The Swedish Chemicals Agency has for the first time reviewed the labelling of e-liquids containing nicotine. 19 retailers were inspected and 15 of the companies were criticised for not labelling the products they sell.
"In general, the products are of high quality - that's not the problem - it's mostly about formalities, such as labelling and classification of the products and providing the right information to customers" says Niklas Linder, Chairman of the Association for Electronic Cigarettes., to Vejpkollen.
Nicotine is considered a poison under the EU's classification system (CLP) and must be labelled with appropriate warnings based on concentration. The labelling should be clearly visible and "tangible", according to the Chemicals Agency.
According to Law on tobacco and similar products e-liquid containing nicotine may only be sold in packages of a maximum of 10 millilitres, with a maximum concentration of 20 mg of nicotine per millilitre. The small packaging provides limited space for the information required by the chemicals legislation, the Swedish Chemicals Agency states in its report. Meanwhile, e-juice with nicotine is regulated by double regulation, The law on tobacco and similar products (TPD) and the CLP Regulation (EU common labelling of chemical products). This has made it more difficult for companies to know what applies in practice, according to the Chemicals Agency.
"Since there are similar labelling requirements in both regulations, it can be practically difficult to fit all the information on the label and to place it correctly under both the CLP Regulation and the TPD. Duplicate regulations and regulators may also make it more difficult for companies to know where to go for questions about the status of the liquids", writes Mr Kane. inspection in its report.
In addition to the review of nicotine products, the Chemicals Inspectorate noted that flavour essences (used to make e-juice) must also be labelled under the chemicals laws. The essences are highly concentrated and can cause reactions if they come into direct contact with the skin. As essences are also used in food manufacturing, many retailers have assumed that they do not need to be labelled as extensively as nicotine products. But this is not always the case, says the Chemicals Agency.
"Flavouring liquids and flavourings that do not contain nicotine may also contain substances, such as allergenic substances, in such a concentration that the mixtures may need to be classified as hazardous and labelled under the CLP Regulation". chemical inspectorate.
Most of the essences used in e-juice come from established flavouring manufacturers who provide retailers with detailed safety data sheets on how to label their products.
"Each essence's safety data sheet clearly states how the bottle should be labelled to get it right, most operators have simply failed to transfer the labelling to the actual bottle they sell in stores" says Niklas Linder.”
Niklas Linder says that the criticism from the Chemicals Agency is taken very seriously by the industry and that the solution lies in providing clear information to companies.
"Many of the companies have already received information from authorities as a result of these inspections and are working hard to improve. In the Trade organisation for electronic cigarettes we have also produced material and information that will be made available to all members. We place high demands on our members to ensure that all work with chemicals is done correctly and that all products fulfil the legal requirements." says Niklas Linder
Both the Swedish Chemicals Agency and Niklas Linder believe that the inaccuracies in the labelling can be explained by the fact that the vejp industry is a relatively new industry and that the regulations have not been clear until recently.
"Most companies in the industry are small and run by passionate ex-smokers. Chemical legislation is not an everyday occurrence for these people so there is still some learning to be done," he says. Niklas Linder.