There are some new restrictions coming down the line for vaping in the UK. These will limit how much e-liquid a tank can hold and how much nicotine the e-liquid can contain. What this essentially does is limit how much can be bought or sold at a time and how diluted or strong the nicotine is in the e-liquid.
Is this an example of nanny-ism or just the government trying to watch out for its citizens? It could be a little of both, but the repercussions of this kind of decision may not be something that lawmakers have taken into consideration. Vaping is stigmatized all around the world, especially in political circles, where it is often seen as a public health risk. The UK has been far more accepting of vaping and supportive of e-cigs as an alternative to smoking, but recent crackdowns like these new regulations may be signalling a changing tide of sentiment toward the products.
Whether the political perception of vaping is changing or not, though, is not the issue at hand. What’s really disconcerting is the thought of the effects these new regulations will have on those who vape already or who might be vaping in the future. What it does to them is limit their vaping experience. It cuts their options short and gives them products that are not as potent and therefore possibly not as enjoyable.
That smoker looking for the right throat hit from the e-cig to keep them from going back to smoking may not get what they are looking for. After all, the throat hit is caused by the nicotine in the e-liquid. When you limit how much nicotine can be in a given e-liquid container, then you restrict people’s choices, and you make it harder for those who have strong nicotine cravings to get what they are looking for. How many e-cig users are going to go back to smoking? It’s hard to say right now, but the estimates don’t look promising.
Of course, it is a guessing game at this point- trying to determine how much these new regulations will hurt e-cig users. It’s obvious that their choices will be limited, but what will that drive them to do? Will they just accept the new regulations and the restricted e-liquid and deal with it? Or will they turn to the black market and try to get their old supply of e-liquid from a less than reputable source? This is the kind of thing that happens frequently when the government cracks down on something. Many people want what they had before, and they may be willing to use illegal means to get it.
Will we see a rash of criminal activity related to vaping in the near future? Will vaping shops be hurt by the new regulations? There is some fear that those who abide by the rules and sell legitimate e-liquid will be the ones that take the brunt of the impact of the new rules. They may start losing customers and their customers may begin protesting that they don’t have what they want.
The landscape of the vaping industry is going to change as a result of these new regulations, but it’s impossible to say what exactly that change will entail. Many consumers may even start buying their e-liquid in bulk from the internet and making their own e-liquid that has the strength they want. Those who use e-cigs now and those who sell them have to be ready for the changes that are coming, because this won’t be an easy transition for most people.