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New e-cig design gets round TPD’s tank size limits

Written by || 2nd May 2016 || Business news analysis |

Enovap - EnovapE-cigarette designers may have found a way around the restrictions on maximum e-liquid tank size in the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

Enovap is a new product put out by a team of six engineers and entrepreneurs. It features two 2 ml refillable tanks that are controlled by the e-cig’s firmware to provide a customised mix – meaning it can hold a total of 4 ml of e-liquid while still technically fitting into TPD requirements, which mandate a maximum tank volume of 2 ml.

The device is believed to be fully TPD-compliant and the team behind it is working with France’s standards body AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation) on notification requirements for an expected full launch in early 2017, according to Alexandre Scheck, CEO of Paris-based Enovap.

Filling the tanks with two e-liquids of differing nicotine strengths will enable the e-cig to provide a customised nicotine level according to the user’s taste, said Scheck.

Enovap, and its accompanying app, would then learn the user’s requirements and, if a date to give up nicotine was entered, start to wean the user off the substance by gradually mixing increasing amounts of lower-strength nicotine into the solution before ending up with a zero-nicotine e-liquid.

“The e-cigarette is able to shape the nicotine curve after one week of use. It can determine how much nicotine you need at each point of the day,” explained Scheck.

The startup is also working on another version of the firmware that would enable users to mix two different flavours. As part of this, it is looking at creating a database of mixes and preferences from all users to better manage “cocktail” creation.

 

Plain speaking

 

Enovap’s goal was to create an e-cigarette device more appealingly designed and easier to use than the third-generation models currently available. Its now-patented product was devised in conjunction with a design studio.

It displays information in mg per ml for nicotine strength and the amount of vapour generated as a percentage, in order to avoid terminology such as watts, volts and ohms thought to be confusing to non-technically-minded users. “The hope is that it will be another step towards convincing other users and smokers who have not yet tried e-cigarettes to take the jump,” Scheck said.

The product was supported through the inventors’ own money as well as an investment from the Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI), an institution supported by the French government which backs startups and small businesses that contribute to the public good – in this case, to the improvement of public health.

Half of the €200,000 ($230,000) invested to get the e-cig to this point came out of the entrepreneurs’ own pockets with the other half coming from BPI, Scheck said. Enovap has also just finished a crowd-funding campaign on the Wellfundr platform which was started partly to put the design into full production, but also to pay for advertising before TPD-based rules ban it later this month, and to serve as a proof of concept for other interested investors.

 

What This Means: There is likely to be much more TPD-compliant e-cigarette innovation. Expect to see more products developed that comply with the letter of the regulations while finding smart ways around them to give vapers some of the same experiences provided by pre-TPD products.

– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff