Action On Smoking and Health (ASH) outlines the changes to UK/EU tobacco and ecigarette regulations 2015/16


in the press

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Extract below is a condensed version taken from ASH’s official document, outlining the changes to tobacco/ecig’ regulations 2015/16 either currently enforced, forthcoming, or proposed.

This document has been produced by the Trading Standards Institute and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), based on our understanding of publicly available information. During 2015/16 a number of new pieces of tobacco control legislation will be implemented which will affect local regulatory services. This document has been produced to provide local authorities with a summary of what these new regulations will cover, when they are likely to be introduced, who will be responsible for enforcement, and what the penalty will be for non-compliance.

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E-cigarettes & European (EU) Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)

The TPD also includes a number of regulations regarding electronic cigarettes. Products which contain less than 20 mg/ml of nicotine and that have not opted into medicinal regulations i.e. do not wish to make claims relating to smoking cessation, come under the TPD. These products will be regulated as consumer products. Regulatory officers will be responsible for ensuring:

  • Products are child and tamper proof
  • Health warnings, instructions for use, information on addictiveness, and toxicity appear on the packaging and accompanying information leaflet
  • There are no promotional elements on packaging
  • All substances contained in the product and information on the product’s nicotine content are listed.
  • Existing rules regarding cross-border advertising and promotion of tobacco products, which will apply to electronic cigarettes, are adhered to
  • Manufacturers inform Member States before placing new products on the market and that they report annually to Member States
  • That a size limit for e-liquids of 10ml for dedicated refill containers and 2ml for electronic cigarette cartridges and tanks is adhered to

Products containing more than 20 mg/ml of nicotine or which make cessation claims will be prohibited unless licensed as medicines. These products will require authorisation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK and this will be enforced by them.

Age of sale for nicotine products

Sale of nicotine products (such as e-cigarettes) to children and young people under the age of 18. The regulations relate to ‘nicotine inhaling products’ which include the device, nicotine cartridge, or nicotine refill substance. Regulations exempt licensed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) including electronic cigarette devices that are licensed as medicines or medical devices.

  • Who is responsible for enforcement? Trading standards officers will be responsible for implementing the law
  • Penalty for non-compliance? If found guilty of an offence of selling nicotine products to a child or young person under 18 years of age, an individual could face a fine of up to £2,500

The Children and Families Act integrates the sale of nicotine inhaling products into the existing enforcement regime for relating to the persistent sales of tobacco to children. Therefore, a person or a business found to be repeatedly selling nicotine inhaling products to people under the age of 18 could receive a Restricted Sales Order or a Restricted Premises Order from the court. Such an order prohibits a named individual, or a named retail outlet, from selling nicotine inhaling products or tobacco to anyone for a period of up to one year.

READ full ASH regulatory guidelines


CTSI/ASH (17 February 2016) Changes to tobacco regulations 2015/16 [PDF document]. Retrieved from

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