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Sneaky consultation backfires in the Netherlands

We have covered in the past (here) the irresponsible and dangerous fight against vaping that Dutch State Secretary for Public Health, Paul Blokhuis is waging. Just before the Christmas holidays we had a breaking announcement – after a long period of hush about the subject for months on end, a public consultation arrived, asking people about their opinion on the proposal to ban vape flavours in the Netherlands.

The bad timing of this, together with the very short consultation period, seems to be a deliberate attempt to silence the voices of thousands of vapers. In the Netherlands, a consultation lasts usually six weeks. This time vapers can only submit their opinion for four weeks, and two of those weeks coincidentally happen to be between Christmas and New Year. Well, thank you for this present, State Secretary!

So far, that has not stopped over 250 people from all over the Netherlands, from vape shop owners to vapers themselves from responding to this consultation. Out of 265 responses received before 11 January, 264 were against this proposal.

Of course they were, because people are more and more aware that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, that it’s 2 times more successful as a cessation method than the traditional gums and patches or that flavours make it 2.3 times more likely that a smoker makes the switch from tobacco to e-liquids.

And if that is not enough, just looking through the stories and response of the people who responded, should give anyone a good idea of what the majority think of this proposal:

P.D. Van de Vijver – Valkenburg 

“I hope that the flavors will continue to exist so that more people can get rid of those cancer sticks.”

Maikel Spijkers – Schijndel 

“After 25 years of smoking 1 pack a day, I could finally stop but only thanks to sweet flavours. When I first started with tobacco, I was smoking twice as much as usual.”

WJJ van Os @ Smooxx – Den Bosch 

“For 7 years, I have been selling e-cigarettes. Our figures say that nearly all liquids and starter kits are sold to people who already smoke and do not want to smoke anymore.”

Erik Wildenborg – Rietmolen 

“In England, the e cigarette is promoted by the government because it is not as bad as normal smoking.”

D Willemse – Dordrecht 

“In addition, it [the flavour ban] invites consumers to buy or import (unregulated and) possibly unsafe alternatives abroad because this is the rule that will only apply in the Netherlands. From an economic point of view, you take the money away from Dutch entrepreneurs and send it abroad…”

Vikash Vernimmen – ‘s-Gravenhage

“Because of vaping, I can now do more fun things with my kids”

Marco Sjaardema – Apeldoorn

“People will find other ways to get flavours whereby the government will lose all oversight over these products”


If you are a vaper or a supporter of vaping, you have until the 19 of January to tell the Dutch government that banning flavours will be a massive disaster – click here to submit to the consultation.