Amsterdam, 30.9.2022. This week the second consultation about a potential flavour ban in the Netherlands closed, showing again that consumers are worried about the negative consequences of such a ban. The consultation received more than 1,500 submissions even though it is already the second one on the subject.
The government already opened a consultation last year, which has seen 98% of respondents opposing the ban. Unfortunately, the government ignored those voices and pushed through with the flavour ban. Originally the law was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2022. Still, due to pushback from vapers and technical issues in the original legislative, it got delayed till the end of this year.
Commenting on the consultation, World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Director Michael Landl said:
“The Dutch Government received a clear message for the second time: it is time to scrap this terrible idea of flavour bans and move on. Out of respect for citizens and based on scientific evidence, dropping the flavour ban is the only possible way forward. Anything else would be a disgrace. Running two consultations and then ignoring them would be a disgrace.”
The central message from the two consultations is that this proposed ban is profoundly unpopular and would have very negative public health consequences. The ban risks driving 260,000 Dutch vapers back to cigarettes and would deny current smokers a vital opportunity to quit their deadly habit once and for all.
“Flavours are essential as they make smoking cessation more than twice as likely as 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 worldwide 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 to avoid a public health disaster,” added Landl.
During the consultation, the WVA organised a light show in Amsterdam to raise awareness about vape flavours’ importance. Parallel to the ongoing debate, the WVA also gathered in The Hague earlier this year to call policymakers to stand against the bans on vape flavours. The WVA displayed an art installation in front of the Dutch Parliament with a simple message “flavours help smokers quit”. Throughout the years 2021 and 2022, WVA and its members sent dozens of letters to Dutch politicians and decision-makers to inform them about the detrimental effects of the possible flavour ban in the country. They now hope politicians will finally listen.