UKVIA responds to Dutch plans to ban flavoured electronic cigarettes

The UKVIA has responded to plans due to be introduced next year in the Netherlands to ban flavoured electronic cigarettes in a bid supposedly to make vaping less attractive to young people.

The Dutch government has claimed that the sweet tastes of flavours such as strawberry and mojito has made vaping more popular amongst young non-smokers. Deputy health minister Paul Blokhuis said: “The smoke-free generation we see coming also needs to be free of electronic cigarettes.”

Responding, UKVIA Director John Dunne said, “It is completely wrong to conflate smoking tobacco with using vaping devices which often contain no tobacco or nicotine.

“Furthermore, there is little evidence that suggests that vaping encourages young people to start smoking. The recent Public Health England (PHE) Vaping in England Report found that current vaping is mainly concentrated in young people who have experience of smoking. Less than 1% of 11- to 18-year-olds who have never smoked are current vapers.

“Rather than pushing non-smokers towards smoking cigarettes, vaping products are actually incredibly effective at helping smokers to quit. The same report found that when vaping products were used in an attempt to quit, either alone or with licensed medication, success rates were comparable to, if not higher than, licensed medication alone.

“The vaping industry is a highly responsible industry, which is why the UKVIA has agreed guidelines on packaging, labelling and flavour names which states that its members must not use flavour names or descriptors that are particularly appealing to youths and are associated with youth culture, including popular language or expressions, or names which are reminiscent of confectionary disproportionally appealing to children.

“We would call on the Dutch government to rethink this decision which could have the significant unintended consequence of deterring those looking to stop smoking.”