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Does Eliquid expire?

May 14, 2019

Like all retailers, as a vape shop owner selling vaping equipment to the general public, you need to ensure that everything you are selling is fit for purpose and safe for consumption

You also need to be equipped with a wealth of knowledge in order to answer questions your customers may have about vaping and e-cigarettes.

One area which you need to pay close consideration to is the storage of eliquids and in particular if eliquids expire. If so, could this have an impact on your stock holdings and also your product liability for example?

In this blog we look at

• Whether eliquids expire
• Where expiry labels come from
• Whether you can sell or use expired eliquids
• How to store eliquids

What are eliquids?

Eliquids are essentially the liquid that fuel e-cigarettes. The eliquid is added to the tank of the e-cigarette, it is heated and produces the vapour.

They are typically made up of 4 ingredients:

• Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
• Propylene Glycol (PG)
• Flavourings
• Nicotine (if required)

It is possible to get eliquids which both contain nicotine and those which do not.

Do eliquids expire?

Eliquids will typically last as long as the first ingredient’s expiration date. Given the ingredients used this can be up to 2 years from when it was manufactured.

Due to new regulations, eliquid labelling will typically show an expiry date.

Where do eliquid expiry labels come from?

The rules around e-cigarettes and refill containers are set by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, which came into force in May 2016 implement the TPD in the UK.

It is regulation 37 of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations which sets out the labelling requirements for cigarettes and refill containers, such as eliquids.

This regulation sets out, amongst other rules, that packaging must contain ‘instructions for storage and use including a reference that the product is not recommended for use by young people and non-smokers’

The responsibility to add such labelling falls to the producer of the eliquid – this could be those who manufacturer or import eliquids or those who rebrand them as their own.

Following the introduction of the new regulation, vape shops and vape retailers were given until 20 May 2017 to sell their product stock that did not comply with the labelling and other requirements.

Therefore, all eliquids that you stock in your vape shop today should conform to this regulation and have the appropriate labelling.

Should you sell or use expired eliquids?

Given that eliquids do have a shelf life, as a retailer it is best to adhere to these to minimise any product liability exposure to your business.

As a vaper, whilst there is little evidence to confirm whether it is safe or not to use expired eliquids, it is probably best to avoid and purchase an in-date alternative.

How should you store eliquid?

Exact instructions for storage will be included on the packaging of the eliquid so it is best to refer to this for instructions on the eliquids that you may have in your vape shop.

However, many sources suggest that to ensure the longest life span possible of eliquids you should store them away from direct heat and sunlight and in a cool, dry place. Likewise, making sure the containers in which your eliquids are keep are well sealed can help extend the life span.

As the vaping market has grown rapidly in recent years so have the number of vape shops. It is becoming increasingly important for vape shop owners and eliquid manufacturers to fully understand their insurance requirements. As the approved broker to the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), this is an area that Anthony Jones specialises in. So if you have any questions about your vaping insurance needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0208 290 9080 or email us at ecig@anthonyjones.com.

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