Plymouth business warned to get clued up on new e-cig laws

New laws designed to firm up the regulation of products used by people who vape come into force next month.

Ahead of the changes to the law Plymouth Trading Standards want to make sure that all local manufacturers and retailers are aware of the changes.

The new Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 comes into force on Monday 20 May and introduces a number of rules about the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids including:

  • 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

Any businesses who do not comply with the law could face imprisonment of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine so it is important to get it right.

These changes to the law apply to anyone who makes or sells e-cigarettes and e-liquids including those who sell online via social media, auction sites or from their own website.   Trading Standards are trying to identify traders who are affected by these new laws to help them get it right.  They are particularly keen to get the message out to people who brew e-liquids at home to sell online as these are the most difficult business to reach.

Alex Fry, Trading Standards Manager said: “We are finding that shops are aware of the changes to the law but small online retailers are not.  We have found online sellers selling e-liquids in 100ml bottles with a nicotine strength over 20mg/ml.  After 20 May this will be illegal unless the e-liquid is registered as a medicine.”

Councillor Dave Downie, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities said: “These changes to the law benefit business and their customers by creating a level playing field.  All businesses who supply e-cigarettes and e-liquids must now meet the same standards meaning customers receive a consistent product.  If a business wants help meeting these standards they can contact Trading Standards for advice.”

Ruth Harrell, Plymouth City Council’s Director of Public Health said: “Vaping with an e cigarette is a much safer alternative to smoking and we know that many people in Plymouth are using them to help them to stop smoking altogether. These new laws provide the public and businesses with added assurance concerning their safety.”

Once the law changes Plymouth Trading Standards are planning to buy and test e-liquids to check that they comply with the new rules.

Any Plymouth business that wants advice on how to comply with these new laws can contact Plymouth Trading Standards 01752 304147 or email