What will happen to the e-cig market in 2016?

| January 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

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In order to reduce tobacco usage across the continent, particularly among young people, the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was launched back in 2001. But despite the fact electronic cigarettes do not contain this harmful substance, they were added to the same directive as a tobacco related product in 2014.

As a result, a new set of rules will be introduced on 20th May 2016, relating to the design, production, sale, and marketing of e-cigs. But what does this mean for the industry? Will consumers still be able to buy their favourite brands or products and should small businesses stock up on wholesale cigs before the TPD comes into force?

Changes to the e-cig market 

The main rules that all EU member states must comply with include:

  • The maximum size of refill containers of nicotine containing liquid must not exceed 10ml
  • The maximum size of cartridges or tanks must not exceed 2ml
  • The maximum nicotine strength of e-liquid must not exceed 20mg
  • Electronic cigarettes must deliver a consistent dose of nicotine
  • Electronic cigarettes and refill containers must have a mechanism to ensure leak-free refilling

In addition to these rules relating to electronic cigarette design, manufacturers must also provide their member state with information such as ingredient lists, toxicological data, and nicotine doses among other stipulations. Distributors need to disclose sales volumes, product types, consumers preferences and surveys too.

On top of that, if three member states believe a particular e-cig is a health risk to consumers, it could be prohibited from sale across the entire EU.

How TPD could affect consumers and retailers

While Tim Phillips from E-Cig intelligence feels there is little point in speculating what impact the TPD could have on consumers and retailers, he remains positive about the electronic cigarette industry in 2016.

“The period will be overshadowed by regulation, with the Tobacco Products Directive coming into force in Europe in May, and the U.S. FDA’s deeming regulations likely to appear in the early parts of next year,” he says. “But I think despite this, there will be increased growth in the sector, driven by improved consumer confidence in the category and better products coming onto the market.”

Clive Bates, former director of Action on Smoking and Health, also feels that the consumer will benefit from more choice, but retailers might need to come up with ways to import electronic cigarettes from abroad.

“The products will continue to improve, with major uptake of temperature control and more compact high powered batteries,” notes Bates. “We will see new business models develop to overcome burdens of regulation – for example, many suppliers import exactly the same products from China: by nominating a single importer the products would be notified only once.”

However, some distributors are dispelling fears that small businesses need to look elsewhere for wholesale cigs because of the TPD. For example, Phoenix says it is “ready and prepared to navigate through all upcoming legislation, including that derived from the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which will be implemented in May 2016, so you can be assured that our products can be sold and used even after this date, as we will be compliant.”

 

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