New rules on vaping, cigarettes and smoking have now come into force.
And if you’re a smoker you will need to know them.
The new Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 came into force on Saturday, May 20, and introduces a number of rules about the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids
Ahead of the changes to the law, the Plymouth Herald spoke to the local Trading Standards who want to make sure that all local manufacturers and retailers are aware of the changes.
Those changes include:
- All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency before they can be sold
- Refillable tanks for e-cigarettes must be no bigger than 2ml capacity
- E-liquids cannot be sold in quantities greater than 10ml
- Unless registered as a medicine the strength of nicotine in an E-liquid must not exceed 20mg/ml
- The packaging of E-liquids must be child-resistant and tamper evident
- Certain additives such as the stimulants caffeine and taurine or colourings are banned
- New labelling requirements
Anyone who does not comply could face imprisonment of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine.
Trading Standards manager Alex Fry said: “We are finding that shops are aware of the changes to the law but small online retailers are not.
With millions of buyers ready and waiting, there’s no better place for you to sell than eBay.
“We have found online sellers selling e-liquids in 100ml bottles with a nicotine strength over 20mg/ml. After May 20, this will be illegal unless the e-liquid is registered as a medicine.”
No more branded packs
All cigarette packs must now be what the government calls a “drab dark brown”, dubbed the “world’s ugliest colour” – with no logos, promotional images or indications of the cigarette’s flavour.
They cannot have “non-standard noises or smells” and must be 65% covered by health warnings, including graphic pictures such as tar-stained lungs.
The law was prompted by an EU directive and took force on 20 May 2016 for manufacturers and importers.
But there was a grace period for sellers and suppliers to get rid of old stock.
Even if they have some left, it will be illegal for shops to sell old-style branded cigarette packs from 21 May 2017.
No more packs of 10
The same rules say all packs must have a “minimum of 20 cigarettes”.
The thinking behind this is it’ll be more expensive to get hold of a pack in future, with the cheapest costing nearly £9.
That hit to the wallet might put off youngsters who want to give smoking a try.
This also takes full force on 21 May 2017.
No more menthols
ALL flavoured cigarettes including menthols will be banned from sale in the UK from 20 May 2020.
That includes both pre-produced cigarettes and rolling tobacco.
Shops will also be banned from selling tobacco with any flavoured papers, filters, packages or capsules that let you give the smoke a flavour.
Experts say this is needed because menthols’ lighter taste obscures how dangerous they are.
Amanda Sandford of the charity ASH – Action on Smoking and Heath – told the Liverpool Echo: “It is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you. All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes.”
No more small pouches of rolling tobacco
Rolling tobacco can no longer be sold in any pouch smaller than 30 grams.
Just like the minimum pack size of 20 cigarettes, this is to discourage teenagers from buying small amounts then getting addicted.
This law came into force last year but had a grace period, so packs smaller than 30g are banned from sale from 21 May 2017.
Plus… don’t smoke around your kid in the car
It has been illegal to smoke in a vehicle where there is anyone under 18 present since October 2015.
Both the driver and the smoker, if they are two different people, can be fined £50.
The law applies throughout England and Wales, including to 17-year-olds with a provisional driving licence.
It does not apply to vaping, 17-year-olds on their own or convertibles with the roof fully down.