The European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) refers to a string of rules that are agreed and implemented across all EU member states. These rules specify how tobacco products should be manufactured, presented, and put on the market.
What are the main changes?
The proposals bring with them a raft of amendments and measures to the existing TPD. While no credible and impartial evidence exists to prove that the proposed measures shall deliver the intended benefits, the raft of measures and amendments would instead restrict consumer choice, fuel the illicit business/trade in tobacco products, and damage legitimate business interests.
The Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU aims to improve the functioning of tobacco and related products' internal market while making sure a high level of health protection especially for European citizens. Over 10 years have passed since the adoption of the first Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC. This makes it necessary to update the TPD to match it with the market, international and scientific developments in the tobacco industry. The European Parliament and the Council have repeatedly requested the Commission to take care of the loopholes, gaps, and weaknesses in the current rules.
To be precise, this Directive:
- Needs the entire tobacco industry to present comprehensive reports to Member States concerning the ingredients used in tobacco products - roll-your-own tobacco and cigarettes to be specific
- Prohibits roll-your-own tobacco and cigarettes with characterizing flavors
- Sets minimum dimensions for caveats and eliminates tiny packages for particular tobacco products
- Bans all misleading and promotional elements on tobacco
- Demands health warnings appear on tobacco and related products packages. Specifically, combined (text and picture) warnings should cover 65% of the back and front of roll-your-own tobacco and cigarette packages.
- Introduces European Union-wide tracing and tracking to counter illicit trade of all tobacco products
- Sets out quality and safety requirements for all consumer electronic cigarettes
- Permits Member States to bar internet sales of either tobacco or related products
- Obliges every manufacturer to warn novel tobacco products prior to placing them on the European Union market
The Directive Is Fixed
The Tobacco Products Directive is fixed. It became European law on 19 May 2014. This law does not bind on businesses or citizens, but on member states (the twenty-eight governments of the European Union). Member states must introduce domestic legislation to conform to the directive by 20 May 2016. National parliaments and member state governments cannot change the directive. All they can do is deal with any ambiguities, flexibilities, and options in the directive.
- The maximum e liquid bottle size is 10ml.
- The maximum strength of e liquid is 2%/20mg.
- Every single variant of e liquid and device capable of vaporizing e liquid must be tested and the MHRA must be notified of each product and its test results six months before it can be sold.
- The maximum e liquid capacity of tanks/clearomisers is 2ml.
- Tanks/clearomisers must be 'leakproof at the point of refilling'.
- The advertising of any and all vaping products is banned. This includes physical advertising and electronic communications, such as emails and social media platforms.
Legal challenges exist, once again - e cigarettes bodies continue to lobby the European Union and their governments so as to encourage a complete overhaul of the TPC regulations and Article 20 to be specific