“A particular problem relates to smoking by children and young people, as they are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco and other nicotine products,” says the Danish government.
Mikkel Schmidt responded by warning: “Calling all EU vapers! Denmark is setting a dangerous precedent for a flavour ban, by sneaking it by the EU Commission during the peak of a pandemic. We need to stop this now!” [link]
The government continues: “The bill … intends for the Ministry of Health and The Elderly to tighten up tobacco legislation in order to reduce the number of smokers – in particular that fewer young people start smoking or become dependent on other nicotine products. It is also the Ministry's intention to ensure that smoking or the use of other nicotine products does not appeal to children and young people and that children and young people are not confronted with it in the context of their schooling.”
- A display ban: electronic cigarettes are not to be visible to consumers at points of sale, including on the Internet, except in a vape shop
- Stricter bans on advertising and sponsorship
- Standardised packaging for electronic cigarettes. All packaging “must have a uniform appearance”, but this does not apply to cigars, pipe tobacco and pipes
- Ban on flavourings in electronic cigarettes other than tobacco and menthol
- Stricter age control systems and penalty levels
- A registration scheme for vape product retailers
EU4Snus commented: “Calling all harm reduction supporters. It seems the Danish government hasn't observed that 7-8 million people die of smoking-caused diseases each year. Instead, they try their best to obstruct safer products like ecigs and snus by banning flavours for adults!”
The government has demonstrated that although it conducted a consultation exercise, it clearly wasn’t in the mood to listen to the responses it didn’t want to hear.
DADAFO suggested that seeing as the EU Commission is currently conducting an evaluation of evidence in the lead up to TPD3, “As a minimum, all proposals for amendments to the "Electronic Cigarette Act, etc." should be taken out”.
“Due diligence has not been carried out in connection with the proposed legislative changes and additions to especially the ‘Electronic Cigarette etc. Act’. In the proposed amendments law, the "precautionary principle" is not taken into account, and thus the bill is not made on the basis of risk assessments and impact assessments. The proposed amendments law does not focus on proportionality between the individual potential health effects of products. By way of comparison, of course, one does not bestow the same punishment on a person who kills another human being - as a person who walks out into a pedestrian crossing when the light is red. As mentioned, there must be proportionality in legislation so that consumers are protected, and human rights are respected of the Bill / National Action Plan.”
The worrying thing for DADAFO is the impact this will have on businesses and employees: “We predict, based on market knowledge, that 90-95% of all e-cigarette specialty stores in Denmark will be forced to close before June 2021 (Red: January 2022), as their business is mainly driven by profits from the sale of e-liquids with flavours. The last 5-10% of businesses will temporarily survive with the sale of e-cigarette equipment/hardware at a higher price than today. This is not long-term, as their competitiveness in relation to foreign business will be minimal.”
The proposals are clearly excessive and not grounded in evidence. Standardised packaging is nonsensical, as is the attack on flavours – the Danish government needs to have an urgent rethink of these proposals.
If you are concerned about the impact their government’s move could have on tobacco harm reduction and vaping in Denmark, across Europe, or influence legislation in the UK, you could support the campaigning activities of DADAFO, the New Nicotine Alliance, and the nicotine consumer umbrella organisation ETHRA.