Paul Blokhuis, Secretary of State for Health, Welfare and Sport since 2017 of the Dutch government, is a strong supporter of policies in favor of a healthy lifestyle. A letter written by the politician to the government dates back to a few days ago in which important innovations for the vaping sector are anticipated.
The National Prevention Agreement
In November 2018, Blokhuis presented the National Prevention Agreement (Nationaal Preventieakkoord) which aims to eliminate smoking addictions (including vaping), the problems of alcohol consumption and obesity by 2040, through campaigns and targeted concerted decisions between the government, social organizations and industries.
A few days ago, the Government was updated on the developments of the application of the National Agreement on Prevention through a letter from Blokhuis, which defines the desire to introduce important innovations in the areas of application, including that of the electronic cigarette.
In fact, the electronic cigarette does not have the role of damage reduction tool elsewhere here, but is identified as a tool for entry to traditional smoking. Blokhuis writes that “I also believe that a smokeless generation should also be a generation without an electronic cigarette.”
To discourage the use of electronic cigarettes and limit their use to the group of smokers who cannot really quit using other tools, strict provisions are being studied, including a ban on the use of flavorings and the introduction of excise duties.
The ban on the use of flavorings in e-liquids, already applied in other European countries, aims to reduce the attractiveness of electronic cigarettes towards young people; tobacco flavors will continue to be allowed, in order not to discourage smokers who want to quit using electronic cigarettes.
As indicated by the competent authority, the ban on the use of flavorings has not yet been translated into law; a ministry spokesman explained that the expected timing is spring 2021.
At the moment there are no excise duties on electronic cigarettes, but the will to align the regulation of electronic cigarettes with that of traditional cigarettes is clear. Excise duties on traditional cigarettes have increased since April 1st, which has increased the cost of a package by € 1. The objective of the National Agreement on Prevention is to bring excise duties on tobacco to € 10 by 2023. For electronic cigarettes, the Ministry has also envisaged the introduction of a tax on the consumption of liquids with and without nicotine, on which the Chamber will have to pronounce.
Measures are also under consideration to regulate heated tobacco devices.