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Vape Business Collapse Predicted

Dutch State Secretary for Health Paul Blokhuis has introduced measures that trade group Esigbond says heralds the death of many vape businesses

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Dutch State Secretary for Health Paul Blokhuis has introduced measures that consumer group Esigbond says will herald death for many vape businesses. Grasping at debunked straws, Blokhuis justifies his flavour ban on the back of misplaced EVALI and child epidemic fears. The move signifies a direction of travel for the next iteration of the Tobacco Products Directive.
  • It is prohibited to use other flavouring additives as ingredients in liquids containing nicotine and nicotine-free liquids referred to in the first paragraph and in components of electronic vaping products other than those designated by ministerial regulation
  • It is also prohibited to place on the market liquids containing nicotine and nicotine-free liquids and other components of electronic vaping products where unauthorised additives or additives that exceed the maximum quantity were specified on the packaging unit or outer packaging or in the package leaflet or in the CEGS

Blokhuis is concerned about the “wide variety of models and flavours available” and, bizarrely, “the number of providers of e-cigarettes”. His measure to control the additives in eliquids is designed to prohibit any flavour other than tobacco.

Despite acknowledging that the American EVALI lung disease outbreak was caused by vitamin E acetate, he relies on a single tenuous piece of evidence to support his efforts. The “survey among Dutch lung physicians revealed a number of cases of people who developed serious lung problems after using e-cigarettes”. The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (TRIMBOS) produced the factsheet he referred to but there is no clear indication of the survey to which he alludes to.

TRIMBOS do say: “It is clear that e-cigarettes are less safe than previously thought. Assuming it precautionary principle is Dutch public health most benefit from discouraging the use of e-cigarettes and limiting their use to the group of smokers who really fail to quit smoking with the proven effective aids.”

The fact sheet references the World Health Organization and the European Commission, both of which promote flawed studies. It also includes studies and submissions by cartoon experts such as Jessica Barrington-Trimis, Adam Leventhal, Stanton Glantz, Simon Chapman and David Bareham.

Esigbond conducted a survey and the industry expects this to have a devastating impact: “Eight out of ten of the 250 e-cigarette retailers expect to go bankrupt.”

The organisation says vendors expect turnover to drop by 58% on top of the enormous pressures being experienced as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Emil 't Hart, president of the Esigbond, said: "Without flavourings, the e-cigarette is unattractive as a less harmful alternative to smoking. No wonder recent consumer research shows that the hundreds of thousands of e-cigarette users are not stopping their nicotine use, but that vapers are going to buy their flavouring fluids abroad or the [black-market].

“This costs the retailers, independent producers and import companies in the Netherlands so much turnover that bankruptcies are not excluded. Irresponsible at a time when every job counts. Apart from that, public health is at stake. About 20 percent of Dutch e-cigarette users say they will start smoking again after the introduction of a taste ban.

“Also, renowned health experts expect smokers to continue smoking unnecessarily longer, as they no longer switch to a less harmful alternative. The experts call the ban unwise and thus State Secretary Blokhuis greatly underestimates the role of flavourings. We therefore call on the Secretary of State to take a closer look at this."

ACVODA request vapers take the 3 steps:

  1. Visit and sign the petition
  2. Respond to consultation
  3. Email a random politician from the menu


  • Factsheet Elektronische Sigaretten (E-Sigaretten)”, TRIMBOS – [link]
  • English translation of the factsheet - [link]
  • Esigbond – [link]
  • - [link]
  • ACVODA - [link]

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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