Norway closer to regulating e-cigarettes - but flavour ban worries researchers

Everything is ready for Norway to authorise the sale of e-liquid with nicotine. Now vejp users and authorities are waiting for Norwegian politicians to approve the new law. Meanwhile, a planned flavour ban is worrying Norwegian health researchers.

Norway will have the same rules as the EU for the sale of e-cigarettes and e-juice. The Norwegian government announced this already in 2018. Now, four years later, a proposal, approved to become part of the Norwegian EEA Agreement, is ready for a vote in the Norwegian Parliament (Alltinget and Stortinget). The process should take a maximum of six months.

"But even if the decision is delayed, some parts of the rules can be introduced earlier. This has already been done in the case of the authorisation system for new tobacco and nicotine products," writes the Norwegian government. Directorate of Health i a statement.

E-cigs popular for smoking cessation

Currently, Norwegian vejp shops are allowed to sell hardware and e-liquid without nicotine. However, Vejpare has been able to import nicotine for its own use. Despite this, e-cigarettes are popular for smoking cessation in Norway. 

"In Norway, the use of e-cigarettes has gradually become the second most used method of quitting smoking, after snus," writes the health researcher. Karl Erik Lund, expert in tobacco issues at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

Criticism of planned flavour ban

However, while Norway is about to authorise the sale of e-cigarettes, the government is looking into the possibility to banning popular flavourings in the e-liquid. The idea is to discourage minors from using e-cigs. However, the proposal has been strongly criticised, including by Karl Erik Lund.

"E-cigarettes are mainly used by adults who smoke or have smoked in the past. The use of e-cigarettes among young people and non-smokers is low," writes the report. Karl Erik Lund.

Flavours important for smoking cessation

Around 80% of vejpers in Norway use the flavours that are now at risk of being banned. Flavours that are popular among young people are also the ones most used by older people who use e-cigarettes as a substitute for cigarettes," notes Karl Erik Lund in a commentary on the government proposal.

Fewer smokers are switching

Karl Erik Lund argues that a flavour ban would "take the edge off e-cigarettes" as an effective tool for today's smokers to go smoke-free.

"1 in 3 smokers stated that they would consider using e-cigarettes instead of cigarettes if they ever quit smoking. E-cigarettes thus have a much higher likeability than both snus and nicotine medicines. A flavour ban will reduce the number of smokers who can make a harm-reducing product switch" writes Karl Erik Lund.

Sources for this article:
Tobacco Directive - entry into force and transitional arrangements
Karl Erik Lund: What would be the effect of a flavour ban on e-cigarettes?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *