As a vaping company we are often on the business end of an ever-changing landscape of regulations and laws. Sometimes they are welcomed – we are all for making vaping safer for everyone. Sometimes they are pointless – the laws and regulations are often made by people who have not even a basic understanding of the industry, but they always cost us money. Lots of money. Emissions testing, registering products with the MHRA, registering products with the centres for poison control, administration fees…. It all adds up and those costs sadly must be passed on to the consumer.
It is also a minefield. With little to no-one policing these regulations and very little information available about them from official bodies, we are often just expected to blindly follow rumours whilst testing companies rub their hands in glee.
Germany announced earlier this year that they will be adopting a harsher interpretation of the tobacco products directive, meaning all products that could potentially contain nicotine (0mg shortfills, one shots and boss shots as well as 10ml nicotine containing e-liquid) will need to be emissions tested and registered for sale to legally be allowed to be sold in the country. This has very expensive implications for DIY e-liquid in Germany and who is to say the rest of Europe will not adopt this revised tobacco products directive? Historically the United Kingdom has been relatively lenient on enforcing the TPD and with Brexit on the horizon it is difficult to predict exactly how this will affect us, but it will affect us in one way or another and it will no doubt cost money.
The USA are currently dealing with their own regulations. The PMTA or pre-market tobacco product application is costing American vaping companies absurd amounts of money in testing and submissions. It is estimated that each PMTA will cost $117,000 to $466,000 and that is per flavour and nicotine strength! Crazy right? It is undoubtedly a nail in the coffin for the American vaping market as we know it because most e-liquid companies will not have deep enough pockets for these sorts of costs. To the best of my knowledge the only product to have passed the PMTA at the time of writing is the IQOS heated tobacco system which is not exactly vaping in my book. It heats a cigarette like product to lower temperatures than traditional smoking and generates an aerosol from this. The jury is still out on how safe this is due to far less available data from studies, but it is of no surprise that the Americans have adopted a product that uses tobacco since their economy seems so heavily intertwined with it. It is also of no surprise that Philip Morris International, one of the largest tobacco product manufacturers in the world, own the rights to and manufacture the IQOS.
I have always felt that the vaping community has done a pretty good job of regulating itself over the years. Most companies were using childproof bottles, tactile warnings and not selling to people under the age of 18 long before these rules came into effect, but it was only a matter of time before regulators started getting involved with the industry as it grew at an exponential rate.