Belgium: British American Tobacco criticizes decision to ban nicotine packs

At the end of January, Health Minister FrankVandenbroucke officially announced a ban on nicotine pouches in Belgium. “Some of these nicotine pouches, just like e-cigarettes and disposable e-cigarettes, can be stepping stones to early smoking,” he explained at the time. A few months ago, the daily HetBelangvanLimburg said the ban had gone into effect and would take effect in October 2023. The measure drew a strong reaction from tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI), a spokesman for which said the decision denied “nearly 2 million Belgian smokers access to a product that has been scientifically proven to be less risky than smoking”.

If the case seems to stop there, no new reaction is expected, this time from British American Tobacco (BAT). Our editorial staff contacted the tobacco company, which told us that it “will challenge the royal decree banning the sale of nicotine packs”. The tobacco giant “believes that Minister Van den Broek has not taken sufficient account of recent scientific studies on the effects of nicotine packets in the UK and Germany and the opinions of Belgian health experts, adding that the minister has not waited for the opinion of the High Commission of Health.

“British American Tobacco therefore advocates that nicotine packs play a key role in reducing smoking by introducing a progressive regulatory framework – as has been the case with disposable e-cigarettes – to encourage adult smokers to change their smoking patterns. consumption,” the business also told us.