The ban that was proposed to come into effect from the 1st of January 2023 basically meant that no flavours of vape juice would be allowed to be made or distributed in the country unless it was a tobacco flavour. The Dutch government produced a list of 16 “authorised” ingredients that were to be used in vape juice recipes going forward from January 1st and after analysing the list of ingredients, it showed that only a tobacco flavour vape juice could be made with these ingredients.
However, the story has yet again got a new chapter and it was announced this week that the ban is set to be postponed yet again, with new regulations coming into effect with the ban which were different to the original legislations. Let’s take a look at this ever-changing story yet again!
The ongoing saga of banning flavoured vape juice in the Netherlands
The flavour ban in Netherlands has been an ongoing thing since June 2020. The original legislation wanted a flavour ban to come into effect in the country from July 1st, 2022. This caused a lot of uproar and upset in the country, and it was unveiled that there were flaws within the governments reasons for this ban to occur, therefore causing them to delay the ban by 6 months for it come into effect from January 1st, 2023.
Fast forward to October of this year, and the Government made a harsh review on this ban where they signed off a “Approved substances” list, which featured just 16 ingredients that the government stated can be the only ingredients used in the production of vape juice that is made or sold in their country. On further inspection of this approved substance list, it showed that the ingredients could be combined to make only a basic tobacco flavour vape juice, and nothing else.
This caused massive uproar within the country, and from Vaping alliances and organisations around the world over the harsh restrictions that the Dutch government wanted to impose on vapers in their country. It seemed like it was all set and done, and people began to get ready for a future without non-tobacco flavoured vape juice in the Netherlands, but the story takes yet another twist…
Yet another postponement to the regulations
Over the weekend just passed (3rd December 2022) the news broke from within the Netherlands that there has been yet another postponement on this flavour ban. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I sat at my desk Monday morning and caught up on the news as I do. It appears the Dutch government has listened to the concerns raised by everyone who was against this ban and have called to delay this ban from happening, and by quite some length as well.
The new legislation that’s coming into effect now means that no vape juice that doesn’t adhere to the approved substance list can be manufactured from July 1st and what came as a surprise to most, the government would allow retailers to sell through stock that doesn’t meet the regulations until October 1st, 2023. This new legislation showed a bit more willingness and forthcoming from the Dutch government, but it does still mean the ban is happening and it’s something many, including myself, does not agree with.
Further regulations are coming in July
On top of the flavour ban, the government also announced more regulations and restrictions that are focusing on packaging and labels on the bottles of vape juice. No words can be featured on labels or packaging that do not refer to anything other than tobacco. Some brands in the Netherlands are play on words such as “OMGin” a vape juice flavour that tastes like Gin, or “Bad Boy Fuel” which the government deem could be attractive towards a younger generation, which is the whole purpose of this ban coming in is to protect the youth generation in Netherlands from starting to vape.
Netherlands joining other countries in Europe by banning flavours
As it stands at the time of writing this article, Netherlands will be joining six other countries in Europe that have current prohibitions on non-tobacco flavoured vape juice.
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, and Lithuania all have active bans on non-tobacco flavoured vape juice being sold in their country, with Ukraine set to join in July 2023, and finally Netherlands joining them in October 2023.
Sweden have recently rejected a proposal to ban non-tobacco flavoured vape juice from being sold in the country and have recently obtained a “smoke free” status in the country, hitting the magical 5% number of current smokers in the country. However, Sweden is the country of origin for Snus and it is hugely popular in the country and has contributed to a lot of people quitting smoking by using this. If you didn’t already know, Snus are small pouches that contain nicotine and tobacco that can be placed in the mouth and act as a nicotine delivery system. These are better than smoking cigarettes, but they do contain actual tobacco so do carry some risks as opposed to just straight nicotine pouches that are sold in the UK.
It’s good to see an extension has been given, but it still is not right that this harsh new prohibition that the Dutch government has created is still going to come into effect. I think they’re massively missing the mark with this as I stated in my original article with their intentions of what they want to achieve with this flavour ban. The government are still behind the belief that bringing this flavour ban in will detract youths from wanting to vape, as it won’t be as attractive to them to vape a plain tobacco flavoured vape juice.
What they don’t realise is the negative impact this could and likely will have on the thousands of vapers in the Netherlands who are adults that have used E-Cigarettes and flavoured vape juice to kick their smoking habit and enrich their own lives by becoming healthier and safer from when they were a smoker.
I don’t expect this is the final time I’ll be writing about this and expect more twists and turns in the ever ongoing saga of flavoured vape juice being banned in the Netherlands.