On May 20th of this year (2016) the laws in the United Kingdom concerning electronic cigarettes changed drastically. If you smoke, sell, or have any interest in electronic cigarettes and their use in the United Kingdom you need to make yourself aware of the changes to the laws.
The Tobacco Products Directive says that the only electronic cigarette products that are excluded from the new rules and regulations are the ones that contain no nicotine. If you smoke the herbal varieties that have no nicotine in them at all then these rules will not affect you.
Nicotine Content Regulations According to the Tobacco Products Directive
The main change in relation to the nicotine content is all e-liquids that contain more than 20mg/ml of nicotine will have to meet the standards imposed on medicines. The e-liquids with this amount of nicotine will need to have a medical license and will be sold like an over the counter drug is sold.
The Action on Smoking and Health says the regulations on e-liquids containing more than 20mg/ml will not affect the majority of users. The majority of users buy e-liquids that have less than 20mg/ml in them.
Flavour Ban on E-Cigs
Most tobacco products that were flavoured will no longer be available for sale. The use of flavourings in tobacco has been banned. The use of flavourings in e-liquids is still allowed. You will still be able to buy flavoured e-cigs.
The changes in the e-liquid laws that affect the flavourings are stricter adherence to using ingredients that meet or exceed the acceptable standards of safety. In order to make sure that each manufacturer is complying with the standards of safety, the government now requires the manufacturer to disclose the ingredients they use, including the ingredients they use to create the flavours.
Changes in E-Cig Packaging
Any E-cig that contains less than 20mg/ml of nicotine in the liquid that forms the vapor will be regulated by the Tobacco Purchase Directive and the packaging for those electronic cigarettes that fall into this category have to change.
The package must now carry a health warning that covers at least thirty percent of the package size. The warning will be placed on both the front and back of the package, and it will declare that the product in the package contains nicotine and that nicotine is known to be a highly addictive substance.
You will see fewer advertisements for the electronic cigarettes. The advertisements cannot be placed in magazines, on the radio, or on television. The electronic cigarettes can still have advertisements on the sides of buses as long as those buses are not leaving the United Kingdom.
If the electronic cigarette has a higher nicotine level it is considered a medicine and then it is allowed to be advertised in magazines, on radio, and on television. Celebrities will not be allowed to endorse e-liquids with nicotine contents greater than 20mg/ml, and the target audience has to be adult smokers, not adult non-smokers.
No Stop Smoking Claims
The electronic cigarettes that contain 20mg/ml or less of nicotine can no longer claim that using their e-cig can help you to stop smoking tobacco products.
The e-liquids that contain more than 20mg/ml of nicotine will be considered to be a medicine, and those liquids may make the claim that they help with smoking cessation.
Standards for both Devices and Liquids know as E-cigs
The devices and liquids used as electronic cigarettes must be approved by the Tobacco Purchase Directive at least six months prior to the product being sold to the general public.
Any device designed to deliver the e-liquids that have more than 20mg/ml of nicotine must meet the standards and criteria of a medical device.