Vapers took to the streets of Den Haag as members of the Health Committee met to discuss the Government’s proposal to ban vape flavours.
Standing outside the House of Representatives, vapers and vape shop owners handed out samples of disgusting tasting ice creams, reminding MPs and the public that flavours are integral to the vaping success story that has already seen hundreds of thousands of Dutch smokers make the switch away from cigarettes.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (1), said: “When this proposal was put to public consultation it received one of the biggest ever responses, with 98% of respondents opposing the ban. The message to the State Secretary was clear – vaping flavours help smokers quit, and there is huge opposition to his ridiculous plan. Vapers are outraged that a caretaker Government would continue pushing for this proposed ban after such a loud and clear message.”
The Netherlands saw the largest number of responses ever collected in a public consultation on health matters with 98% of all submissions opposing the ban. There are approximately 400,000 vapers in the country, the vast majority all of whom are former smokers who used vapes to quit or current smokers who are trying to curtail their cigarette habit. Research published in 2020 showed that up to 260,000 Dutch vapers could be driven back to smoking if flavours were banned.
“A flavour ban for vaping would be a public health disaster for the Netherlands. It is incredible that a caretaker government would try to introduce such deeply controversial legislation, that would have such negative consequences for so many, before a new Government is formed”, WVA Director Michael Landl concluded
In light of the strong opposition from citizens, through the aforementioned public consultation and today’s protest, as well as given the lack of legitimacy of this cabinet, it is completely unethical for such actions to be taken. This is a huge blow for tobacco harm reduction and all the vapers who raised their voices, and it is likely to tarnish the reputation of the Netherlands for a long t
The WVA added: “Currently, the Dutch government is acting in a caretaker capacity. A caretaker government is, as its name suggests, supposed to manage the country while a legitimate one is put in place. It is absolutely not supposed to initiate controversial legislation. Despite this important democratic principle, the Dutch Council of Ministers (the executive function of the Dutch government) announced that they would move forward with the flavour ban by sending the legislation to parliament for scrutiny. Unless vapers can force MPs to acknowledge that this legislation is too controversial for a caretaker government to execute, this ban will become law, with all flavours officially banned from 1 July 2022.”
- The World Vapers’ Alliance - www.worldvapersalliance.com