The revised Tobacco Products Directive UK

The revised Tobacco Products Directive UK

The revised Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU) (TPD), was published in April 2014 and the UK is now required to transpose the TPD into domestic law by May 2016. A consultation on the draft regulations and impact assessment was held from July to September 2015. The TPD will introduce additional rules on the composition, safety and presentation of e-cigarettes to ensure a high level of health protection for UK citizens.

Whilst the Government recognises the potential benefits of e-cigarettes and their role in reducing the harm of tobacco use and helping smokers quit, the quality of products on the market remains variable and they are not risk free. The regulatory framework introduced by the TPD is intended to provide for minimum standards for safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and e-liquids, information to consumers so that they can make informed choices, and an environment that protects children from beginning to use these products.

The TPD does not ban new flavours in e-cigarettes and e-liquids. The TPD permits Member States to make their own rules on flavours in e-cigarettes and e-liquids, however the Department of Health has no current plans to do so.

Refillable tanks will still be permitted under the TPD. Tanks will be limited to 2ml in size and rules to make refill mechanisms ‘leak free’ will be introduced. Consumers will remain able to purchase tank devices and separate e-liquids.

E-cigarettes do not fall under the definition of a tobacco product under the TPD. The UK’s implementing Regulations define “tobacco product” to mean a product that can be consumed and consists, even partly, of tobacco.

Following implementation of the new EU rules, there will remain a range of e-cigarette and e-liquid products on the UK market. In parallel, the prohibition on the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s, will help ensure these products are positioned as alternatives to smoking and not a product that introduces children to vaping or smoking.

Department of Health

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