The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations came into force on 20 May 2016 and vaping suppliers across the UK have begun to ensure all their products comply.

The TPD regulations are technically European law, however, even with Brexit happening next year, these laws will still be in place.

Here is how TPD will affect vape shops across the UK.

High Strength Nicotine and the TPD

Vape shops used to stock a range of strengths in e-Liquid, anything from zero nicotine up to around 32mg to cater for people quitting smoking. This ensured that they had enough nicotine intake to kick their nasty habit of smoking.

However, TPD regulations now mean that nicotine-containing liquid which is presented for retail sale in an electronic cigarette or refill container must not contain nicotine in excess of 20 mg/ml.

This has the potential to mean that even though vaping is a great way to kick the smoking habit, heavy smokers may find it difficult because they can’t get the required nicotine levels from e-liquid.

It is also hard for people to transition from analogs to regular vaping devices.

Bottle Sizes and the TPD

Previously, vape shops stocked e-Liquid ranging from between 10ml to 30ml but online vape shops in some cases stocked 500ml quantities.

The tpd vaping regulations now mean that the maximum capacity for a bottle of nicotine containing e-Liquid must not exceed 10ml.

However, if you produce e-liquid without nicotine, you will not be subject to the 10ml rule. Manufacturers in the UK (and elsewhere I’m sure) are already selling pre-mixed e-liquid in 10 ml bottles inside a larger bottle, like a Chubby Gorilla for example.

This can be great for vapers, because it means they get to sample an e-liquid line before they buy a larger quantity of one particular e-liquid.

Tank Sizes and the TPD

Unfortunately, the majority of the tanks on the market were also affected, bringing into force a new limit on the tank capacity with a maximum capacity of just 2ml.

Tanks must now be TPD compliant so if they are on the shelves, you’ll know they comply with the new regulations. However, this will mean filling your tank up more often. You’re also no longer able to get your hands on the 5ml beasts. This is a real shame because there are some fantastic large capacity tanks out there that some vapers have used since they were released.

To combat this, some vape shops have started to divide their stock between kits and so-called “competition gear”. The kits are intended for vaping with nicotine and are fully TPD compliant. The competition gear includes drippers and mech mods, and are intended to be used without nicotine.

Many manufacturers now produce “TPD versions” of popular devices. When you buy a kit, you’ll often find a spare glass tank. Depending on what you buy, that replacement might be slightly bigger than the original.

Nicotine Base and the TPD

The TPD regulations have limited the maximum nicotine concentration to 20mg/ml maximum meaning that concentrated nicotine cannot be sold anymore.

Vapers who are mixing their own e-Liquid have been stockpiling bottles of nicotine to ensure they can continue with their hobby and reduce their costs. This could be dangerous if bottles are not stored securely especially if there are children or pets in the household.

Nicotine also has a lifespan but this can be extended by keeping it in glass bottles and in a cool dry place or the refrigerator.

With this in mind though, the regulations do not apply to trade sales though providing that industrial quantities are being sold to another business

MHRA and TPD

The TPD regulations also has new strict notification, labelling and packaging requirements including submitting products to the MHRA.

Those small vape shops that mix their own e-Liquid in-house will be hit hard unless they create a laboratory that can measure a range of specifications required by the TPD. Before these regulations, a small vape shop could have created numerous different flavours and put them on the market but the new regulations mean that every product has to be submitted to the MHRA.

In addition, this also carries fees for processing submissions which some smaller companies will simply not be able to afford or we could see an increase in prices to the consumer.

On the other hand, TPD regulations only apply to e-liquids containing nicotine. E-liquids that are nicotine-free do not need to go through this testing process.

Products that do not meet the definition (such as 0% nicotine e-liquids) are out of scope of the TPD and do not have to meet its requirements.

The regulations are aimed at manufacturers and retailers. If you make your own e-liquids and don’t sell them on the market, you are also unaffected.

Conclusion

In 2022, the TPD regulations are up for review again. In fact, they are to be reviewed every fiveryears so it will be an ongoing process.

New vapers will not have known any different but for vapers pre-TPD, they may have found the regulations a little tough to live by.

All we know is that in a few years time, things could be even more different, so for now we have to accept the restrictions and hope that it’ll get easier to vape in the future.

Sophie Garrod Head of Content Vapemate.co.uk