Back in May 2016, Article 20 from the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) came into effect in the UK and Europe. The legislation was put in place to regulate the quality of products as well as to ensure their safety. It also enabled consumers to educate themselves on where their e-liquids were coming from and who had made them. TPD also regulates the way in which e-liquids can be packaged as well as the tank or pod capacity of e-cigarettes.
If you’re a regular or long time vaper, you might have even noticed how things changed when this legislation came into effect. Previously, tanks were often larger and nicotine levels available were also higher. Bottle size has also changed slightly as well as the way some of them are packaged. More subtle changes you might not have noticed include the ingredients in e-liquids like flavouring and colours.
Currently, the US doesn’t have a limit on the maximum nicotine strength available. Under TPD, the strongest nicotine e-liquid you can get is a 20mg nicotine salt. These are designed for transitioning smokers as they’re a fast acting and quickly absorbed form of nicotine. In America, the highest available is that found in Juul pods - nearly three times as powerful - with a 59mg nic salt strength.
When it comes to the e-liquid itself, if it contains nicotine, the largest bottle size it’ll come in is a 10ml bottle. This is where shortfills came from and why you need to pop the bottle open to add nicotine yourself. The ingredients are also regulated - no colouring, no diacetyl or stimulants like caffeine or taurine. Tanks have been decreased to allow for a maximum 2ml capacity too. No matter whether it’s a pod kit or vape tank, you won’t find anything bigger than that.
TPD have also ensured packaging is secure too. You’ll notice that bottles will always come with a child proof cap, no matter whether it’s a metal dropper bottle or a jumbo squeezy gorilla bottle. All kits, e-liquids, tanks and anything else used for vaping (right down to replacement coils) also has to have a nicotine warning on it. Even products that don’t contain nicotine will have this warning due to their intended use.