Could British vapers be buying big e-liquid bottles and big vape tanks again soon?

Proposals to reverse legislative e-cigarette and vaping restrictions from the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive have taken a step further in Parliament, with a second reading and a debate scheduled for tomorrow (Friday).

The Tobacco Products Directive was formally introduced on May 20th 2017, making an array of alterations to vaping products, advertising and to the e-cigarette industry.

The bill, cited as Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Act 2018, is proposed to take effect on 30 March 2019, which is around the time the UK should formally leave the European Union and a transitional period will commence.

It should be noted that this bill is to regulate e-cigarettes only, so legislation that has affected the tobacco industry will not be altered.

Parliament has passed the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will implement all current EU laws into UK law, which of course includes the Tobacco Products Directive.

Parts of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 that the UK legislature are trying to revoke include;

  • Part 6 (electronic cigarettes).
  • Part 7 (electronic cigarette advertising).
  • “an electronic cigarettes etc” from regulation 47.
  • “an electronic cigarette or a refill container” from regulation 47 (cross-border distance sales…)
  • Subparagraphs (d) and (e) from regulation 48 (offences)

The elements that could be changed are size, capacity, content, or packaging of e-cigarettes and refill containers, which include e-liquid bottles.

If the bill is passed by Parliament, this would mean that e-cigarettes “can be used for the consumption of nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece, or any component of that product, including 10a cartridge, a tank and the device without cartridge or tank (regardless of whether the product is disposable or refillable by means of a refill container and a tank, or rechargeable with single use cartridges”.

Many politicians have been critical of the Tobacco Products Directive, with a member of the House of Lords even labelling the regulation as “North Korean stuff”.

The process of a bill from first reading to Royal Assent is a long one.

The first reading of the bill took place on 5/9/2017, with the second reading and debated scheduled for Friday the 16th of March in the House of Commons.

The next steps are as follows:

  • Committee Stage
  • Report Stage
  • Third Reading

Then, the bill will enter the House of Lords.

  • First reading
  • Second Reading
  • Committee Stage
  • Report Stage
  • Third Reading

Following a consideration of amendments, the bill will be sent for Royal Assent and signed into UK law.

The act will extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Mr Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch and a prominent Brexit supporter sponsored the bill.

You can check on the progress of the Electronic Cigarettes Regulations Act (2018) here. To find out more about the Tobacco Products Directive, check out our guide to TPD changes at Community Support.