For anybody out there wondering what ‘Post Brexit’ will be like, we at The Vape Shop, believe it will resemble what the UK e cigarette industry is like Post TPD, (the european products tobacco directive). It's been a little while now since the TPD regulations have been in force in the UK (May 20th 2017) and the dust is starting to settle allowing us to see a blurry picture of the future e cig landscape. And it's okay and stupid both at the same time!
The Brussels Stupidness
It's now blatantly clear to see that the EU’s decision to regulate the size of nicotine bottles to a maximum of 10ml has to be one of the most stupidest and blind decisions ever to come out from a parliamentary committee, (apart from Trump, Iraq and too many others to mention... don't get me started - but how can so many grown men and women have so little common sense...anyway I digress). By forcing e liquid manufacturers and vapers to produce / buy nicotine in a maximum of 10ml bottles it has Quadrupled the amount of plastic bottles adding a greater burden on to the already fragile environment.
1 Billion More Plastic Bottles Per Annum...
Previously to the EU TPD a 30ml bottle of 9mg e liquid involved just ONE BOTTLE - post EU TPD to buy a 30ml bottle of e liquid at 9mg you have to purchase a environmental jaw dropping 5 BOTTLES!
In the UK alone, (based on current UK ecig user numbers), that's an extra 1 BILLION (936,000,000) more plastic bottles per year than before the TPD going into the UK landscape. And this figure will continue to rise as more and more people start to come off cigarettes using the ecigarette method.
In the meantime fatally toxic household goods such as air spray, bleach and garden pesticides can be purchase in 5 litre containers. WTF...!?##??~!??#
I can almost picture the EU TPD committee sat round the highly veneered wood table after the usual three course 5-star lunch, chatting and laughing without a care in the world counting all the money received by the tobacco industry lobbyists. Their only seeming concern to be on how to limit the availability of e cigarettes as a means to slow the reduction in smokers dumping tobacco cigarettes for a vape. Now you might say I am being very negative and dismissive on these hard working people... or that I'm a disgruntled ecig business owner having a moan.... But I am not. The Vape Shop is doing fine and I'm a generally happy optimistic person. What I find very hard to believe is the sheer lack-of-foresight and complete lack of concern for the dying smoker that these seemingly educated professional people have.
Instead of thinking about the millions of lives ecigarettes can help save, (same CANNOT be said of tobacco cigarettes), and how best the European Union could get behind this life saving industry - it did it's best to limit the availability and force people into a now rapidly growing black market - all thanks to the EU.
Unregulated black market...
The growth of the large online little-regulated marketplaces of the now-illegal-devices and e liquid has leapt off the charts with people trying desperately to access ecig goods outlawed by the TPD. The problem is that vapers that do this are not guaranteed the safety mechanisms in place with legalised / regulated sellers. So in effect they are putting their well being potentially at risk let alone the fact that the warranties prodivded in the black market mean diddly-squat.
Despite the overwhelming harm the TPD has done with legally stating e cigarette metal tanks, ecig batteries etc as actual tobacco products there has been some good. The UK e liquid products now need to be licensed - which means they have to be scientifically tested in both liquid and vapour form by a registered laboratory. This is good. It means that users can be reassured in knowing that they are indeed buying a safe to use product that does not contain the harmful chemicals and additives found in unregulated liquid.
Transparency is good...
Another aspect of the TPD which is good is that all e cigarette / e liquid manufacturers are required by law to register on a national / EU database. Doing this promotes transparency within the industry and also offers disgruntled customers a way to register their woes on the database against any such company - this promotes a high emphasis on customer service which is a good thing.
Regulation is good...
Having regulation is a good thing - a very good thing. Regulation is something the ecigarette industry absolutely needed. Well thought out regulation would have been even better but we have to work with what we are given. Regulation helps promote customer safety, does away with unscrupulous market traders selling fake or even unsafe products.
All in all it's harder as an ecig business Post TPD due to the limitation of regulated not-whole-of-market goods available for sellers under the new laws. I imagine all businesses Post Brexit will start to feel the same way with higher custom charges and, in the end, higher product prices that will force buyers online to source cheaper products with wider choices outside of the UK. (like currently happening with the UK ecig industry).