TPD Article 20 is a sinister form of anti-vaping legislation that is only a few short weeks from taking effect. Adopted into law by the European Union (EU) comprised of some 28 European nations, the Tobacco Products Directive begins to creep into the picture very slowly starting May 20, 2015. Because of the insidious way in which the bill is written, millions of vapers from Great Britain to Spain most likely won’t even know the laws exist until early 2017.
What TPD Article 20 means to the European Vaper
The EU works in combination with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MRHA), another European organization whose main responsibility is to enforce the already enacted legislation by the EU for the same 28 countries. The MRHA enforces laws that relate to the “manufacture, presentation, and sale of tobacco and related products.” Much like many of the proposed bills currently facing vapers in the U.S. and other nations abroad, TPD Article 20 classifies e-cigs and vaping devices as tobacco products. But the European legislation goes even further:
- All advertising of e-cigs and vaping products will be banned from all forms of advertising, including TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, and most incredibly, online and social media marketing. After May 20, it will be illegal for local vape shops to Tweet or Instagram about their products and e-juices.
- Tank capacities must be approved by the TPD and cannot exceed 2ml.
- New tanks must receive MRHA approval before they can be sold on the market. There are also no specific requirements for how long this MRHA approval may take or how much it will cost.
- E-liquids cannot exceed 20mg of nicotine and must be sold in bottle sizes of 10ml or less.
- New e-juices released after November 19, 2017 must also be tested and approved by the MRHA, involving another perhaps lengthy and costly approval process.
- And much more.
These are just a few of the new regulations that begin to take effect in the coming weeks. Many of these have grandfather clauses for current vaping products on the market, but by late November 2017, all of these new regulations will be enforced throughout the entire industry. Just as Christmas is rounding the corner and vaping enthusiasts are shopping for box mods and e-liquids as stocking stuffers, many in the European vaping community will only then begin to realize just how costly…and how limited in selection…these new products will be.
Currently, TPD Article 20 is being challenged by several European vaping activist organizations. To join in the challenge, vapers care encouraged to sign an online petition by visiting Article20LegalChallenge.com.