As we write this blog post, Brexit is still very much up in the air. We have a possible extension until the 31st October 2019. The Government aim to sort everything out by the end of May. Who knows what will happen? What does seem inevitable is that Brexit will go ahead and the UK will leave the EU. This is not a political piece. This is something for all vapers to think about because UK vaping after Brexit could look very much the same as it does now, or very different.
The Tobacco Product Directive
One of the ways that UK Vaping after Brexit may be affected is via the Tobacco Product Directive. The Tobacco Product Directive, or TPD for short is an EU based piece of regulation that governs tobacco products. This makes sense. Tobacco should be regulated. Things with the TPD got tricky back in May 2017 when the full force of this legislation was activated and e liquid and e cigarettes were included within these regulations.
A whole other blog post would be required to discuss the many reasons why cheap one pound e liquids, indeed any eliquids and e cigarettes should not be governed under a tobacco-focused piece of legislation. When it comes down to it vaping and tobacco smoking are not alike. To get back on track, the introduction of the EU TPD legislation has meant that the amount of nicotine an e liquid may contain has been capped, e juice bottles must be smaller, e cigarette tank capacities have been limited and vaping advertising was hit with a harsh blow, making it harder than ever to publicly offer the option of a cleaner alternative to smoking via TV, radio and other media.
A Possible Change in the TPD Legislation
It stands to reason that when it comes to leaving the EU that at the very least e liquid legislation will be given a second glance. Of course, as soon as we leave the EU all EU-originating law will not simply disappear. These rules and regulations are well integrated into our own legal system. What many hope is that if/when we do exit the EU that specific pieces of legislation will be looked at once again, with current information to hand. It is at this point that UK vaping after Brexit might start to change slightly.
What some in the vaping community hope is that more recent information, for example, Public Health England’s vaping review finding that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking, will be considered if and when the TPD legislations are looked at again. PHE alongside numerous charities, research groups and more are lobbying the government to improve access to vaping, widening the gap in perception between smoking and vaping and offering a valid alternative to smoking. In doing this, vaping will be something more smokers will consider switching to whereas previously misinformation and restrictions on vaping made it look less attractive to a smoker. This means that those smokers are more likely to continue smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Seeing as vaping has been proven to be a great way to help smokers give up their harmful habit for good it stands to reason that changing the TPD regulations to exclude vaping will encourage a further drop in smoking numbers amongst adults in the UK.
Potential changes to the current regulations could include a relaxing of the advertising restrictions, a change to rules regarding e liquid bottled and tanks, amongst other key changes.
UK Vaping After Brexit: In Conclusion
In fairness, no-one knows right now what Brexit will look like, let alone the effect it could have on the vaping community. While many people focus on the TPD restrictions it is also important to look at any potential import and export issues vaping manufacturers might also face. In the short term very little is likely to change but keep an eye open for updates as we will report them on here as they come in. In the meantime, enjoy one pound e liquids that are perfect for any time of the day or night without having to think about UK vaping after Brexit or about any politics at all!