A ban on flavours in e-juice in the US would also have consequences in Sweden. Much of the world's e-juice is produced and sold in the US.
- If flavoured e-juices were to be banned, it would obviously have consequences for the supply in Sweden. "In terms of our range alone, 20 out of 56 shortfill brands are from the US and half of our brands for e-juices with nicotine. At the same time, we have just as many brands from the UK, and brands can always be replaced, says Niklas Sandin, who runs Esmokes - one of Sweden's largest vejp shops, to Vejpkollen.
The legislation in Sweden may also be affected by the events in the US and Swedish vejpers may be affected by a possible ban in different ways.
– No matter how and if there is a ban on flavoured e-juice in the US, it will affect us in Sweden. In Finland we already have a ban on all flavours in e-juice, except tobacco flavours. But I feel that the EU does not act on fake news (The THC scandal editor's note), and hopefully not our government with its version of TPD," says Niklas Sandin.
The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is the European Union's framework for managing tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) in individual Member States. For example, the TPD regulates the size of e-juice bottles with nicotine (10ml), the maximum nicotine content (20 mg/ml), and the requirement that all products in the "e-cigarette" category, including e-juice, must be registered in the EU at least six months before they go on sale. Sweden's TPD-based "law on e-cigarettes" also includes rules on marketing, advertising and the age limit for purchase (18 years).
In the US, there is currently only a small amount of legislation, including age limits and certification and control of e-juice production. By May 2020, a more complete regulatory framework will be put in place.
The Trump administration announced that a ban on flavoured e-juice could come as early as this autumn.but Mr Sundin doesn't think the laws will change in a hurry.
– Trump is known to have poor impulse control, the Food and Drug Administration (which has the executive power when it comes to tobacco regulation) would not act on something so quickly. The FDA has already postponed their upcoming regulations for e-cigarettes in the US until 2020, but the lobbyists will certainly try to use this to ban flavours, and now Trump is also doing the tobacco industry's bidding. Surely, if he wants to, he will find out what the caused these diseasessays Niklas Sandin
Josefin Jonsson, head of the Public Health Agency of Sweden's tobacco prevention unit, told SVT News that a flavour ban may still be considered in Sweden if it turns out that e-cigarette use in Sweden is too high among young people.
- "If the substance that caused the damage is found in the US, Swedish authorities can ban the products containing these substances," she says.
According to the FDA, it is very likely to be substances linked to e-juices with THC (not nicotine) that caused the deaths and illnesses. However, Niklas Sandin believes that other industries and lobbying organisations have more or less been waiting for this opportunity to act against e-cigarettes as a phenomenon.
– A flavour ban in the US would give a boost to politicians around the world with their fingers deep in the jam jars of the pharmaceutical and tobacco companies. We can surmise that the US and the FDA have been waiting for a "scandal" like this to justify an imaginary protection of young people by cutting off the supply of e-juice and ultimately e-cigarettes. There are only two industries that benefit from regulating e-cigarettes to the point of insanity", says Niklas Sandin.