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European Council To Discuss Flavour Ban

The European Council will be discussing placing an EU-wide ban on flavours for all nicotine products on 21 June following requests from Denmark and Latvia

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The European Council will be discussing placing an EU-wide ban on flavours for all nicotine products on 21 June following requests from Denmark and Latvia. French advocacy group SOVAPE tell us that Latvia's application is supported by “Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain”. The aim of the discussion is to include the comprehensive ban in the next iteration of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive.

According to SOVAPE, “the Council will debate on June 21 in Luxembourg proposals to ban flavours for all nicotine products - excluding pharmaceuticals - throughout the European Union. If accepted, these proposals would bypass the evaluation of the ongoing Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) by already imposing a revision project. 

“Denmark on one hand and Latvia, with the support of Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain on the other hand, have submitted proposals to the European Council aiming to ban flavours in nicotine products. These requests are on the agenda for the EPSCO Council meeting on June 21, concerning employment, social affairs, health, and consumer protection [1].

“Denmark's document calls for ‘the ban on flavours in products containing nicotine, limiting the nicotine content in these products, and, where appropriate, the ban on certain products.’ It urges the new European Commission to act and present proposals as soon as possible.

“The ban in Denmark highlights its ineffectiveness.

“The Danish request is based on the Health Behaviour School-aged Children (HBSC) survey to justify this measure in the name of protecting young people from nicotine. However, this survey does not measure nicotine consumption in vaping among middle school students [2]. Moreover, it shows an accelerated decline in smoking since 2014 in Denmark, where the percentage of 15-year-olds who smoked decreased from 18% to 12.5% in 2022. This trend is incompatible with the idea of vaping leading young people to smoke, a fear expressed by some proponents of bans.

“Danish authorities have already banned flavours, except tobacco and mint, for vaping products since 2021. The Danish population does not seem to comply with this prohibition, as the vast majority of vape users still used various other flavours in 2022, according to a survey by the Danish Health Authority [3].”

Attempt to exclude risk reduction at the EU level 

“Clearly, Denmark's goal is to form a coalition of EU member states to mandate the Commission to expand the scope of the upcoming TPD and impose a framework excluding the principle of risk reduction from its revision process. The initiative could gain strong political momentum as EU institutions prepare recommendations for the new legislature, and Denmark will hold the presidency at the same time as the next COP of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (in the second half of 2025).

“This initiative, if adopted, would set a dangerous precedent that could jeopardize the use of vaping in the European Union for millions of Europeans. In the ‘Merci la vape’ survey conducted in 2023 with nearly 40,000 vapers in France, 88% of vapers who quit smoking stated that flavour diversity was an important or very important factor for their smoking cessation [4].”

These demands must be rejected by the Council 

“Sovape wishes to express its rejection of such an initiative for the following reasons:

  • “To impose new regulations at the EU level, proper evaluation and impact analysis are necessary. Impact analysis provides crucial information to policymakers on the appropriateness and manner of regulation to achieve public policy objectives. Health policies should be based on rational analyses and not emotionally charged reactions fuelled by biased data.
  • “Immediate and stricter measures without proper evaluation have already been rejected by all Member States during negotiations preceding the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP 10) held last October.
  • “The regulation of flavours falls under the competence of Member States and not the European Commission, and Member States can already adopt and enforce rules on youth access without waiting for the EU.

“The European Commission is currently evaluating the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU (TPD). Five years after the TPD came into force, the 2021 implementation report reviewed progress to date and described the strengths and weaknesses of the directive, highlighting areas requiring adaptation. The lack of implementation problems, as indicated by the report, and the limited number of delegated acts adopted by the Commission since 2014 demonstrate that the TPD is an example of well-functioning single market legislation. There is no need to open its revision.

“SOVAPE urges the health authorities of Member States, especially the French authorities, to reject the initiatives of Denmark and Latvia.”


  4. Livre blanc inter-associatif pour une politique d’intérêt général sur la vape, 2024 >

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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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