The bell tolls for vaping

How the TPD Affects Your Vaping


Full compliance with the Tobacco Products Directive is less than two months away. The Tobacco Products Directive (Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2017 in the UK) is a new set of laws that affect the selling of eliquid and vaping devices.

Companies are required to sell through all the old stock by May 19th and everything made after November 2016 had to be compliant.


 TPD – How It Changes Your Vape

Tanks and Refills

 From May 20th:

  • Bottles can only be 10ml
  • Tanks can only be a maximum of 2ml
  • Nicotine strength can be a maximum of 2.0% (20mg/ml)

So for example, if you have a 3ml tank that you need to replace then after May 20th you won't be able to buy it legally from a retailer.  As a vaper, you can still use your old devices and larger tanks, but you won’t be able to buy new tanks that are larger than 2ml.



Bottles and Packaging Have Changed


  • Refill bottles are plastic with child-proof caps and leak-free filling.
  • Packaging must contain warning messages in the same way cigarettes do.  Ingredients are clearly stated and there’s generally much more product information. 

The regulations are very specific about how labels and packaging are presented, how ingredients are listed and even further how we advertise the products.


All Eliquids Now Require Approval


All eliquids have to be approved by the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Association (MHRA) along with scientific data to prove compliance with new testing rules. 

As a result, you may find some of your favourite flavours have disappeared.  There are also fees for submissions and testing, which may impact the end product if you are buying from other manufacturers.



The Notion of the Tobacco Products Directive

The TPD has been brought into force in stages over a period of years with the final stage coming into force in May 20th 2017.  It’s an EU law that aims to regulate the sale of vaping products and better inform the consumer about their product and protect those at risk, such as children.

The Tobacco Products Directive has upset many vapers, but the UK is also regarded as progressive in its approach to vaping, with many organisations viewing ecigarettes as a viable alternative to smoking. 

But looked at more simply the TPD is in some ways inconvenient (reduced tank and refill size for example) but does make marked improvements for the end user:

  • TPD sets out minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and eliquids - your vape ingredients are regulated so the less scrupulous manufacturers will have more difficulty operating.
  • Provides consistent information to consumers so that they can make informed choices
  • Provide an environment that protects children from starting to vape


As a vaper making the switch from cigarettes you should know what’s in your vape and not be exposed to additional harmful chemicals that would make stopping smoking obsolete.


Choosing Your Brand


One thing the TPD ensures is visibility on eliquids.  Not only are the labels more informative but you can see on the MHRA website that your favourite brand and blend has been registered, and is, therefore, an approved product.

From May 20th the physical elements of eliquids and devices will be equal.  Every company will sell only 2ml tanks and 10ml eliquid refills.  But the TPD means you will be able to ensure what you inhale is high quality too, by selecting a compliant supplier.

In terms of the TPD deadline will come and go quietly because the reputable vape companies will have prepared long before.  Slowly, compliant stock has been introduced, non-compliant eliquids have been phased out. 

But on May 20th the minimum duty on cigarettes also increases to £5.37, which will largely affect cheaper cigarettes perhaps pushing a whole new audience of people towards vaping.