• July 24, 2024

Health Ministers Debate EU-wide Flavor Ban

 Health Ministers Debate EU-wide Flavor Ban

EU health ministers on June 21 discussed proposals to restrict flavors in consumer nicotine products, such as vapes and nicotine pouches.

The EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will consider proposals from Latvia and Denmark to support an EU-wide flavor ban and a crackdown on cross-border sales, among other recommendations. 

If the health ministers reach consensus support for these proposals, the next step would be to ask the European Commission to introduce draft legislation, which would eventually be voted on by the council and the European Parliament, according to Vaping360.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Slovenia already ban vape flavors. Spain recently completed a public consultation on a proposed flavor ban while Latvia reportedly is in the process of introducing flavor restrictions.

The Tobacco Products Directive allows the member states to set their own rules for flavors. The Latvian proposal asserts that individual bans don’t work due to cross-border sales, among other factors.

Vaping activists have urged the EU to keep e-cigarette flavors legal.

“By supporting a flavor ban, EU health ministers would push millions of adults back to smoking or into the black market, endangering lives and ignoring scientific evidence. A flavor ban would be a huge step backward for public health and harm reduction,” said Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, in a statement.

“Scientific research consistently shows that flavors play a crucial role in helping smokers quit. The endorsement of the flavor ban ignores those findings and the clear will of the people, opting instead for a policy that will cause more harm than good. The World Vapers’ Alliance will continue fighting for reasonable, evidence-based policies that truly protect public health.”