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UK vaping community braces for new regulatory laws effective May 20

The UK medical community is famously more encouraging of vaping as a smoking cessation tool than that of the United States, but the British Parliament still wants to regulate the industry extensively.  On May 20, a new set of regulations will take effect that may dramatically change the daily vaping habits of an estimated 2.7 million vapers nationwide.

Under a new, soon-to-be-enacted portion of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, stricter guidelines will be put into place regarding the ingredients, nicotine strengths, tank capacities, and packaging requirements for all sorts of vaping products.  According to a report in The Mirror, the new regulatory laws will result in many vapers failing to acquire the same e-liquids that they have grown accustomed to vaping, which can increase the likelihood of relapse back into smoking.

The seven key areas of the new UK vaping laws

E-cig lovers are not the only British citizens being affected by the new regulations.  Conventional smokers are also facing increased restrictions.  In the UK, smaller packs of ten cigarettes will be immediately banned, and menthol brands will begin to be gradually phased out of existence.  Meanwhile, all tobacco product manufacturers will be required to adhere to updated packaging requirements that are more deterrently graphic in nature.

The new UK vaping laws consist of seven primary areas:

  1. Cartomizers or vaping “tanks” must maintain a capacity of 2ml or less.
  2. E-liquids can only be purchased in packages of 10ml or less.
  3. E-liquid nicotine concentrations cannot exceed 20mg/ml.
  4. Any products containing nicotine must include child-resistant packaging.
  5. Certain ingredients will immediately be banned, including specific flavorings, taurine, and even caffeine.
  6. All retailers must adhere to newly revised packaging requirements with warning labels.
  7. New regulations require all retailers to notify health regulators prior to selling of all vaping products and technology.


Perhaps the biggest concern among British vapers is the new regulation concerning the ban of flavorings and other ingredients.  Even though most retailers are selling their soon-to-be-illegal stockpile of vape juices right up until the May 20 deadline, many UK vapers fear that their favorite vape juice blends will essentially disappear from the shelves of their local vape shops seemingly overnight.  And for those who like their e-juice laced with higher nicotine concentrations that exceed 20mg/ml, they will be forced to adapt to a lessor strength after May 20, as well.

Limiting vaping options is bad for public health

Understandably, the new UK vaping laws are drawing a great deal of negative feedback from within the British vaping community.  Many fear that by limiting the number of options of both e-liquids and technology, many vapers will be tempted to return to their nasty smoking addiction.  Another concern is that some vapers might attempt to create their own Do-It-Yourself vape juice, which comes with an entirely different combination of potential health risks. 

Furthermore, several research studies indicate that one of the major areas of appeal for smokers considering a switch to vaping is the enormous varieties of tasty e-juice options that make vaping so much fun.  According to a recent report by the Office of National Statistics, British smokers are switching from smoking to vaping at a rate of one every four minutes.  If the UK takes the fun out of vaping by reducing e-juice flavor options, will the UK begin to witness a resurgence in smoking?  Only time will tell.


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