On July 1, 2022, flavoured e-liquids will be banned in the Netherlands. The ban will impact ex-smokers the most. Despite this, the Ministry of Health argued that it will make smoking less attractive to teens.
Vaping groups organized protests, but the public did not join in sufficient numbers. The Dutch ministers decided to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products to prevent young people from starting to use them. The health ministry also claimed that the products help young people get into smoking.
The Ministry of Health has stated that it is not convinced that e-cigarettes are as effective as traditional cigarettes in helping people quit smoking. It has also cited the lack of evidence that shows they are safe.
The Dutch Ministry of Health has rejected the idea that e-cigarettes are safe and can help people quit smoking. Instead, it has blamed them for undermining the effectiveness of traditional methods.
After 30 years of smoking, Dutch vaper Maarten Van der Werf said, “Thanks to the e-cigarette with a taste, I finally stopped smoking after more than 30yrs smoking. And that actually without any effort. I have not been able to do that with any other tool in the 30 years before. Nor could an earlier attempt with tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes help me. However, when I started vaping flavours that do not taste like tobacco, I managed to stop smoking from one moment to the other. Since I started smoking instead of smoke, my health has improved, I have much more air and that dirty smell of smoke has disappeared. And now the minister is going to, in order to spawn the tobacco lobby, put an end to the vapes. Minister, you’ll soon be partly responsible for the deaths from smoking. You are unworthy of office and a puppet of the tobacco lobby!”
Dutch consumer group ACVODA said: “Today Paul Blokhuis has rammed a ban on flavours. His promise to work with us and enter into a conversation has not been done. And all this to protect less 0.04% of young people, he is willing to throw 400,000 adults under the bus.”
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates group that represents consumer organisations across the European continent added: “Paul Blokhuis has shown a complete disregard for the health of 400000 vapers in the Netherlands that use flavoured vapour products to remain smoke free.”
Expert Clive Bates commented: “The Dutch plan to support the incumbent cigarette trade by hurting low-risk competitors, promote relapse from vaping to smoking, and deny smokers a good way out. The perverse effects of such clueless dogma are easily predictable, were endlessly explained, and now totally ignored.”
Many will be wondering how a country that gets so much right on drug harm reduction can get it so wrong when it comes to tobacco.