The Norwegian government has launched a consultation, through the EU TRIS notification system, on amendments to the tobacco control act which would introduce plain packaging and a flavour ban for all e-liquids. It would also introduce a minimum quantity for snus cans. The consultation ends on 1 May.
This is a simple consultation to respond to, and it is important that you do.
There is already a lot of hostility towards vape flavours within EU institutions. One of the measures proposed in the European Commissions’ Beating Cancer plan is to work towards a full ban on flavours for vaping products (page 10). Just last week we reported that a tender to support actions in the field of tobacco control was awarded to contractors which include Bloomberg funded Vital Strategies. One area they will examine is flavours and ingredient listings.
Although Norway isn’t a member of the EU, and hasn’t implemented the TPD yet, a Decision of the European Economic Area Joint Committee in February last year means Norway will implement the TPD soon. If Norway does enact a full flavour ban, as has happened in some EU member states, there is a chance it could influence the upcoming review of the Tobacco Products Directive.
The rationale for introducing plain packaging and a flavour ban is to make vaping products less appealing and to protect young people from the ‘harms’ of vaping. What must be noted here is that when discussing harms there is no comparison to smoking. This is a serious omission as the impact assessment states that only 1% of the population vape daily and “use among never-smokers is almost non-existent”. It’s quite obvious that the proposal is based on little more than a moral objection to nicotine use.
It’s not all bad news though. Snus users will be delighted to know that the proposal includes a requirement that will significantly increase the amount of snus per can:"A requirement for snus packages to include at least 20 portions and 15 kilograms, or 30 kilograms of loose snus.” We must add, though, that this is almost certainly an error.
So, we are calling on all consumers, consumer groups and advocates to participate in this consultation. As we have said time and time again, restricting adult access to the most popular and effective aid to smoking cessation will only protect the cigarette trade and lead to more smoking.
ETHRA will be submitting to this consultation and we urge you to do the same. At the time of writing there is only one submission. You know what to do!
GUIDE TO SUBMITTING TO THE CONSULTATION
1. Go to: Amendments to the Tobacco Control Act and the labelling regulations (standardised packaging and flavour ban for e-cigarettes and minimum size for snus)
2. If you are not a Norwegian speaker, enable Google translate (or your preferred translation software) for your language
3. Click the ‘contributions’ tab
4. From the contributions tab click on ‘Submit your contribution’
5. You will then see this page:
6. Fill in your personal details
7. When adding your submission you have a choice:
(i) add your submission directly to the document in the text box ‘Your contribution’
(ii) add your submission as a Word or PDF file by clicking ’Choose File’
(iii) if you have time you can do both options.
8. If you prefer to submit anonymously, click on the checkbox ‘Yes, please do not show it on the website’. We recommend that people add submissions with their details, so leave this unchecked.
9. Click on ‘Send contribution
An email will be sent to you to verify your response, don’t forget to click on the link in the email, then your response will be displayed.
Let us know how you get on by tweeting your response to us at @europethra