"Sweden's vejpers must speak out against the flavour ban"

"The roads are the voice of the people. Businesses saying no doesn't sound anywhere near as loud as the general public saying no"
That's according to Victor Bryn-Jensen, HR manager at Cigge, one of Sweden's largest retailers of e-cigarettes. He is now urging users to contact the Minister for Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren, to protest against the planned flavour ban.

Contact Lena Hallengren.
To all road users: Do you want to keep a variety of flavours in your e-juice? Email the Social Affairs Minister and tell him why flavours are important! Click on the banner and follow the instructions.

The proposal that ban flavours (except so-called tobacco flavours) in e-liquids is out for consultation and the government could present a draft law as early as this autumn. But even though nothing is finalised yet, Swedish companies are rallying to stop the planned bill. A ban will have drastic consequences for both companies and users, say Victor Bryn-Jensen. Head of HR at Cigge.

"Since it affects between 75-80% of all e-juices, they will disappear from the shelves. Unfortunately, that will probably be the end for many companies in Sweden. The vast majority of customers don't actually want tobacco flavours." says Victor Bryn-Jensen to Vejpkollen.

The message: flavours matter

In short, the government's proposal would ban all e-liquids, with or without nicotine, "that do not have a distinct flavour and aroma of tobacco". Similar laws have been passed in Denmark and are imminent in the Netherlands. The motivation is concern about increased nicotine use among young people. And young people like fruit flavours the most, claims the Swedish investigation.

But the issue is more complicated than that, says Victor Bryn-Jensen. Most of Cigge's customers are former smokers or smokers who want to quit smoking tobacco.

"Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you stop liking fruit, sweets and savouries! We hope customers will give Lena Hallengren the message that flavours are important, even for adults. That they need to listen to the people and the studies that are out there! Says Viktor Bryn-Jensen.

Lobby groups and nicotine medicines

The proposal is part of a wider set of measures to restrict the availability of nicotine products in Sweden. Bans on enticing flavours have also been the focus of several lobbying organisations for some time. Most recently during a seminar in Almedalen representatives of the organisation Tobaksfakta, together with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, were in favour of a taste ban. E-cigarettes as a smoking cessation measure are not a good option, said Josefin P. Jonsson, Head of Unit at the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

"We have great nicotine medicines that smokers can use to quit smoking" said Josefin P. Jonson during the seminar.

An effective tool

Opinion is currently divided on e-cigarettes and smoking cessation. According to one of the world's largest health institutions, the Royal College of Physicians e-cigarettes an important tool to reduce smoking, not only in the UK but worldwide. 

"Balanced information about e-cigarettes and other harm reduction products must reach smokers, including through government-funded media campaigns that encourage smokers to switch from smoking to vejpning" wrote RCP in a press release during the summer.

More popular than medicines

In several comprehensive reports, the RCP, together with UK Public Health England (PHE), found that e-cigarettes can reduce the harms of nicotine addiction by almost 95 per cent. But this requires that smokers can be persuaded to switch their nicotine source from cigarettes to proven less harmful e-cigarettes. The products must be appealing, while not attracting non-smokers, according to the Royal Colege of Physicians. At the same time, the popularity of vaping makes it one of the the most effective methods to reduce smoking, says PHE.

"The number of successful quit attempts is the same for e-cigarettes as for the drug Varenicline. The difference is that only five per cent of smokers choose varenicline while 13 per cent choose e-cigarettes. This means that vejpning is helping significantly more smokers to quit smoking each year," writes the UK Public Health Agency in its latest update of the "Vaping in England: an evidence update"

Calls on businesses to activate customers.

Today, nearly 200,000 Swedes use e-cigarettes. A third of these are daily users. Victor Bryn-Jensen is now calling on other vejpshoppers, producers and retailers of e-cigarettes to join Cigge.

"The roads are the voice of the people. Companies speaking out doesn't sound nearly as loud as the general public saying no. The "we vape we vote" mentality that spread to the streets of the US in the face of the threat of a national flavour ban made a difference. That's why we need our customers, Sweden's vejpers, to speak out just as loudly now, if not louder!" says Victor Bryn-Jensen to Vejpkollen.

Investigate differences between cigarettes and e-cigs

The consultation period for the taste ban proposal ends on Wednesday 1 September. Earlier this year, the Swedish Parliament opposed the government's strategy to limit nicotine use in Sweden. The Social Affairs Committee has instead asked the government to investigate differences in terms of risk of injury between different nicotine products such as e-cigarettes, snus and smoking tobacco (cigarettes).

You can read more here:

Campaign to save flavours

Tougher rules for tobacco-free nicotine products (SOU 2021:22)
Nicotine without smoke (Royal College of Physicians report)

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6 Comments on “”Sveriges vejpare måste ryta ifrån mot smakförbudet”

  1. I think they should keep the flavours on vaping otherwise I can start smoking cigs just as well I stopped smoking after 33 years of cigs. When I tested vaping with raspberry liquorice flavour which I still love today, you remove the flavours then it is you in the government who want us to get cancer col and more. Because without good flavours I can smoke cigarettes again do you want that in the government?

  2. I have tried to sign but my email bounces back when I try to figure out why, it seems that the Ministry of Social Affairs has blocked emails from the server that the protest petition is sending from.

    1. Sounds weird! The email is actively sent from your own email, but it may depend on the heading in the email (if everyone takes the same 😉 Try sending with a different heading and see if it arrives.

  3. After 42 years of smoking (tried to quit several times), I will soon celebrate 6 years without a cigarette, and am down to nicotine-free.
    If they remove flavours, I'm screwed...I mix the juice myself and am so happy/grateful that I stay away from cig
    One wonders if those who want to remove the flavours have tried to quit smoking themselves 😡
    There's a hell of a double standard in this country...adverts on TV for booze and gambling are fine, but people who want to stay away from smoking should be banned. Same with all these energy drinks that come in so many flavours/varieties...how harmful are they? I'm almost 60.... not even this should I be allowed to control myself. It's shameful how Sweden has become 🤮

    1. I think many people will recognise themselves in what you say. And no, I don't think many of the people behind the flavour ban proposal (and other far-reaching restrictions on e-cigarettes) have much experience of quitting smoking either. There are strong and sophisticated lobby groups here, there are financial interests and clear directives not to let smokers (or vejpers) into the debate. Great that you are commenting and sharing. And cheers to you! /stefan, chief editor Vejpkollen

  4. Lena Hallengren is a whipped neo-moralist and puritan just like her predecessors Gabriel Wikström and Annika Strandhäll, they will never change their minds, all nicotine use should be woken up according to them, probably you want to ban flavours of snus and nicotine pills. It's a shame if many Swedish vejpshoppar goes bankrupt because of this. I already mix my vapour-free e-juice today, which means that I can vejpa wherever I want outdoors in outdoor restaurants without any problems. I have previously ordered stuff from a French vejpshop so I may well order stuff flavour essences from them. France, like the UK, seems to have taken a very sensible approach to vejping.

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