MHRA

A Spiteful Knee Jerk Reaction?

If you thought the TRPR was bad enough as it stands right now things look likely to get even worse as the MHRA has decided to get tough on tank sizes.

Some of us might say spitefully so given EU vapers and sellers are the ones being penalized and it ain’t just tank sizes either as you’ll see later.

The MHRA is the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency – yeah I know e-cigs aren’t a medical product but hey neither are they a tobacco product!

But it’s this agency the UK Government has placed responsibility for the totally unclear mess known as the TRPR – Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016/7.

We all know by now that 2ml is the TPD limit however those clever dudes over in China have been quietly adding tank extensions to kits such as the Kylin which comes set-up as a 2ml but with a whopping 6ml extension.

The same can be said for a whole host of other tanks released since the TPD came into force back in May that are getting around the 2ml size by adding extensions or various sized coils.

cleito exo parts

The Cleito EXO for instance came out before May 20th deadline and by using the older Cleito coils you can eke out an extra 1.5ml capacity – but do shop owners now have to quiz Cleito coil buyers as to if they plan to put the old coils into the EXO?

Is it illegal to do so?

Can an EU based seller be fined or imprisoned for selling the ‘wrong sized’ coils for specific tanks that will add volume without asking where the vaper plans to put them?

I know exactly where I suggest the MHRA puts this latest ‘addition’ to the legislation 😉

I could go on and on with what and ifs – and trust me since May I’ve been banging on the door of the MHRA with a whole host of questions they choose to ignore.

The truth is no one knows and I’m guessing neither do the MHRA or indeed Trading Standards who are the ones having to enforce this runaway train kind of legislation.

[Don’t get me started on trying to understand where RDAs fit into this mess lol]

The Nitty Gritty on Tank Extensions and RDAs

The ‘news’ wasn’t even properly released – rather it was sneakily added to the Further Information section right at the bottom of the somewhat bewildering Gov.UK – E-cigarettes: regulations for consumer products .

Here’s the important bit in full:


The definitions of products that are subject to the new regulations are set out below.
‘Electronic cigarette’ means a product that can be used for consumption of nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece, or any component of that product, including a cartridge, a tank and the device without cartridge or tank.

E-cigarettes can be disposable or refillable by means of a refill container and a tank, or rechargeable with single use cartridges.

Products that require a notification are limited to the e-cigarette product and component elements sold separately that specifically contain, or could contain, nicotine in the form of e-liquid. Therefore e-cigarette products such as disposable units and tanks will require a notification; however e-cigarette equipment such as mouthpieces, batteries and other elements that would qualify as an individual component will not.

Replacement e-cigarette parts that could contain nicotine only require notification if they have not already been notified as part of a device or e-cigarette kit.

Identical replacement parts that have already been notified as part of another notified e-cigarette product do not need to be separately re-notified if it is clear on the labelling what notified product the part is for.

Any non-identical replacement part, particularly one that alters the consumer safety profile of a product (for example by changing its refill capacity), would require a separate notification.

Rebuildable devices come within the definition above and require notification. See the product type guidance for further advice.

‘Refill container’ means a receptacle that holds a nicotine-containing liquid, which can be used to refill an electronic cigarette. These are more commonly known as e-liquids.

Products that do not meet the definition (such as disposable e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine and 0% nicotine e-liquids) are out of scope of the TPD and do not have to meet its requirements.

These products will continue to be regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations.

‘Producers’ refers to any manufacturer; importer and/or those who re-brand any of the products covered by the above definitions as their own.

Ooops and referring to my question where do RDAs fit in all this we seem to have an answer namely:

Rebuildable devices come within the definition above and require notification

But it’s this bit that impacts on the tank extensions:

Any non-identical replacement part, particularly one that alters the consumer safety profile of a product (for example by changing its refill capacity), would require a separate notification.

Therefore companies such as Vandy Vape will now need to get notification of the tank extension and of course have to pay not just once but annually.

And given the MHRA is concerned about our safety as vapers filling a 6ml rather than a 2ml tank I doubt this will be declared ‘legal’ for want of a better word.

Like I said – childish – spiteful and just plain nasty.

Nic Shots Next In the Firing Line?

Going back to the lack of a proper release on this crucial piece of information I picked it up last Sunday thanks to Vaping With Vic adding it to his Facebook page.

vaping with vic - vic mullin

He in turn had received it from a good friend of his who’s in the vaping industry however his mate has also alluded to the rumour the MHRA is now going to be turning its beady eye on e-liquids and in particular Nic Shots.

Now this has been a way for e-liquid manufacturers to get around the 10ml max bottle size by selling larger bottles of juice with zero nicotine and adding a small bottle of measured nicotine to add.

I asked Vic his thoughts on RDAs under the TRPR and of course how he felt about the possible ban on tank extensions:


When it comes to RDA’s… they will have to be notified, but under the technicalities, most drippers out there wont hold more than 2ml in the deck that stuffed with cotton, but again under a technicality they are not a tank..

However the updates to the TRPR has stated that an ecig device is anything with a mouthpiece that can be used to inhale vapour… so we are back to square one.

As for the move to stop extensions…its no surprise to be honest. They will look at how the industry is getting around via the loopholes and close off those loopholes one by one.

Just what the MHRA has a problem with Nic Shots – or even if they do – is unclear but watch this space as they say.

I have asked the MHRA specific questions about tank extensions and indeed the rumours around the Nic Shots and have received x2 automated replies – if I get any more info you’ll be the first to know.

One thing I do know is the UK Gov despite it’s so called ‘liberal approach’ to vaping is certainly slowly removing the velvet glove and in doing so they are once again threatening an innovative but ultimately life changing and indeed life saving industry.

Shame on them.

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Neil H
I began vaping over 5 years ago and found it easy to give up a 40 per day roll-up habit! Current set-up : Yosta Livepor 160w + Augvape Merlin RTA - JacVapour DNA 75 + Nautilus 2 for MTL - RX200S + Doge III or Merlin Mini on desktop when working - others at a whim :) A former journalist, I'm now a freelance copywriter - blogger and author. I'm an Army veteran - love dogs - camping - traveling and never happier than with a good book on a beach.

3 COMMENTS

  1. the big problem with this is manufactures didnt think “adding tank extensions to kits” would be a problem, personally i think this is a pritty dumb move and am not suprised in the least that this has got the MHRA’s back up.

    the way i would have played it would have been to make the expansions a seperate purchase from the kit, as the law stands the way i see it is that tanks cant be sold “at point of sale” to hold more then 2ml but i have seen no mention of a law that prohibits the sale of add ons to increase the tank sizes being sold seperately, perhaps even as an online only purchase.

    i realise this might involve slightly more expence for the user but if it helped to keep the MHRA off of our backs it would have been worth it.

    the same applies to nic shots, the big problem is they are often being sold as part of a convenient little baggie complete with 20ml of no nic e-juice instead of just making them availible seperately in the guise of a dilutant perhaps.

    it seems to me that manufactures & sellers seem to think the MHRA are just stupid and wouldn’t see through these work arounds but they are not stupid and we need to be equally not as stupid to stay under the radar with TPD hack’s.

  2. The French government decided that limiting tank size is just plain silly. It is still possible to buy tanks of all sizes in France, although juice sales are limited to 10ml. Funny that a Brexiting UK feels that it has to abide by EU rules more stringently than one of the most forceful EU supporting countries!

  3. I have written confirmation that nicshots sold along side zero nic liquids are fine. I have this confirmation from mhra. So this friend if a friend sounds a bit iffy to me.

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