The Dutch Government has opened a public consultation on the final stage of its flavour ban by proposing an amendment to the Tobacco and Smoking Products Order. The consultation will run until 28 September and can be accessed here: https://www.internetconsultatie.nl/smaakjesverbod
Unlike previous flavour ban proposals that we've seen, this one seems to go a step further. The National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and Ministry of Health have set out a list of 16 'approved' substances which can be used to make tobacco flavoured e-liquids. 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.
The rationale for the proposal is the all too familiar ‘think of the kids’ narrative. With the stated objective being: “To protect public health by reducing the attractiveness of the electronic cigarette to the general population, but particularly to young people.”
In setting out the justification for the proposal, they state that: “The government believes that more children should grow up in a smoke- and tobacco-free environment.” It’s 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 ban1. Not to mention the inevitable black market that is sure to emerge.
As more and more EU Member States attempt to enact flavour bans it is vital that we as consumers make our voices heard in opposing such damaging legislation. ETHRA will be making a submission to the consultation, and we would urge you to consider adding your own. Do spread the word on social media using the hashtag #smaaknoodzaak.
At the time of writing there are already 499 submissions which can be viewed here. To add your own submission simply follow these steps. Access the consultation page: https://www.internetconsultatie.nl/smaakjesverbod and click 'Give your response to this consultation"
On the following page you can add your submission directly to the text box which says "Your reaction," and click continue.
Alternatively, if you would like to add your submission as a Word or PDF file you can click on "Add directly to document." Note that files must not be larger than 20MB.
From here you can upload your Word or PDF file. If you used the textbox to add your submission you can use this page to upload any attachments you would like to include. Once your document has been uploaded click next.
To complete your submission add your email address and personal details.
Finally, check the boxes at the bottom of the page to indicated that you agree to your personal data being published, and that you have read and agree to the terms & conditions. Click next to complete your submission.
IMPORTANT: After submitting your response, you will receive a confirmation email which contains a link to the consultation website. You must click this to confirm your response.
THANK YOU FOR RESPONDING TO THE CONSULTATION - LET’S DO ALL WE CAN TO OPPOSE UNNECESSARY REGULATIONS WHICH RESTRICT ACCESS TO SAFER ALTERNATIVES TO SMOKING.
(1) Friedman AS. A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of Youth Smoking and a Ban on Sales of Flavored Tobacco Products in San Francisco, California. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(8):863–865. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0922. [link]