The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a ban on flavored vaping products in Europe over concerns about their growing popularity and health effects, the European Commission reported on Wednesday. That means the popular e-liquid will be banned from being sold in Europe.
The EU has set itself a goal of creating a “smoke-free generation” by 2040, with less than 5% of the population using tobacco, as part of a major anti-cancer campaign.
But the rise of e-cigarettes – with its range of youth-friendly flavoured pods/pods touting flavours like bubblegum, creme brulee, mint or strawberry watermelon – presents a clear challenge to steer young people away from smoking.
The Commission announced proposals to amend existing EU rules to remove exemptions for the sale of flavoured tobacco products that currently apply to e-cigarettes and other heated tobacco products, saying these products are sold in at least five member states, adding that heating at the retail level Tobacco product sales now exceed 2.5% of total tobacco product sales at EU level.
In a statement, Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides commented on the proposed ban on flavored heated tobacco products, saying:
By removing flavoured heated tobacco from the market, we are one step closer to realising our vision under the European Plan to Fight Cancer, of less than 5% of the population using tobacco by 2040. With nine out of ten lung cancers caused by tobacco, we want to make smoking as less attractive as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives. Stronger action to reduce tobacco consumption, stricter enforcement and keeping pace with new developments to address the constant influx of new products into the market – which are especially important to protect young people – are key to making this happen. Prevention is always better than cure.
The European Commission’s proposal will need to be weighed by the European Parliament and Council before it becomes pan-EU law – although it seems unlikely that the health-focused spice ban will draw much opposition.
The ban will come into force 20 days after the enabling bill is published in the Official Gazette, after the proposal has received support from EU co-legislators. EU member states will have eight months to translate the directive into their national law – allowing an additional three-month transition period before the rules start to apply, the commission said.
Therefore, the ban itself looks unlikely to be implemented before the second half of 2023.
The looming sale of fruit-flavored pods in the EU’s single market of about 450 million consumers is another regulatory blow to the e-cigarette market.
Earlier this month, the FDA took down vaping darling Juul — the subscription company whose valuation at one point reached a staggeringly high $38 billion stopped selling and distributing its products in the U.S. altogether after failing to provide consistent evidence about the safety of its products. Electronic cigarette devices and cartridges.
A few years ago, Juul agreed to stop selling its sweetened e-liquids — which include fruit, cream, mango and cucumber flavors — amid heightened scrutiny by regulators over concerns about underage use.
At the time, the e-cigarette maker said it would continue to sell its full range of flavors outside of the U.S. — but the international market for flavored tobacco products has become less popular.
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