The other shoe has finally dropped across the sea in Europe. The dreaded Tobacco Products Directive, including article 18 has been passed by a disturbingly comfortable margin
The TPD in general deals with… tobacco products in Europe and includes a few restrictions including only allowing cigarettes to be sold in packs of 20 (instead of 10, which is popular in some countries) as well as a flavor ban. Menthol will also be banned by 2022.
However, it’s article 18 that deals with electronic cigarettes. Despite a last-minute decision to put article 18 up for a separate vote, it was still easily ratified meaning a host of restrictions will be placed on e-cigarettes in the EU in coming years. Some of the highlights include:
- Nicotine limits of not more than 20mg/ml
- e-Liquid can be sold in a maximum bottle size of 10ml
- Tanks will be limited to 2ml of capacity or less
- Tanks must be leak proof both for filling and use
- Member states are free to require medical regulations for e-cigarettes
This ruling is a boon for companies that have stayed with the traditional e-cigarette with prefilled cartomizer route (and big pharma). More independent companies and of course vapers in the Union have gotten a raw deal today. I expect it will also be a boon to black marketers for certain products as well.
Update: My pals over at the Ashtray Blog put up a post about this ruling as well as some things Europeans might be able to do to turn this mess around. You can check that out here.
Update 2: Clive Bates has an article that lays out all of the e-cigarette provisions of the TPD.