Update Jan. 19
Dutch authorities have extended the comment period by two weeks---until Feb. 2. Please contact any vapers you know in Europe who may not have commented already.
The Netherlands is planning to ban all vape products in flavors other than tobacco, a policy long urged by State Secretary for Public Health Paul Blokhuis. The proposed law, which modifies the country’s Tobacco and Tobacco Products Decree, bans flavors in all e-liquid—even e-juice that contains no nicotine.
A public consultation, which launched just before Christmas and is open until Jan. 19, is the final hope for Dutch vapers. European vaping consumer and trade organizations are urging all European vapers and vape businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to make public comments. According to Dutch trade group Esigbond, about 600 comments have been received so far.
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) call to action (linked below) explains how to find and navigate the consultation form.
As we reported last June, Secretary Blokhuis has based his proposal on a government-commissioned study by the Trimbos Institute that claimed flavored vaping products attract teenagers, and that vaping is less safe than previously thought. Trimbos also said that so-called dual use (smoking and vaping) is more dangerous than smoking alone.
“The new insights confirm that the smoke-free generation that is on its way must also be an e-cigarette-free generation,” Blokhuis said last year, according to NL Times. “There is no room for e-cigarettes with all kinds of seductive, exotic flavors in this.”
Three European countries—Estonia, Finland and Hungary—have flavored vape bans currently in place, and there are more to come. In December, Denmark also passed a flavor ban. The Danish law takes effect on April 1 and prohibits the manufacture of flavored e-liquid immediately (although existing stocks of flavored vaping products may be sold for one year after that).
Other European countries, including Germany, are considering restrictions on vaping, including flavor bans. Additionally, the European Union will finalize an update of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) this year, and EU legislators will face pressure from tobacco control groups to impose strict standards that may include a flavor ban.