The Dutch government is to extend current legislation on smoking to cover electronic cigarettes from July 1, and is also planning an outright ban on flavoured tobacco products for e-cigarettes.
The measures, outlined in a briefing to parliament on Tuesday, are aimed at making smoking less attractive to youngsters. Smoking is to be banned in all school playgrounds from the start of the next academic year and from October 1, cigarettes and rolling tobacco may only be sold in neutral packaging.
Research by the Trimbos addiction clinic earlier this year showed 27% of 12 to 16-year-olds have used an e-cigarette, as have 44% of vocational and hbo college students.
Trimbos also said there is increasing evidence that they are becoming a stepping stone to tobacco. In particular the flavours are attractive to youngsters, as is the low cost.
‘These new insights confirm that the smoke-free generation we are working towards must also be an e-cigarette free generation,’ junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said in the briefing. ‘There is no place for all these tempting, exotic flavours.’
E-cigarettes with tobacco taste will remain on sale as an ‘ultimate aid’ to help hardened smokers stop, Blokhuis said.
A health ministry spokesman told DutchNews.nl that the ban on flavoured c-cigarette products would be achieved via new legislation, with spring 2021 as a target date.
Rules are also to be introduced for the IQOS, a type of e-cigarette which heats tobacco. It will fall under the same rules as apply to other tobacco products, with an age limit and advertising ban.
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