The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is an EU directive that regulates tobacco products, novel tobacco products and vaping products.
All EU member states observe this directive, although some have bespoke enforcement arrangements. The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) transfer the TPD into UK law.
The TPD and TRPR enforce a range of standards which impact the vaping industry, including limits to the size of liquid bottles and tanks, mandatory product notification and health warnings on packaging.
Some elements of these sets of regulations have generated counter-productive, unintended consequences. For example, the 10ml bottle size limit is inconvenient and more expensive for consumers, which could discourage would be ex-smokers from making the switch.
It also goes against other efforts to minimise the environmental impact of the industry – if the size restriction was increased, less plastic bottles would be manufactured every year.
As an association, the UKVIA fully supports evidence-based regulation that is proportionate and properly sets vaping products apart from tobacco. There are definitely some positive aspects to the TPD and TRPR – having helped ensure high product standards across the industry and reinforce consumer confidence in some respects – but there remain a number of negative, disproportionate aspects to the regulations as well.
The UKVIA contributed policy suggestions to previous reviews of the TPD and TRPR to ensure meaningful industry involvement and inform the regulations that keep the vape sector safe and successful.