UK regulatory standards

Product Regulation in the UK

The European Union Tobacco Products Directive “TPD” is the framework that sets minimum regulatory standards and processes for tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and herbal products for smoking in the European Union. The Directive was implemented into UK law through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), and has not changed since Brexit. These controls aim to ensure: 

  • Minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers 
  • That accurate information is provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices
  • An environment that protects children from starting to use these products

In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality. TRPR requires all e-cigarette manufacturers and importers to notify their products to MHRA. These notifications must include information on ingredients and emissions, toxicological data, and a description of the product and its production process. MHRA requires all e-cigarette manufacturers to submit data to evaluate the potential health impact of a product, as well as information about how it was manufactured. Notified products must be published on a publicly facing list maintained on the MHRA before they can be sold. Once a product has been published on this list, it can be sold in the UK.

The maximum legal nicotine concentration of e-cigarettes in the UK is 20mg/mL, and pods must contain no more than 2mL e-liquid. The maximum permitted capacity of refill bottles is 10mL.

Each e-cigarette packet and any container packs must carry a health warning stating: “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance”. The health warning must:

  • Appear on both the front and back surfaces of the unit packet and any container pack
  • Cover 30% of the area of each of those surfaces

Nicotine-containing liquid is classified as a hazardous mixture. Packaging must carry a warning label, which outlines the hazards associated with the mixture.