Did you know that the laws around vaping are changing, and that anyone who doesn’t comply could find themselves facing up to two years in prison?

Retailers and manufacturers of vaping products need to be aware of the new rules, which are set to limit the potency of e-cigarettes and deter children from using them. Trading Standards officers in the UK are particularly keen to get the message to people who e-brew at home, as the new rules apply to them but they are the hardest to reach.

The new laws were introduced last year under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and fully come into force on May 20. They are intended to ensure minimum safety and quality standards for e-cigarettes and refill containers and to help consumers to make informed choices based on accurate information. Supporters say the new rules will dissuade people from vaping, but critics say they will deter smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.

Failure amongst retailers or producers to comply could mean an unlimited fine or a maximum jail term of 24 months. The Government website lists the new requirements, which include:

  • restricting e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
  • restricting the maximum volume of e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
  • restricting e-liquids to a a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
  • requiring nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
  • banning certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
  • new labelling requirements and warnings

The changes also require all e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) before they can be sold. Consumers and healthcare professionals are able to report side effects and safety concerns about e-cigarettes or refill containers to the MHRA through a yellow card reporting system.

The changes are aimed at producers of e-cigarettes and refill containers. A producer is classed as anyone who manufactures or imports products or who re-brands products as their own. Retailers do not need to submit information for any products they sell unless they also qualify as a producer, but they must remove from sale any products that do not comply with the new requirements by May 20.


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