The future of vape flavors in danger: crucial debates at the European Council

The future of vape flavors in danger: crucial debates at the European Council

Denmark and Latvia push to ban nicotine product flavors at European Council

On June 21 (Friday...), the European Council will meet in Luxembourg to discuss proposals to ban flavorings in all nicotine products, with the exception of pharmaceutical products, throughout the European Union. These proposals, if adopted, would precede the ongoing evaluation of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) by requiring an immediate review.

Denmark and Latvia, supported by Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, submitted these proposals to the European Council. These issues will be discussed at the EPSCO Council meeting, which deals with employment, social affairs, health and consumer protection.

The Danish proposal calls for "banning flavorings in products containing nicotine, limiting the nicotine content in these products and, if necessary, banning certain products." It also demands that the new European Commission takes action and presents proposals as quickly as possible.

An ineffective ban in Denmark

Denmark justifies its request by relying on the Health Behavior School-aged Children (HBSC) survey to protect young people from nicotine. However, this survey does not measure the use of nicotine in vaping among college students. Additionally, data shows a decline in smoking since 2014, with a significant reduction in the number of 15-year-olds having smoked, from 18% to 12,5% ​​in 2022. This contradicts the idea that vaping would encourage young people to to smoke, a fear put forward by supporters of the ban.

As of 2021, Denmark has already banned flavors, except tobacco and mint, for vaping products. However, a survey by the Health Authority of the Kingdom of Denmark reveals that the majority of users continue to use a variety of other flavors, thus defying the prohibition.

An exclusion from risk reduction at EU level

The Danish initiative aims to form a coalition of member states to obtain a mandate for the European Commission to extend the scope of the next TPD, excluding the principle of risk reduction. This proposal could benefit from significant political support, especially with the preparation of recommendations for the new legislature and the Danish presidency at the next COP of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2025.

If this initiative were adopted, it could threaten the use of vaping for millions of Europeans. A survey carried out in 2023 among nearly 40 vapers in France, entitled “Merci la vape”, indicates that 000% of vapers who have stopped smoking consider that the diversity of aromas was crucial for their quitting smoking.

A call for rejection by the Council

Sovape expresses its rejection of this initiative for several reasons:

  • To impose new regulations at EU level, a proper assessment and impact analysis is necessary. Health policies must be based on rational analyzes and not on emotional reactions exacerbated by biased data.
  • Immediate and stricter measures without proper assessment have already been rejected by member states during negotiations preceding the FCTC Conference of the Parties last October.
  • The regulation of flavorings falls within the competence of the Member States. They can already adopt rules to limit minors' access to nicotine products without waiting for intervention from the EU.
  • The European Commission is currently evaluating Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) 2014/40/EU. The 2021 implementation report showed that the directive works well, without the need for an immediate review.

Sovape therefore calls on the health authorities of the Member States, in particular the French authorities, to reject the initiatives of Denmark and Latvia.

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CEO of Vapelier OLF but also editor for Vapoteurs.net, it is with pleasure that I leave my pen to share with you the news of the vape.