Tomorrow is about  vapers to be or not to be. Tomorrow, the Totally Wicked Legal Challenge against the Article20 of the Tobacco Products Directive will be heard at the The European Court of Justice (CJEU). Let's quickly remind what will vaping look like if they loose:

The TPD that is due to come into force in May 2016 will mean the following changes to YOUR vaping:

  • You will not be able to buy the devices you use now! 2ml tank capacity limit means a huge swathe of the most popular products will be unavailable. (The wording of TPD Article 20 is ambiguous in respect of this limit, but the first Member State to implement has decided on an outright ban on tanks over 2ml capacity.).
  • You will have less choice of e-liquids! Harsh regulations around fluid and emissions testing mean that small and artisanal e-liquid manufacturers will be unable to compete, or in many cases even stay in business. Larger manufacturers will be forced to restrict the choices in their fluid ranges.
  • You will have less choice of nicotine strength! The 20 mg/ml nicotine strength limit means that those most at risk from combustible cigarettes (heavy smokers) are least likely to be able to satisfy nicotine craving with e-cigarettes.
  • All e-cigarettes will start to look the same! Ensuring “leak free refilling” (to be supported by a proposed Pan-European standard filling mechanism) also outlaws the vast majority of refillable and all rebuildable products, to be replaced by e-cigarettes with the same generic and standardised filling mechanism.
It will also affect the industry! 
 
  • Advertising restrictions – we are unable to inform customers to enable them to make a positive choice for an alternative to combustible cigarettes.
  • Pre-market notification gives us a huge administrative burden, and a 6 month delay in getting products to market, but there is no evidence of any risks for this notification to mitigate.
  • Listing of all ingredients (recently suggested at down to 0.1% by the European Commission) in pre-market notifications and making that information publicly available means that we are forced to make public full “recipes” for flavoured e-liquids.
  • Toxicological testing of fluids and emissions for every product (every flavour, every strength) will present a disproportionate burden to suppliers that have the widest and most innovative e-liquid ranges. There is no precedent for this type of testing, and very little toxicological data available for flavourings “by inhalation”, so the costs are likely to be in excess of £10K per flavour and strength.
  • A standardised refill mechanism destroys a huge market sector, restricts innovative product designs, and homogenises a vibrant and diverse competitive market.

List courtesy of Totally Wicked.

Totally Wicked has gathered over 50k signatures from EU vapers. Yesterday (29th September) they handed over the petition to the Department of Health. Even though  this doesn’t change anything and has no direct bearing on the outcome of tomorrow's court case – it was a statement of support. 

Depending on the outcome - we will be either celebrating or crying our eyes out when it's all over. If you still haven't signed the Legal Challenge you can do it by clicking here.