E-cig firms may go up in smoke due to new tighter regulations.
The new laws will hit manufacturers and retailers hard in the pocket, said workers at a Morecambe vaping shop.
Staff at Up In Smoke on Lancaster Road said they have had to invest £30,000 to make sure their shop is compliant but other companies may not be able to afford this.
Mike Zorab from Up In Smoke described the new laws as “crazy”.
The regulations, which came into effect on Saturday, will reduce the size of e-cigarette refill containers to a new maximum size of 10ml.
The size of tanks and cartridges will also be reduced to 2ml and the strength of e-liquid will also be cut from 24mg to 20mg.
There will also be changes to packaging which must now be child-proof and manufacturers will have to provide detailed information to the Government on their products.
Retailers who do not comply with the new laws could face up to two years in jail.
These regulations are part of the European Union’s new Tobacco Products Directive.
“It’s the last chance for the government to try to claw money back from smoking,” said Mr Zorab.
“We’re getting our own range of e-cig liquid which is going through compliance, we will make it ourselves. But so many businesses who make their own liquid now can’t afford to. Each product has to carry a leaflet explaining about the nicotine.
“One of our most popular flavours, pineapple, is sold in a 100ml bottles. We can’t do that any more.
“10ml bottles are harder to squeeze than the bigger ones. This makes it harder for older clientel and people with conditions like arthritis to use.”
Adam Holtham from Up In Smoke said: “The amount of companies having to fold is unreal.
“If we wanted to put every product through (compliance) that we make, then it would cost us £350,000.”
E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity since they first went on sale in the UK in 2007. A study showed that in 2015 2.3m people in Great Britain used e-cigs and for half of these ‘vaping’ was used as a means to quit smoking.
Vaping is also used as recreation with many e-cig users gathering for tournaments where they blow huge clouds of vapour.
But the use of e-cigs has divided health professionals and anti-smoking lobbyists, as their risk to long-term health remains largely unexplained.
In our video Jack Slinger from Up In Smoke demonstrates the art of vaping using e-cigs.