With the first milestone of the European Union’s Tobacco Product Directive just a few months away, e-cigarette brand blu believes it will benefit retailers and the fast-growing UK e-cigarette category.

The regulation affects the marketing, production and sale of e-cigarettes and will impact the UK retail landscape within which they are sold. But blu believes the legislation will raise product quality and lead to increased consumer confidence.

Blu SVP communications and public affairs Marc Michelsen said: “Traditional Tobacco is already a highly regulated industry, so many retailers may have heard the news of legislation reaching the e-cigarette category with dismay. However, at blu we welcome most of the changes - and we think retailers should too. We believe the legislation will improve the quality of products available in the market, leading to increased consumer trust and confidence in buying e-cigs.

“E-cigarettes offer retailers excellent profit margins so our message is simple… know how to recognize EUTPD compliant products, get your range right, understand the category so you can talk to your customers about it, and make the most of the sales opportunity on offer.”

The legislation comes in three stages with the first two stages putting the onus on the suppliers to comply. Retailers themselves only have to be compliant in what they sell by May 2017. Here are the key dates and what happens at each stage:

  • 20 May 2016 – The introduction of advertising and promotion restrictions
  • 20 Nov 2016 – The production of all non-compliant stock must cease (effecting size, ingredients, consistency of dose and packaging with health warnings)
  • 20 May 2017 – The sale of non-compliant stock is no longer allowed

Blu also highlighted that, despite the new legislation coming into play, retailers will still be able to:

  • Continue to sell e-cigarettes and accessories
  • Actively display e-cigarettes and accessories – and these don’t need to be behind the counter
  • Promote e-cigarettes and accessories
  • Advertise in consumer and retail brochures
  • Put up posters in and around their stores
  • Have display units for products
  • Advertise and sell on retailer websites