The Danish health authority covered up information so that the government would ban flavours in e-juice. This is according to the Danish e-cigarette industry organisation, which is now approaching the European Commission to lift the upcoming Danish ban on flavours in e-liquid.
"They delayed their own report, which showed that both smoking and e-cigarette use have declined dramatically in recent years," writes BECIG.
On 1 April 2022, the sale of non-tobacco and menthol flavoured e-liquids will be banned in Denmark. The reason: concerns that e-cigarettes are luring non-smoking young people into nicotine addiction. The law was already passed in 2019, but was finalised at the end of 2020. In the past year, a number of initiatives have been launched, including The European Commission has criticised the law, which it says violates the EU's internal market treaty.. Danish companies would be severely disadvantaged if only imports of flavoured e-juice were allowed, says the European Commission.
"The upcoming ban will have major consequences for e-cigarette retailers in Denmark," writes the Danish e-cigarette industry organisation, BECIG in a press release ". Flavours in e-cigarette liquids, with the exception of tobacco and menthol, will be banned, while tobacco industry products such as chewing tobacco, nicotine pouches, hookah tobacco with different flavours can continue to be sold. Many retailers will close when this comes into force."
Smoking and vejping decrease
Now it turns out that it the forthcoming ban will on shaky ground. Smoking in Denmark has fallen sharply in recent years. The same applies to vejping. And the biggest decrease is among young people, according to the Danish Health Authority's latest report on tobacco habits in Denmark. This has prompted the industry association for e-cigarettes to go on the warpath.
"The report was supposed to be published before the decision on the new law was taken. But it was delayed. At the same time, the public health authority knew what the report would say. Smoking is declining. Even though flavoured e-cigarettes are on the market. It's like they wanted to push this law through, whether it was unnecessarily harsh or not."
Misleading about e-cigarettes
Neither the Danish Health Authority nor the Danish government has responded to the allegations. But among the political opposition, criticism is growing. The Danish People's Party and Nye Borgerlige have summoned Health Minister Magnus Heunicke to a special consultation. The question is whether the government knew what was in the report, and whether the agency deliberately misled decision-makers.
"We were worried that smoking had increased in Denmark. But we were not told that the figures now showed something completely different from what we had negotiated before the new law," says Liselott Blixt, Danish People's Party, to Danish TV 2.
E-cigarette companies can sue the state
While the debate rages and BECIG appeals to the European Commission, at least one Danish e-cigarette company is preparing legal action against the state.
"We are looking at the possibility and our lawyer will assess whether there are grounds to proceed," writes Jeanett Andersen, communications consultant at SMOKE-IT, a company with stores in several locations in Denmark.