The Tobacco Wars – Time to Tell Your Friends About Vaping?
Smoking or vaping? It’s like an age-old argument from childhood... skates or skateboard?
But from May 20th the hand-builtskate park that both are using is being dismantled – or being replaced – with a shiny new one by the EU's health and safety officers.
Article 14 of the Tobacco Products Directive
Your tank size changes to a maximum of 2ml, refills can no longer be larger than 10ml and every eliquid blend has to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Vaping equipment also gets a new look as packaging must resemble that of cigarettes, with warnings covering the surface of eliquid outer cartons. Also the highest strength nicotine can now be is 20mg/ml.
But you knew these things anyway...
For vapers reduced tank and refill sizes may be seen as inconvenient but the new rules are heavier on smokers than vapers. Vaping has been largely unregulated and the new rules guarantee vapers’ health from less scrupulous businesses. Now you can trace your eliquid via the MHRA website and be sure that what's in it is what should be in it.
But you’ll probably be unaffected by these new rules as those companies who hope to stay in business post May 20th will have been building the changes into their site – and there will have been a glut of discounted eliquid promoted as stores look to remove their non-compliant stocks. Possibly you’ve lost a favourite eliquid blend…
But on May 20th Smokers Will Feel The Drag Too
Cigarette 10 packs are also being phased out in May, along with the basic price for a pack also increasing to nearly £9. Menthol cigarettes will be banned completely.
It’s hoped the ban on smaller packs would reduce the number of smokers among the young and other people who can only afford smaller packs. Smaller rolling tobacco packs are being phased out too with 30g being the smallest size available.
The moves are part of a plan to reduce smokers in the EU by 2.4 million and in May cheaper cigarettes will also see basic price increases. The UK government has said it wants a generation to grow up smoke free. Cancer Research has previously said that two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18.
But it’s not just in the UK where tobacco and tobacco related products are coming under attack. Australia has all but banned vaping, and plain packaging came into force there in 2012 which saw a 3% drop in daily smokers. The packaging ban is in place in France too. In Russia there’s talk of a complete ban on cigarettes while campaigners in Canada want the smoking age increased to 21.
If you’ve successfully made the switch from smoking to vaping now’s probably a great time to help your friends discover vaping…