He hopes more politicians will visit the vejp shoppers.

How would a flavour ban affect entrepreneurs in the e-cigarette industry? David Josefsson (MP) wanted to find out.
"It's important that we politicians find out what the reality is before we make decisions," says David Josefsson, who visited a vejpshop in Gothenburg.

According to a public inquiry set up by the government a ban is introduced "on e-liquids intended to be consumed through e-cigarettes if they contain flavourings that lead to a clearly perceptible non-tobacco smell or taste".

Such as the Road Column previously reported a flavour ban law would drive many of Sweden's retailers and e-juice producers out of business. One of them is SteamQuest, run by Quest Leite. Of the 30 or so e-juices the company produces, only one (1) is a so-called "tobacco flavour". This is the only variant that would be allowed to remain, under the proposed ban. But even that is unclear.

"That particular e-juice also contains flavours of both hazelnut and chocolate, so even that is not safe" says Quest Leite

No definition of tobacco flavour

Moreover, there is currently no clear definition of what constitutes 'tobacco flavour'. Tobacco flavours are like any other flavour, says Quest Leite. Except that some ingredients are often (but not always) included, such as artificial smoke flavouring.

"But the concept of 'tobacco flavour' is more a way to attract smokers who are unsure what to start with. It can be important, before they realise that there is something else that suits them better" says Quest Leite.

Kundera wants to quit tobacco

Sweden currently has around 100 000 daily users of e-cigarettes. Studies show that smokers who successfully switch completely from cigarettes to e-cigarettes often start with a tobacco flavour and then switch to fruit and sweets and pastry varieties. This is also reflected in companies' sales.

"Customers want to get away from things that remind them of cigarettes. It's very clear. That's why we don't have so many tobacco flavours," says Quest Leite. "Many customers have said they would rather go back to cigars if they only had tobacco flavours to choose from. And given the cost of developing and manufacturing an e-juice, there is no point in continuing with this if the flavour ban goes ahead."

"Tobacco policy that ties itself in knots"

After reading a article in Vejpkollen the moderate member of parliament decided David Josefsson (m), to visit Quest Leite and Lie Sax which, in connection with e-juice production, operates a vejpshop in the centre of Gothenburg. And he finds the government's stance on flavours in e-liquid problematic.

"They want e-cigarettes to taste like tobacco smoke - even though it's not tobacco smoke." he says. "It's an example of how Swedish tobacco policy is tying itself in knots," says David Josefsson

Few who know how the industry works

There are currently around 40 companies active on the market in Sweden. Most are small to medium-sized companies that usually do not have a turnover of millions. Even if they big tobacco companies have interests and products in the e-cigarette sphere, they have not established themselves in Sweden. Yet. But according to David Josefsson, few political representatives know how the e-cigarette industry works in practice.

"Many people probably think that it's big companies that come from outside and use shady methods to attract customers. That's clearly not the case." says David Josefsson. "I think it's important that more politicians get out and see what it looks like in reality"

Moralistic view of nicotine

Mr Josefsson also believes that opposition to both e-cigarettes and Swedish snus is based more on ideology than on harm reduction and public health.

"The government intends to ban products that aim to out-compete tobacco. The principle is more important than looking at the harmful effects of different products. I have always believed that it is the harm caused by tobacco, or nicotine for that matter, that we should focus on. If less harmful ways of using nicotine are developed than smoking, we certainly shouldn't discourage them." David Josefsson.

It is important that companies tell us

The government's report and proposals for new legislation are currently out for consultation. Responses are due by 1 September. And the David Josefsson emphasises the importance of the participation of brewing companies in the debate.

"It's just a proposal for now. A lot can happen along the way. But because e-cigarettes and how the industry works are relatively unknown, it is important to educate policy makers about it. Companies should invite politicians who are interested to listen" says David Josefsson.

Sources for this article:
Tougher rules for new nicotine products
David Josefsson (m) on Facebook

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1 Comment on “Han hoppas att fler politiker besöker vejpshopparna

  1. The tendency always seems to be that the parties on the right are in favour of tobacco harm reduction, products like e-cigs and snus and those on the left are against which is actually quite strange as the proportion of people who smoke is higher in the working and lower middle classes. Instead of encouraging smokers to switch to something that is far less harmful and doesn't smell bad and bother others, they want to go ahead with more coercion, bans and stigmatisation. Much like their voters and potential voters simply didn't know any better and need to be corrected with coercion and bans. Totally the wrong way to go. I also know that a lot of individual politicians on the left also have this view, that it is good that people vejpar or snuff instead of smoking, but they certainly do not dare to go against the party line. It's like the cannabis legalisation issue, if individual politicians stick their necks out, they can easily be ousted.

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