Government departments have been talking about it for years, and now it’s done. As of Oct. 1, 2023, all vape products containing flavors other than tobacco will be banned. A measure that was scheduled to take effect in spring 2021 has been delayed several times. It was finally registered in the Official Gazette (PDF format).
The new legislation, combined with other laws such as raising the price of cigarettes, aims to achieve the goal of making the Netherlands a smoke-free country by 2040. Health Minister Paul Blokhuis announced this goal in 2020 in 2018, also walking through a country without e-cigarettes. “I also think that a generation without tobacco should also be a generation without vape”, he explained at the time.
In addition to banning the use of “exotic” flavors, manufacturers must also deal with a list of 16 specific ingredients to make their tobacco flavors. Any classic e-liquid that showed ingredients that were not on this list would be immediately banned. This restriction has concerned many professionals in the industry. The previous year, one of them responded that formulations that could be made with these ingredients would produce “very weak tobacco flavors,” before adding that “there is no tobacco that cannot be made with these ingredients.”
So far, according to statistics, almost one-fifth of the Dutch population smokes. This figure is difficult to reduce by limiting the use of vape, but they have been recognized as the most effective smoking cessation tool on the market.