The interest groups have started a national action against the prohibition of flavors 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 nearly 15,000 times.
“We think that politicians completely ignore the 400,000 vapers in the Netherlands in the development of e-cigarettes. Politicians especially saw us as tobacco suppliers for a long time and preferred to ignore us, but that makes no sense. For almost all vapers in the Netherlands, flavors in the electronic cigarette have been decisive in getting rid of smoking. Of course, no smoking is the best at all and vaping is not harmless, but if the flavors are no longer allowed, the e-cigarette will lose much of its attractiveness for smokers who want to quit, ” says Emil ‘t Hart, chairman of trade association Esigbond .
The government wants the ban on flavors to take effect in the first half of 2021. According to State Secretary Blokhuis, young people in particular are attracted to sweet flavors such as bubblegum and strawberry. Vaping would be a stepping stone to smoking. Research by the Trimbos and RIVM also shows that public health benefits most from discouraging the use of e-cigarettes. It will soon only be possible to buy electronic cigarettes with a tobacco flavor.
“We don’t understand that. Steamers want to get rid of that tobacco flavor! That is too much like the normal cigarette. In consultation with the ministry, we are quite prepared to adjust a number of flavors and packaging in order to make young people less tempted. For example, look at such a bubblegum flavor, which is especially attractive to young people and we are not really looking for that. But to immediately ban everything except tobacco flavor? That is far too rigorous and counterproductive. We are also afraid that consumers will mix flavors 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.
The possible ban also causes unrest among owners of vapor shops, our country has about 250 e-cigarette registered outlets with a turnover of 250 million per year. ‘t Hart: ,, Many entrepreneurs fear for their survival if the ban on flavoring becomes reality and that can lead to hundreds of layoffs. We do not understand why the government condemns the e-cigarette, while it provides health benefits if invigorated smokers completely switch. ”
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 sound heard in The Hague. It is not the case that we have so far been received with open arms by the political parties, but the doors are opening more and more. ”