The Netherlands is seeing the largest number of responses ever collected in a public consultation on health matters. The inquiry asks people if they agree with a ban on flavoured e-liquids for e-cigarettes (also known as vape flavours), and the overwhelming answer has been NO.
From the 757 submissions recorded on the official website, 746 (98.54%) opposed the ban, with 9 void entries and just two submissions supporting the government’s proposal.
The consultation, which was due to end today (19 January), has been extended to 2 February “due to popular demand,” according to a statement just published on the Government website.
Commenting on the consultation, World Vapers’ Alliance Director Michael Landl said:
“I am delighted to see common sense and logic prevail. 98% of submissions against the flavour ban are a crystal clear message for the government: it is time to scrap this terrible idea and move on. Out of respect for citizens and on the basis of scientific evidence, dropping the flavour ban is the only possible way forward. Anything else would be a disgrace.”
The proposal to ban vape flavours in the Netherlands has elicited an overwhelming response because it is an ill-thought out and bad solution to a non-existent problem. In the Netherlands, 3.1% of adults vape. The primary motivation for using vapes amongst Dutch adults is to reduce their smoking habit. Almost three quarters (544) of all submissions to the consultation so far have cited smoking cessation as a reason not to ban vape flavours! The government’s flavour ban would put nearly 260,000 Dutch vapers at risk of returning to smoking. This would be an appalling health outcome, with consequences for all of Dutch society.
Michael Landl added:
“The second extension of the consultation shows, on the one hand, that the whole process was flawed from the get go, and on the other hand that grassroots pressure from vapers can change policies. This is encouraging, but the fight isn’t over. We need to keep the pressure up to make sure lawmakers won’t push the ban through at a later stage.”
Flavours are essential as they make smoking cessation more than twice as likely compared to those who use non-flavoured vapes. Taking flavours away would only encourage vapers to return to smoking while discouraging current smokers from quitting. Vaping has helped tens of millions of people around the world to quit smoking, and is 95% less harmful than cigarettes. In light of the incredible response to the public consultation, the government must drop its proposed vape flavour ban with all due haste.