Vaping and e-liquids are classified as tobacco products, so in the same way that cigarettes are regulated, e-liquids are too. Naturally, this has changed a few things and varies a little depending on where you are. No matter the location, e-liquid manufacturers have adapted accordingly. Across Europe and the UK, we have the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) established by the EU to regulate the specs of vaping products, how they can be sold and who they can be sold to.
TPD regulations came into full effect back in May 2016. Since then, e-liquids have a maximum strength of 20mg of nicotine and e-liquids that contain nicotine can only be sold in bottles with a maximum 10ml capacity. They also can’t contain any taurine or caffeine. While the nicotine limit is significantly lower than what’s available in America, the main change retailers had to accommodate was the bottle size change.
You know what it’s like. You have a Sub Ohm tank, the resistance is super low, the wattage is high and you get through e-liquid like a Formula One race car gets through petrol. Big bottles were always the way to go for people who had one flavour they loved and for those who have bigger vapes that need a lot of liquid. The 10ml limit on nicotine containing liquids changed how accessible these big bottles were for those who liked a to vape with a bit of nic.
To keep both the law-makers and cloud-chasers happy, e-liquids manufacturers created the shortfill. Chunky bottles of nicotine free liquid with a little bit of space at the top to add a 10ml shot of concentrated nicotine. This meant vapers could mix to their desired strength and still save money by buying bigger bottles (and at Vape Superstore, you get a free nic shot with every shortfill too).
When it came to the nicotine strength limit, nic salts saved the day there. As we mentioned earlier, because they hit harder, you don’t need as high a strength. You can get plenty of nic salts in a 20mg strength these days and the fact they work as effectively as a 36mg freebase nicotine would means 20mg is really all you need.
Across the pond, the FDA is the regulating body for the e-liquid and vaping industry. After President Obama handed over control to them in 2009, the FDA have been keeping tabs on all the new products that were being made. Now, manufacturers of tobacco products (including e-liquids) have to meet FDA premarket standard before they hit the shelves. This is a great move for making products safer for consumers, however it also means the FDA has the power to ban flavours.