Now That The Chips Have Fallen On TPD …
Now That The Chips Have Fallen On TPD, and the year of 2018 draws to a close, let’s take stock and see where that’s left Vaping in Europe and the UK.
Fear and Loathing of Westminster…
We were afraid.
We were all very afraid of what would happen when TPD became effective in May 2017. For those who are not familiar with TPD here’s a quick recap.
New regulations ( Tobacco Products Directive 2016) came into effect governing and limiting nicotine content of E Liquids, tank capacities and E Liquid bottle capacities. It also banned advertisement of Vaping products. Back in the day you could purchase 36mg strength E Liquids if you were a 60 per day smoker. If you were into cloud chasing you could pick up a 7ml tank that meant you never had to refill before noon. You could also purchase 50ml bottles of any strength you wanted.
TPD banned all of this , and instead replaced it with 2ml tanks, 20mg strength limits on all E Liquids and 10ml bottles for any liquid containing Nicotine. It’s fair to say, vapers were furious. I bet at least a few hundred thousand votes to leave the EU in the referendum came straight off the back of TPD.
Sense and Sensibility
Thankfully the UK’s enforcement agencies have seemingly taken a lenient approach to TPD. Following the Royal College Of Physicians publishing their findings that stated that Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, it may have come across as harsh to rule with an Iron Fist on TPD. Vaping is clearly saving lives or at least helping to prolong them, so taking vapes off the market could loose one’s political party substantial amounts of votes. Especially seeing as how Vapers in the UK now number around 3 million or so.
So where’s the sense in all of this you may ask ?
Well for a start, vaping manufacturers have found clever ways to exploit the new regulations. So they are still providing products that “do the business” for vapers. The tank capacity for example has been addressed by indicating fill lines. So if you fill to the line, the tank holds 2ml when used as instructed. However vapers will find that if they ignore that and fill past the line if they are careful , they can cram around 4 to 4.5ml of liquid in.
As far as the liquids go, Nic Salts which allow much faster and more effective absorption rates and can be paired with more powerful devices which produce far denser Vaper, have effectively negated the strength limitation of 20mg. This is because the nic Salt compound has far reduced throat and chest hit of its freebase cousin and therefore you can inhale vastly higher amounts per draw over freebase.
Under the microscope
The best thing to come out of TPD is the sheer quality of ingredients being used for flavoring. Argue with me all you like here but for the most part my experience is that TPD liquids vape cleaner and taste batter than ever before. That is with the exception of creamy and in particular, custard style vapes. Diacetyl was clearly heavily relied on to produce the “cream effect”, even when many vape companies refused to admit it.
That should give you an idea of how many companies were using toxic ingredients in their vapes. The flavours would have seemingly changed over night. I’m sure there were no malicious intentions here to be clear, just a lack of know how in a young industry. This will always be a good thing for vaping as you really don’t want to be trading one bad habit for another by vaping toxic ingredients over the long term.
Most, if not all leading flavour manufacturers still submit their 0mg Shortfill bottles (high capacity bottles) for toxicology out of principal even though it’s not expressly required by TPD. So you know you’re getting the best that science and money can buy these days.
All said and Done what’s next ?
We’ve seen some pretty awesome innovations this year in hardware. With the advent of mesh coils being used in consumer devices even at the starter kit level, more and more people are getting access to better quality vaping gear for less financial outlay. That’s never a bad thing. All in all things haven’t shaken out too badly in the TPD regulated market.
There have been one or two minor irritants like the banning of bubble glass for instance and the ban on Squonkers , which means cloud chasers are back to refilling several hundred times per day (unless you’re buying “under the counter”, wink wink , nudge nudge ), but all jokes aside vaping is only getting better not worse.
I’m personally looking forward to seeing what’s gonna happen next in 2019. Bring it on !