Nikan (1) reports that the Norwegian government has issued details regarding its proposed restrictions on vaping and this includes a ban on all e-liquid flavours other than basic tobacco.
The consumer group says it believes the proposals are based on a lack of knowledge about vapers and vaping in Norway. The government is conducting a consultation on the proposals and Nikan is encouraging all Norwegian vapers to take part and submit their opinions.
Nikan says that vapers should feel free to use facts obtained from a survey that Helene Berg conducted last year (2).
The survey found that 91% of vapers are 30 years-old or above. The main reason being cited to ban flavours is “to protect the children”, which flies in the face of reality – especially the findings of Berg’s work.
She also found that virtually all vapers were ex-smokers, with many being heavy smokers who had struggled and failed to quit using traditional approaches. Nikan says it is vital that the government’s regulations maintains smokers’ access to products that improve their health.
Nikan is also concerned about proposals to bring bottle size in line with that of European countries who are following the Tobacco Products Directive. Many in the survey, around 33%, said they consume more than 10ml per day and Nikan believes this is a compelling argument for not placing restrictions on bottle capacity.
When it comes to flavours, Berg found that not only do some smokers prefer flavours other than tobacco when they first switch, but that ex-smokers increasingly migrate to non-tobacco flavoured e-liquids as they work to remain tobacco-free.
She discovered that tobacco is one of the least popular flavoured e-liquids in Norway, while fruit and berry flavoured juices are the most popular. Nikan says these flavours play a vital role in preventing relapse back to smoking.
Finally, the group says, the price of vape products is currently very low – which makes it attractive to tobacco users. It says a regulated market for nicotine and plain e-liquid sales from Norwegian stores will inevitably lead to an increase in cost and a decrease in appeal.
Hopefully the Norwegian government will also comprehend that the concentration of nicotine in e-liquid also plays a key role in preventing people from returning to smoking cigarettes.
Links to the Nikan site and Berg’s survey can be found below. The Nikan site is in Norwegian, but the survey report is in English.
- Nikan – http://www.nikan.no
- Helene Berg's survey – http://www.nikan.no/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Report-first-survey-1.pdf