Is TPD affecting e-liquid innovation?

Arena International

TPD came into effect in May 2016, and became compliant recently, in May 2017, changing some regulations with regards to vaping. This article aims to explore how e-liquid market was affected by it and if that had any impact on e-liquid innovation.

TPD explained

Before TPD came into action, e-liquid market had endless opportunities for innovation (flavours, concentrates, nicotine strength), therefore we are going to define TPD first and then look into its sections that are important for e-liquid. According to European Commission, TPD or Tobacco Products Directive “aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for European citizens”. Article 20 relates to vaping, affecting e-cigarette and e-liquid.

TPD and e-liquid

After analysing TPD it is clear that following products related to e-liquid are not affected by it:

  • E-liquid without nicotine
  • Flavour concentrates
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • Vegetable Glycerine (VG)

However, e-liquid that contains nicotine has been affected since TPD came into action. The following changes have been made:

  • Bottles are limited to 10ml
  • Nicotine strength is limited to 20mg
  • E-liquid manufactures must get an ECID for every flavour in every strength
  • The cost of a single ECID ranges from £3,000 to £10,000 meaning two things – less flavours are likely to reach the market and cost might be passed onto consumer.

So how does this affect e-liquid innovation?

There are two opinions from manufacturer’s perspective. While some e-liquid companies might reduce the number of e-liquid flavours due to the cost (in some cases e-liquid might not even be TPD compliant), others might use TPD as a source for new USPs. For example they can get ECID for every flavour and position themselves in a market that way, or try to come up with brand new innovative e-liquid flavours that have not been in the market before.

As for consumer, innovation is not going to disappear because of TPD. Personalisation is one of the biggest trends in the next generation nicotine industry, therefore e-liquid companies are encouraging customers to mix and create their own flavours. The good news here is that TPD has an impact on e-liquid with nicotine only, but does not affect flavour concentrates and e-liquid without nicotine.

E-liquid innovation is one of many topics surrounding recent TPD act. Wish you find out more, we do recommend visiting the Next Generation Nicotine event in London this November. If you are a service provider for the e-liquid or e-cigarette products and wish to showcase your solutions to brand owners, you can express your interest here: 


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