What you need to know about the new vaping legislation coming into force on 20 May

 
Francesca Washtell
Follow Francesca
World Health Organisation Calls For Regulation Of Ecigarettes
Vaping will face significant crackdowns from tomorrow (Source: Getty)

From tomorrow, new legislation will significantly clamp down on and choke off e-cigarettes throughout the European Union.

Here's everything you need to know about what will change, where the laws have come from and where you can still vape.

What will change tomorrow?

The maximum capacity of nicotine in an e-cigarette will now be 20mg, down from the current maximum of 24mg.

Flavours will also be banned under the new laws, though the industry has yet to be told which specific flavours will be axed.

E-cigarette advertising will face tight new regulation on any forms of advertising that could cross borders. This will mean e-cigarette advertising is banned in print, on television and radio, but will be allowed on mediums such as billboards, buses and cinema advertising, which are geographically limited.

Read more: Just what has the EU got against e-cigs

E-cigarette packets will need to provide more detailed information into the ingredients contained in the product.

No celebrity can endorse an e-cigarette product after 20 May.

From tomorrow, manufacturers will be required to notify government bodies about new products six months before they are launched, which the industry has warned could potentially thwart innovation and new technologies.

When will this be enforced?

Manufacturers will need to adhere to the new rules when making e-cigarettes from 19 November.

However, for retailers there will be a one-year leniency period to clear excess current stock, so products will be on sale until 20 May 2017.

Where have the laws come from?

The new rules come into force under the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive.

The tobacco industry launched two legal challenges against the legislation, but the European Court of Justice ruled in the directive's favour at the beginning of May.

The EU has previously said of the directive: "The new rules for e-cigarettes aim at harmonising the quality and safety requirements of the products for the benefit of consumers. In addition, rules on packaging and labelling will ensure that consumers are better informed."

Can I still vape in public places?

Yes. Nothing in the directive has put a limit on whether you can or cannot use e-cigarettes in public places.

Read more: E-cigarette ban fails over cheap date jibe

How dangerous are e-cigarettes?

At present, no long-term health studies exist that have been able to track the impacts of using e-cigarettes over time. However, in the UK two influential studies have come out on the side of vapers.

Last year, Public Health England released a study showing e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

Last month, a landmark report from doctors body the Royal College of Physicians went a step further and found e-cigarettes should be widely promoted as a substitute for smoking, due to the public health benefits that would be incurred if a majority of smokers switched from being exposed to carcinogenic tobacco smoke to vaping products.

How does the industry feel about the change to regulation?

Although the tobacco and vaping industry has welcomed moves to impose higher quality regulation on e-cigarette products, the Tobacco Products Directive has been widely condemned as disproportionately attacking a non-tobacco product that poses a considerably lower health risk than traditional cigarettes.

"We need more public bodies to adopt a progressive position in relation to e-cigarettes and vaping, which are not a gateway to smoking; the use of e-cigarettes is limited almost entirely to those who are already using, or have used, tobacco," Anthony Mixides, chief executive of the London Vape Company, said.

"What we are now calling for is a change of approach by local and national governments to stop penalising and outlawing vaping or e-cigarettes, but to accept that this is the healthiest way to get people off traditional tobacco cigarettes."

Related articles