The proposed ban on flavors for e-cigarettes is counterproductive and many users will try to obtain flavorings illegally. This poses risks to public health, say consumer organization Acvoda and trade association Esigbond on behalf of the so-called ‘dampers’.
The interest groups have started a nationwide campaign against the ban on flavorings in e-cigarettes via tastenoodzaak.nl. The petition against the ban announced by State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (Christian Union, Public Health) has now been signed almost 15,000 times.
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“We believe that politicians completely ignore the 400,000 vapers in the Netherlands when developing e-cigarettes. Politicians in particular saw us as tobacco suppliers for a long time and preferred to ignore us, but that makes no sense. Buy e liquids online for a better price. For almost all vapers in the Netherlands, flavorings in the electronic cigarette have been decisive to get rid of smoking. Of course, not smoking at all is the best and vaping is not harmless, but if the flavors are no longer allowed, the e-cigarette will largely lose its appeal for smokers who want to quit,” says Emil ‘t Hart, chairman of the trade association Esigbond. .
The cabinet wants the ban on flavors to come into effect in the first half of 2021. According to State Secretary Blokhuis, young people in particular are attracted to sweet flavor varieties such as bubblegum and strawberry. The vaping would be a stepping stone to smoking. Research by Trimbos and RIVM also shows that public health benefits most from discouraging the use of e-cigarettes. In the future it will only be possible to buy electronic cigarettes with tobacco flavour.
“We don’t understand a word of that. Dampers want to get rid of that tobacco taste! That looks too much like the normal cigarette. We are quite willing to adjust a number of flavors and the packaging in consultation with the ministry to make young people less tempted. Look at such a bubblegum flavour, for example, it is especially attractive to young people and that is exactly what we are not after. But to immediately ban everything, except tobacco taste?E cigarette mr-joy found online. That is far too rigorous and counterproductive. In addition, we are afraid that consumers will start mixing flavorings themselves or turn to illegal sales channels. For example, there are many illegal substances for sale that are absolutely not suitable for vaping,” says ‘t Hart.
We fear that consumers will start mixing flavorings themselves or turn to illegal channels. There are many substances for sale that are absolutely not suitable for vaping
The possible ban also causes unrest among owners of vape shops, our country has about 250 registered e-cigarette points of sale with a turnover of 250 million per year. ‘t Hart: ,,Many entrepreneurs fear for their survival if the flavorings ban becomes a reality and that could lead to hundreds of layoffs. We do not understand why the government denounces the e-cigarette, while it actually provides health benefits if inveterate smokers switch completely.”
It remains to be seen whether the lobby of the interest groups has any influence. “Blokhuis has been adamant so far, but we will still try to make our voice heard in The Hague. It is not the case that until now we have been welcomed with open arms by the political parties, but the doors are opening more and more.”