Professor Roberto Sussman is an ex-smoker and has been vaping for 6 years. He has peer reviewed publications on the physical properties of aerosol emissions of e-cigarettes.
Professor Sussman says the policy amendment to the to the Tobacco and Related Products Order is littered with problems, calling it “reckless and disproportionate”. The Dutch legislators claim changes are needed to protect young people but Professor Sussman states “that can be well addressed with more pragmatic regulation and stricter law enforcement.”
He says that the proposed measures are an attempt effectively to put an ban in place even though one would otherwise not be allowed under the Tobacco Products Directive.
“It renders e-cigarettes unattractive and dysfunctional to all actual and potential users (smokers) of all age groups, who most likely will benefit from substitution of toxic cigarettes with much safer means of nicotine delivery.”
Professor Sussman believes the measure is being promoted as a sensible public health measure, “but it will most likely lead to detrimental undesired consequences for public health in the Netherlands, where smoking prevalence is close to 20 % (all ages). Degrading e-cigarettes will keep more smokers smoking and sizable numbers of vapers who no longer smoke will revert to exclusive smoking.”
He decries legislators claiming that ecigs are “toxic hazardous products threatening the health of Dutch citizens”, reminding them that vaping “substitutes for tobacco cigarettes”.
He points out that e-cigarettes are “fully supported by all health institutions of the United Kingdom as part of their official tobacco control policies. Are the proponents of this policy suggesting that the British government is deliberately poisoning British citizens?”
Professor Sussman says the Dutch approach “is unethical and discriminatory. It reveals contempt for the human rights and welfare of adult users and smokers that would benefit from safer nicotine consumption.”
He says the measure ends up classifying vapers as unredeemable addicts not worth of any empathy and consideration, and “is inconsistent and in direct contradiction with a more liberal approach to cannabis and other substances in the Netherlands.”
Pointing out that people can visit coffee shops to smoke marijuana, Professor Sussman highlights the stupidity of allowing people to experience second-hand smoke in enclosed spaces while effectively banning vaping that doesn’t carry any secondhand danger.
The Dutch hypocrisy extends to smoking in general, as vape products are going to be placed under threat and yet the government will allow tobacco products to remain on sale.
Professor Sussman warns that their action will only serve to encourage black markets, and the resulting lack of control will place teenagers at greater not less risk.