In one of my recent blogs, I discussed the insane proposals to ban flavoured e-liquids in some American cities and asked a question: could such heavy-handed and draconian laws ever make it to the UK?
Well, it looks like the war on vaping is getting a bit closer to us. This week there was news that Holland is banning the sale of all e-liquids in bottles of over 10ml, regardless of nicotine content; even 0mg shortfills are affected. Ludicrously, this ban actually includes bottles of raw PG and VG too! Even as I write this, I still can’t believe that Holland (traditionally a country with a free-thinking and liberal way of life) has even considered such a stupid measure, but unfortunately it is already a reality. From July 1st 2018, the Dutch Food Safety Authority has imposed harsh new regulations for the sale of e-liquids. Full details of this news are posted on Planet of the Vapes, so what will this mean for Dutch vapers?
- Any liquid intended for refilling electronic cigarettes will no longer be legal to sell in containers over 10ml.
- According to one of our Dutch wholesale customers, this includes bottles of VG, PG, nicotine shots and flavourings.
- From now on, shops will not be allowed to sell shortfills.
- No images of foods related to an e-liquid flavouring can be displayed on the packaging. Pictures of strawberries, custards etc are now against the law.
The decision to impose these restrictions is, quite frankly, stark staring bonkers- it will only create more packaging waste, higher costs and will encourage more cross-border sales- ruining business for Dutch vape shops. We will continue to keep an eye on the situation, but if you visit Amsterdam in future, you will still be able to do all sorts of things that are illegal here in the UK. You just won’t be able to buy a zero-nic shortfill!
In a separate issue, all European vapers are currently under threat from proposals that are being considered for the whole of the EU by the European Commission. They are actually pushing to impose taxes on vaping products. I find it disgraceful that they are even considering putting excise duties on low risk alternatives to deadly cigarettes. One of vaping’s many advantages (and a big incentive to switch) is the cost of vaping compared to smoking. If costs rise, fewer smokers will be tempted to switch. Prices will rise for vapers everywhere and let’s face it, nobody wants to pay more tax on things that they already buy.
The last time the European Commission had the notion of a vaping tax was in 2016, when they held a public consultation on the idea. Nearly 90% of the respondents voted against any taxes on vaping products and their plans were shelved- until now. Not happy with the first response, the commission has opened a second consultation on the taxing of tobacco products- including e-cigs (as the numbers of people smoking fall, they need to make up their lost revenue somehow). European vaping needs your support, so here’s what you can do to help.
A petition has been set up on Change.org as part of a campaign by pro-vaping groups across Europe. Please add weight to their fight to put an end to these ridiculous tax proposals by signing it– it will only take a minute of your time and (as we are likely to remain tied to the EU for some time even after Brexit) it could save you some money!
If you have a bit more time to spare, go directly to the EU consultation to express your opinions on their proposals for taxing vaping products.