May 20th, 2017 sees the introduction of the new TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) come into force in the United Kingdom. These regulations impact both the weed vaporizer and e-liquid tobacco vaporizer market in a forward thinking, almost revolutionary, manner that both surprises and inspires across the pond. Whilst your mods, 0mg liquids, spares and RDA’s are not covered in these new regulations and remain unchecked, your kits, tanks and E-liquids are all covered. A 2ml tank boundary shall be imposed, limiting the size of both dry herb vaporizers and liquid vaporizers.
Liquid vaporizers see the greatest changes with the new UK regulations on E-liquid. E-liquids containing nicotine cannot be sold in bottles larger than 10ml and these bottles cannot contain more than 20mg of nicotine. Confusingly, the regulation does not prohibit the purchase of multi-packs and so you can still get your hands on the same amount of E-liquid as before, only this time in smaller, more annoying, bottles. Where the United Kingdom really revolutionizes and inspires is regarding the production process of these vapes and E-liquids.
Production factories must now pass thorough health and safety inspections for cleanliness and all products must pass a strict emission test. Beyond these new checks and tests, all additives, colourings and stimulants are banned from vape and E-liquid production in the United Kingdom. These laws may at first seem to be placing limits on sizes and nicotine levels of E-liquids, there are no limits on the quantities of E-liquid that are allowed to be purchased and these rules clearly place a strong emphasis on health, cleanliness and security, transforming the vaping industry of the United Kingdom.
When we think about vaping culture, our minds automatically turn to images of skater-boys and fashion-conscious hipsters on Venice Beach. We think of the Californian lifestyle and assume a happy-go-lucky, open and free attitude to vaping. This seems to be a misconception and the new regulations and laws on vaping implemented by the state of California seem to demonstrate this mistake. Vaping is now illegal in California to anyone under the age of twenty-one, whilst they can fight in Afghanistan, young American Californians cannot vape.
Beyond this, there is an attempted ban on flavoured vaping products being debated as we speak. As of August 2016, a nationwide law came into place banning store-owners from showing customers how to use their products and all vape products were labelled as ‘Tobacco products’, even those that do not contain nicotine. California may be the vaping capital of the world, but it must turn to the United Kingdom for inspiration on re-thinking both its laws and attitudes to vaping at the governmental level. Whether lawmakers like it or not, vaping exists and shall continue to exist with or without the support of the government.
The United Kingdom has accepted this and has decided that if vaping is going to exist, it must exist in a safe, clean and monitored environment with both the protection and support of the lawmakers. We, as members of the vaping community, must remove this misconception that any laws or regulations on vaping are an attack on the culture and a risk to the community. On the contrary, these laws and regulations can be used to unite the vaping community together with the lawmakers and create a safe, open and well-monitored environment that can allow both increased freedoms for the standard consumer and also substantial growth and safe development for the industry in general.