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Dutch Government To Implement Mandatory Neutral Packaging Requirements For Vapes

By Alicia Snow-Simpson 29th June 2024 3 Mins


The Netherlands is to implement plain packaging requirements for all vaping products in a bid to reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people.

Plain packaging is already a requirement for cigarettes and rolling tobacco in the Netherlands, however, the Dutch government now believes this measure should also apply to e-cigarettes.

The initiative, put forward by State Secretary Van Ooijen of Public Health, Welfare and Sport, aims to make vapes “unattractive” to buy and reduce opportunities for marketing and promotion.

The Dutch government recently released a statement regarding their decision to implement a neutral packaging rule saying that “the attractiveness of packaging plays a role in the initiation and continuation of smoking and vaping by young people”.

However, vaping advocacy organisation, the World Vapers’ Alliance argues that such measures fail to recognise the crucial differences between vaping and smoking.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:

“The ultimate protection for the youth lies in education and fulfilling lives for Europe’s young people. We must heed their voices. Surveys consistently reveal that teens tend to engage in risky behaviours when they face challenges like school issues, health problems, or poverty.

At the same time, packaging only plays a minor role for initiation. If genuinely safeguarding youth is the goal, advocating for improved education, healthcare, and economic conditions becomes imperative.

Regrettably, achieving these goals is complex, leading many politicians to opt for sensational yet ineffective policies that overlook tangible outcomes.”

Michael Landl, Director, World Vapers’ Alliance

The World Vapers’ Alliance believes that accurate and fact-based information about vaping is essential. 

The organisation goes on to say:

“Placing vaping products in the same regulatory category as combustible tobacco products, including plain packaging requirements, risks misleading current smokers about the significant harm reduction benefits of switching to vaping. Research shows that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

While the intent to prevent youth vaping is understandable, it is vital to balance this with the need to facilitate smoking cessation among adults.

Effective youth protection is achieved through comprehensive education and supportive environments, not by conflating vaping with smoking through uniform packaging laws.”

It is not yet known when the neutral packaging requirements for vaping products will be implemented.

The bill will have to pass through Lower and Upper Houses (Tweede en Eerste Kamer) of Parliament before it can take effect.

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Alicia Snow-Simpson