The government wants to ban our flavours. They don't want e-cigarettes to taste good. They just want it to taste like "tobacco smoke". What's going on?
This is a debating article. The opinions are those of the named writer. Comment or contact editorial staff if you want to answer!
The debate on the flavour ban is ongoing in the Parliament. The government has clearly shown that e-cigarettes are not desirable in Sweden and that we as road users are not worth protecting. On 24 May, we will speak out. We want to show what e-cigarettes mean to us, that choice matters, that our flavours are important, that our lives are important. We want to tell you why different flavours are essential for a vape, an e-cigarette, to replace cigarettes. Show why ONE flavour is not enough. All are needed, whether it's fruit, candy OR tobacco. It is the flavours that keep us smoke-free.
We are now meeting to demonstrate at Mynttorget in Stockholm at 1830 on Tuesday 24 May.
Why are flavours in e-cigarettes so important?
The answer is: because they work! 85% of all Swedes who quit smoking using e-cigs choose flavours other than 'tobacco'.
We demand that all smokers have the right to effective harm minimisation and access to safer nicotine. This is exactly what vaping is all about. And as long as deadly cigarettes are available in every single convenience store, nicotine users should have at least as much access to less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes (and snus, nicotine patches, sprays, pouches - whatever the smoker prefers!). The fact that the alternatives taste good, and thus compete with cigarettes in an almost natural way, is something that the government should protect - not destroy.
There are better ways to protect young people
The government should also protect our interests, those who actually benefit from e-cigarettes. The government should not be allowed to kick the can down the road to set an example or otherwise demonstrate that they are "protecting young people" from products that can actually save lives.
Age limits, marketing restrictions and prohibition of drug trafficking are more appropriate and effective regulations to tackle youth consumption - not taste laws.
Thanks to politicians who get it
But we have also seen that the government has actually been opposed in parliament. At present, almost the entire opposition is on the side of the road users. This is very promising - it could lead to the government's proposal being voted down.
We would therefore like to thank all the politicians from different parties who have listened to reason here. Those who actually stand up and protect the flavours of e-cigs and e-liquid.
We therefore say: Yes to flavours AND thank you to all those fighting for a sensible and humane policy to make Sweden smoke-free.
Regards Sweden's vejpare, nearly 200 000 e-cigarette users via Stefan Mathisson, editor-in-chief and publisher of Vejpkollen (independent platform for news and reports on vaping in Sweden).