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November 13, 2023

Slovenia Proposes a Ban on Vape Flavors

The government of Slovenia has proposed prohibition of vaping products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol, sending an amendment of the country’s tobacco control law to the National Assembly for approval. Passage of the law would make Slovenia the eighth European country (and seventh European Union member) with such a law.

The restriction would apply to both nicotine-containing and nicotine-free vaping products. The proposed Slovenian law would also ban all non-tobacco flavors in heated tobacco products (HTPs), including menthol.

Some news outlets have reported that the flavor restrictions have already passed, but that appears to be incorrect. The amendment must be voted on by the National Assembly. If it gains parliamentary approval, it would become law 15 days after publication in the national gazette.

There are about 26,200 vapers in Slovenia, according to Knowledge-Action-Change’s Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report, with an adult vaping prevalence of 1.48 percent. More than 400,000 Slovenians smoke cigarettes—22.7 percent of the adult population—about 15 times as many as those who vape.

Slovenia also has a vape tax, collecting €0.18 per milliliter on e-liquid—about €10.80 for a 60 mL bottle.

Six European countries—Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, and Ukraine—have working vape flavor bans already in place. The Netherlands passed a flavor ban, which was scheduled to take effect in July 2023, but it is still not fully implemented. All the countries that have prohibited non-tobacco flavors are European Union members, except Ukraine. No European country has passed an outright vape ban.

The Republic of Slovenia is a mountainous country of about 2.1 million people, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, and has a small coastline on the Adriatic Sea. It declared independence from the former Yugoslavia, and has been a sovereign state since 1991. Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004.

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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