With just weeks to go before the European Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD) comes into force, retailers, vapers and interested parties are still registering their opposition to the new rules set to govern electronic cigarettes (e-cigs).

A campaign against Article 20 of the EUTPD by electronic cigarette brand Totally Wicked has now reached more than 90,000 signatures, all of which have been delivered to the Department of Health.

The company claims that the Directive unfairly regulates e-cigs “far more stringently than some tobacco products”.

“E-cigs are not a tobacco product, they are a revolutionary product with the potential to render tobacco cigarettes obsolete and prevent millions of deaths from smoking. We believe that the EUTPD is likely to adversely impact the availability of good quality e-cigs and e-liquids, and, jeopardise the life changing potential of e-cigs,” Totally Wicked said.

The new laws governing the advertising of e-cigs come into force on 20 May, the same date as the rules governing cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

From this date all TV and radio advertising of e-cigs will be banned.

New rules governing the manufacture of e-cigs come into force six months later on 20 November.

The new rules introduce minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigs e-liquids, including a ban on the manufacture of all e-liquids with a nicotine content of more than 20/mg/ml.

Maximum sizes for e-liquid cartridges have also been set at 10ml.

All products must also feature child-proof labelling, fastenings and opening mechanisms.

Retailers have until 20 May 2017 to sell through stock of products that do not comply with the labelling and product composition requirements of the EUTPD.

However, not all manufacturers are against the new rules. Popular e-cig brand Blu believes they could raise product quality and lead to increased consumer confidence.

Blu SVP communications and public affairs Marc Michelsen said: “At Blu we welcome most of the changes - and we think retailers should too.

“E-cigs 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.”

For more info on the Article 20 challenge visit www.article20legalchallenge.com