Beyond 600 Puffs: Understanding Disposable Vape Regulations In The UK

600 puffs

Disposable vapes are all the rage these days for their convenience, diverse flavours, and ease of use. In 2023, over 7.7 million weekly units of disposable vapes were sold in the UK. Disposable vapes come pre-filled with 20mg (2%) or 10mg (1%) of e-liquid, usually providing 600 puffs. However, recent discussions have focused on regulations on the concept of “puff count.” The legal puff count limit is 600 in the UK, but big puff disposable vapes are available as well. In fact, these vapes are more popular as they last longer than an average 600-puff vape.

But how much does this puff count truly matter, and what regulations are in place within the UK? This blog post aims to cut through the confusion and provide a clear picture of disposable vape puff limits in the UK. We’ll delve into the regulations set forth by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), explore the reality of puff counts, and discuss responsible vaping practices.

Understanding Puff Count

Puff count is a major part of vapes’ names and packaging. Basically, it is the estimated number of puffs a user can take before the vape runs out of e-liquid. It usually ranges from a few hundred to thousands, depending upon the device and manufacturer. 

While disposable vapes are marketed with an absolute puff count, in reality, puff counts are not exact. They are just estimates based on the tank capacity and battery timing of the device.  Moreover, several factors can influence the actual number of puffs you get, such as puff duration, inhale strength, and storage conditions.

Maximum Puff Limit

A general belief is that 600 is the legal puff limit and disposable vape devices with larger puff counts are illegal. That’s not entirely true. The legal limit is not set according to puff count, as it can vary from person to person.

The legal limit is set based on the amount of liquid in a device. The maximum liquid allowed is 2 ml with 20 mg nicotine per millilitre. However, if a device has a ridiculously high puff count, it indicates that the amount of liquid is likely more than 2 ml. Such vapes are more potent, dangerous, and illegal. 

Disposable Vape Regulations In The UK

The Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) provides a number of provisions that make a disposable vape legal. Here’s the checklist to be TPD-compliant and legal for sale:

  • The maximum allowed nicotine concentration is 20mg/ml (2%) per device.
  • The tank capacity should not exceed 2ml.
  • The disposable vape device must be notified and published by MHRA (regulatory authority for nicotine-containing vaping products) before entering the market.
  • The expiry date must be displayed on the device.
  • The packaging must have a valid ECID number and usage warnings.
  • The packaging should be child-resistant and tamper-resistant.
  • Certain flavourings and colours are banned.

How Are Big Puff Vapes Making It?

Big puff vapes are becoming insanely popular due to their longevity and ease of use. Many disposables vape brands are using innovative designs to deliver more than 600 puffs while remaining under the 2ml tank limit.

One of the best examples of such devices is the IVG 2400. While it is a disposable vape, technically, it works with a pre-filled vape pod system to circumvent the regulations. Instead of a single tank of 2 ml, it contains four reservoirs, each of 2 ml. So, it offers more liquid, hence more puffs, but still stays within the legal tank capacity. Also, it is TPD-compliant and certified by MHRA, making it legal in the UK.

Moreover, the TPD regulations on tank size and liquid limits do not apply to nicotine-free vapes. It means that a disposable vape void of nicotine can come in any size; there is no limit. Vapes like Elux Legend 3500 and Intabar Jar 5000 are thus able to deliver such a high puff capacity.

Why Is It Important For The Disposable To Be Legal?

You might have a genuine question about why you need to bother with the legalities of a high-puff device when a not-so-legal device works the same. Well, there’s a difference. The key difference between a legal and illegal vape is that a legal vape is regulated and TPD compliant before getting into the market.

A regulated vape is checked for its ingredients, quality, and toxicology. It has a registered manufacturer, and packaging and labelling are also compliant with TPD regulations.

However, with an illegal vape, you have no assurance of quality, brand, or packaging. There is no guarantee of the manufacturer, what ingredients they have used, or how they have made it. It is too much of a health risk for a few cloud puffs!

Conclusion

The popularity of disposable vapes brings a wave of questions, particularly surrounding puff limits. While the often-cited 600 puff limit exists, regulations focus on e-liquid capacity rather than a specific puff count.

However, the importance of legal vapes cannot be stressed enough. TPD-compliant devices undergo safety checks and ingredient scrutiny, ensuring a safer vaping experience. Moreover, users should also practise responsible vaping.

If you are using a disposable vape (or any vape, for that matter), make sure you are of legal age, understand guidelines, prioritise quality, and buy from a reputable vendor who complies with UK regulations.

In conclusion, take vaping as a harm-reduction tool to quit smoking and not as an entryway to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are disposable vapes regulated in the UK?

Yes, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulates disposable vapes to ensure their ingredients, emissions, and packaging. However, the government of the UK has announced a full-fledged ban on disposable vapes to curb underage vaping.

2. Is there a legal puff limit for disposable vapes in the UK?

The UK doesn’t have a set puff limit. Regulations focus on the e-liquid capacity (2ml) and nicotine strength (20mg/ml). However, many disposable vapes advertise a puff count (e.g., 600 puffs). This is an estimate and can be influenced by your vaping habits.

3. Are there any disposable vapes with unlimited puffs?

No. There are no disposable vapes with unlimited puffs. However, some nicotine-free (and nicotine-containing ones as well) offer a high puff count, usually in thousands, that would be enough for 15-20 days.

4. Why is it important to use a legal disposable vape?

Legal vapes are TPD-compliant, meaning they undergo safety checks and ingredient scrutiny. This ensures quality and minimises health risks. Illegal vapes offer no such guarantees and could contain harmful ingredients.

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