Two volontary standards are now available to all manufacturers, suppliers, testing laboratories and distributors who will take the responsibility to comply. They are designed to reassure users, encourage good products and support the development of this market worth 400 million euros in France.
A third voluntary standard will be finalized in the summer of 2015 it will focus on the characterization of emissions. It is important to note that the first two French standards will form the basis of European standards projects. France is chairing this work within the European Committee for Standardization (CEN); a first working meeting is scheduled for June 2015.
Manufacturers are free to self-declare complying to the standards (without external control). The manufacturer is then liable, and should provide compliance if requested by any authority. In case of misuse of the AFNOR standard, the Consumer Code punishes this type of deceptive trade practice from 37 up to 500 euros for the individual and 187 500 euros for the corporation.
Professionals can appeal to an independent body to verify compliance with the criteria of the standard and attest, through certification.
Key recommendations of both voluntary standards:
The standard for electronic cigarettes - XP D90-300-1
- Overheating of the power source or the vaporiser. This is a risk which is prevented by technical security devices and a product information leaflet.
- Cutting, injuring or exploding risks should be avoided.
- The coatings used should not release allergenic or toxic substances, or cause burns.
- Electronic cigarettes must withstand shock, drop test protocol at 1.50 meter high is recommended.
- Chemical hazards should be limited, metals constituting the resistance of the atomizer should not contain mercury.
- Two icons are created to indicate the diameter of the electronic cigarette filler hole and the diameter of the tip of the dropper bottle of e-liquid, to avoid use with fine hole electronic cigarette.
The standard for e-liquids XP D90-300-2, with or without nicotine
The requirements of the standard are very strong on the ingredients to use and not to use.
The safety of the bottle:
- A childproof cap, and a cap dropper (or cap pipette)
- Ban all materials that can release molecules that could pose a risk to human health, bisphenol A type for example.
The quality of the ingredients used:
- Pharmaceutical grade or greater when these qualities exist, for instance propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, water (> 90% of e-liquid ingredients)
- Food grade for alcohol and flavoring mixtures.
The list of prohibited ingredients:
- Carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction 1 and 2 or respiratory 1 STOT; vegetable and mineral oils; sugars and sweeteners; preservatives that may release formaldehyde, stimulants and drugs, etc.
Label and information sheet:
- The composition, the deadline for optimal use, safety instructions, population at risk, etc.
Nicotine dosage, reliable information:
- Labelled constituants may vary by plus or minus 5%. (Ex Nicotine 20 mg / ml).
- VG / PG ratio (glycerol / propylene glycol) is indicated in weight/weight ratio (eg VG/PG: 25/75).
- The standard propose examples of methods for the determination of nicotine and some undesirable compounds.
Clear information on ingredients:
- The ingredients are listed in descending order.
- Notification for the presence of alcohol > 1.2 ° and food allergens.
A comprehensive information leaflet:
- Instructions for use, handling, storage, action in case of ingestion or skin contact, information for specific risk groups.
- Option: available in 2 clicks on the Internet from the address stated on the bottle.