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Dutch Government Launch Consultation on Flavour Bans

By Patrick Griffin 21st November 2022 3 Mins


The Dutch government has launched yet another consultation on flavour bans… but this time it wants to go further than ever…

There are growing fears that new moves by the dutch government to bring in a flavour Ban could lead to the end of the entire vape industry in the Netherlands.

A public consultation on the move ended in September and all eyes are on what the politicians will do next. So many people are worried because the Dutch Ministry of Health wants to impose a limit of just 16 ‘approved’ substances which can be used to create flavours.

The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) says the move effectively represents a total vape ban for the country. ETHRA said:

“In real world terms this is essentially a stealth ban on all e-liquids.

“All current e-liquids on the market, including tobacco flavours, would be prohibited and new flavours would have to be developed using only the 16 approved substances.

“This wouldn’t be viable for any e-liquid manufacturer and would signal the end of the legal vaping market in the Netherlands and also set a very dangerous precedent for the rest of the EU.”

Policymakers in the Netherlands justify their plans on the grounds that protecting young people from vaping must take priority.

The government says the measure is designed to ‘protect public health by reducing the attractiveness of the electronic cigarette to the general population, but particularly to young people’.

It says it wants children to grow up in a ‘smoke- and tobacco-free environment’ but critics say the logic is flawed.

ETHRA said:

“It is a mystery how this will be achieved by restricting and prohibiting the flavours adults use to quit smoking and remain smoke free.

“If anything, such severe restrictions will lead to an increase in smoking, as has been seen in other jurisdictions that have imposed a flavour ban.”

Advocates also fear that this could be copied by other EU member states who may want to use flavour bans as an excuse to ban vaping.

ETHRA said it was vital that consumers made their voices heard to oppose such ‘damaging’ legislation – a stance echoed by other pro-vape organisations.

The World Vapers’ Alliance described the move as ‘a bad idea which must be scrapped’ and argued that Dutch consumers had already voiced their opposition to flavour bans.

Last year 98 percent of respondents urged the government to keep flavours in what was the largest ever response in the history of public health consultation in the Netherlands.

The original flavour ban was due to start in July last year but was pushed back to the end of this year.

The World Vapers’ Alliance has constantly highlighted that flavours are vital to help adult smokers quit and many surveys have reinforced this message.

The WVA said:

“Flavours play a vital role for smokers who want to quit.

“Adult consumers who have used vaping to quit smoking say that flavours, other than tobacco, were a decisive factor in preventing them from returning to smoking.

“By using flavoured e-liquids, they are 230 percent more likely to quit smoking than tobacco-flavoured ones.”

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Patrick Griffin