Packaging labels for vaping and e-liquids – how to stand out in the smoke?

Packaging labels for vaping and e-liquids – how to stand out in the smoke?

What’s your flav-ah?

According to data collected for the Canadian Vaping Association, over 500 vape shops and manufacturers have cropped up around Canada over the last five years. As a new industry, your vaping business will be competing with other small retailers both online and outside, making it imperative for you to distinguish your brand. A great, affordable way to highlight your unique e-liquid flavors and juice varieties is by using custom labels and stickers (for a pop, consider printing on bright colors or on metallic foil).

This helps you stand out as a brand amongst competitors as well as allowing customers to quickly find a preferred or appealing flavor.

Be wary of the rules

Regulatory bodies are still contesting and reviewing the best legislative approach to smoking products like vaporizers, vape pens, e-pipes, e-cigarettes, and hookah pens. While there are some grey areas in terms of North American packaging requirements right now, it’s a good idea to exercise caution and comply with emerging labelling regulations.

In the US, the FDA will be enforcing new rules for the distribution of e-cigarette and e-liquids containing nicotine beginning in 2018, requiring retailers to bear health warning statements and prohibit sale to anyone under the age of 18. Canada is still working out a regulatory framework for e-cigarette products, but most (seven) provinces have brought in age restrictions for youth under 19.

To meet these standards, include a warning statement somewhere on your packaging that emphasizes that your product is not intended for purchase or use by underage persons, and to keep out of reach of children. If you are retailing nicotine-containing e-cigarettes or e-juices, state the content level and a health usage warning.

Curtail your design space

Packaging and labelling for electronic cigarettes and their accessories brings the unique challenge of limited space, so be smart about the room you get. Cartridges, batteries, coils and drip tips all come in relatively small packaging, so avoid overly busy designs, use white space to your advantage (*link to design elements blog*), and keep your graphic and text use straightforward.

E-liquid and flavoring refill products are most commonly sold in 5mL to 30mL bottles, so small label sizes and shapes look best, such as 2.5” x 1”, 3” x 2.5” and 4” x 2”. Don’t try to cram everything on your bottle label – you still have your outer packaging that holds the bottle as well as the option of including a paper insert that outlines instruction and usage advice (think of first-time users, directions for replacement parts, and tips for avoiding dry hits), so pick and choose what information is important to include in each packaging opportunity.

Be built to last

A key packaging design element for any vaping business retailer is to choose your packaging materials wisely. If you’re housing the physical vape pen or e-cig or even replacement parts like cartridges and batteries, make sure the box is protective enough for its purpose. For accessories, card stock packaging will do the trick, but you might want to consider a heavier paperboard or corrugated box material (*link to corrugated box blog) for your electronic cigarette packaging (you don’t want to come off as seeming flimsy or cheap).

If you’re packaging the bottle for your flavors, make sure the material isn’t susceptible to getting soggy in the (inevitable) case that there are spills or leaks. Using polypropylene (BOPP) labels for your e-liquids lock down water-resistance, and printing using an industrial grade printer ensures durable, fade/smudge-resistant labels through the use of pigment inks.





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