3000 road users wanted to stop the ban - "They are not real"

As expected, Parliament voted against the government's ban on flavours in e-cigarettes and e-liquid. But the debate got heated when Yasmine Bladelius (S&D) claimed that the emails and letters received from users were not sent by real people.
"Industry is behind this, not real people," said Yasmine Bladelius (S&D) in an exchange with Clara Aranda (S&D).

Although most things were ready for the vote in parliament A united road movement sat glued to the Parliament's webcast debate on the government's proposal to ban flavours in e-cigarettes. Not least, business owners who risked losing 90 per cent of their product range if the government's proposal had gone through. But this did not happen. As expected, a united opposition in the Parliament voted down the proposal.

"It is as if a constant year of stress is finally over. What a huge relief." stated Linus Gustafsson, an e-juice manufacturer from who runs two online vape shops, when the voting was finished and the votes counted. 177 MEPs voted against the flavour ban and 122 voted in favour of the government's proposal.

Parliament voted down the flavour ban

But nonetheless, the the debate on the proposal a bit of a rush. Johan Hultberg (m), Clara Aranda (sd), Pia Steensland (kd) and Anders W Johansson (c) emphasised their support for a harm reduction perspective in tobacco policy. They pointed out the differences between e-cigarettes and tobacco smoking and that the aim of the policy should be to reduce the harm of smoking - not to make it more difficult for smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.

"A flavour ban on e-cigarettes is not in line with this. On the contrary, there are signals and studies that indicate that bans of this kind lead to the opposite - that more people start smoking - including young people - after the bans are in place. It is therefore a very risky proposal that the government has put forward." stated Johan Hultberg (m).

Accused "industry" of fake emails

Yasmine Bladelius (s) represented the government and was obviously not happy with the outcome in the Parliament. She also did not hesitate to accuse e-cigarette companies of influencing the decision.

"Members of the Social Affairs Committee have received thousands of emails from people claiming to have quit smoking using flavoured e-cigarettes. There are no studies to suggest that this is the case, on the contrary," said Mr Van Rompuy. Yasmine Bladelius.

She said that the people who contacted politicians in the committee probably do not exist in reality.

"Is it really true that Ann-Marie, 69 years old, sends an email at 2.30 a.m. saying that she has quit smoking with the help of a jotdgub flavour?" I wondered Yasmine Bladelius. "Of course the industry is behind these emails. If there had been real people behind them, it's a bit strange that a research team that wants to know more about this can't find a single person to interview. This is because there are so few people who manage to quit smoking with bubblegum flavouring, instead of using the evidence-based smoking cessation products available on the market" said Yasmine Bladelius.

"Listening to users"

Clara Aranda (S&D) Yasmine Bladelius replied that e-cigarettes are proven to help people quit smoking. And politicians cannot live in a bubble:

"I can decide for myself which emails are from real individuals and which are not. Of course, it can be part of a campaign, but as a politician I have to take a stand on that. And this doesn't just come via email, I also talk to people. I meet them in town, at meetings, discuss this with them and listen to what they have to say. I also have relatives who have managed to quit smoking with the help of these products," said Mr Perez. Clara Aranda.

Successful TasteBan.com campaign

According to Victor Bryn-Jensen, President of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Association, BELC, suggests Yasmine Bladelius comments that road users in Sweden have really made their voices heard. As previously reported by Vejpkollen, BELC launched the the website smakföbudet.se already in autumn 2021.

"The idea of the site was to make it easy for Swedish e-cigarette users to contact the right politicians regarding the flavour ban. It is not an automated channel, but information about the flavour ban, how it would affect companies and users, and a clear list of politicians in the Social Affairs Committee and their email addresses" says Vikcor Bryn-Jensen

According to BELC's statistics, a total of 2929 road users have used the site to send emails to various MEPs. 

"They could choose to write freely, or use a template where they filled in their age, how long they smoked, when they quit and what flavours they used to stay smoke-free" says Victor Bryn-Jensen

The text was then transferred to a ready-made email that was exported to an email programme, depending on the user's settings. 

"Then they clicked 'send' - if they were happy." says Victor Bryn-Jensen.

"No one is hiding"

According to BELC statistics, 348 people chose to use the simplified text. 10 downloaded their text in PDF format. 343 people chose to copy only the email address of one or two politicians.

"If Yasmine Bladelius If you don't believe that vaping with candy flavours is real, the next step is to visit a vape shop. It's not like anyone is hiding - either from her or from researchers" says Victor Bryn-Jensen to Vejpkollen.

Wants to invite Bladelius for coffee

A similar message was given to e-cigarette users Therese Ström, 38. Via her Tik Tok channel, she tagged Yasmine Bladelius and invited her for coffee.

"If you want to meet a voter, someone who is "real" and who is a fan of candy flavours, you are welcome anytime. I have been smoke-free for five years now, as has my husband. We are now a smoke-free family, with many friends around Sweden who have made the same journey. But we have two children, work shifts and find it hard to get away. I send emails when I can, even if it's three in the morning. Get in touch and we can have a friendly discussion about flavours" said Therese Ström via its CloudFamily_Official channel on Tik Tok.

Links to stakeholder organisations

Yasmine Bladelius in addition to being a member of the Social Affairs Committee, is also chairman of the The Centre for Alcohol and Drug Education (CAN)., an organisation with the aim of disseminating information about drugs and drug prevention measures. CAN has strong links to the sobriety movement and the National Association for a Drug-Free Society (RNS), as well as a number of associations that work in various ways for a tobacco-free Sweden (including the Professional Associations against Tobacco and VISIR). The chairman and vice-chairman of the organisation are appointed by the government. The association's reports are often used by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, interest organisations and the government to justify decisions or show statistics.

It was not clear in the parliamentary debate which research team had unsuccessfully applied for interviews. Vejpkollen has sought Yasmine Bladelius for a comment.

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8 Comments on “3000 vejpare ville stoppa förbudet – ”De finns inte på riktigt”

  1. Qualified (S)kitsnack and lie, I am one of those who have been involved and fought for us to keep our right to refuse cigarettes! Was also involved in the beginning of the film (Elvislook) that Linus made. Fellow Vapers are not liars, but REAL and very much alive people. They all have in common that they (WE=Fellow Vapers) have realised that smoking kills us, one puff at a time. That's why we became road warriors, and going back to the tobacco companies' LIES is not for those of us who have become truly informed over the years. In 2015 it was my turn to defeat the craving for smoke, and I have managed with Blueberry Sweep and Menthol since then. Just like my Fellow Vapers. We are all proud ambassadors of vaping, let's keep it that way!

  2. Gets so tired! There is research but yet she is lying through her teeth that this research would show the opposite, that more people start smoking? That you are not ashamed and have any professional pride as a politician in these matters. Do not stand and pretend that you care about people's health when you try to introduce bans that force people back to cigarettes and tobacco! Hypocrisy is called it🙃 then stand and claim that people who exercise their democratic right for fake..... embarrassing is just the first name. Moreover, it is not a giant industry with a world agenda... jeez!

    I have smoked since I was 14, today 28, and have tried to quit several times with and without various aids, medicines, snus etc, but only now with the realisation that I am smoke-free, do not have to smell shit and pollute my surroundings and do not have to let my children see me destroy my lungs and meet a premature death. That this means nothing to some politicians scares me. The resistance to facts scares me. They should urge all smokers to give up instead of undermining the freedom to smoke and the development of such a much less harmful alternative!

    1. Unfortunately, it is no longer about health in the true sense of the word, but about a puritanical ideology that states that one must not use any kind of drug or stimulant at all, even if it is fairly harmless. Some people were against smoking long before the major health hazards of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease were recognised in the 1960s. Today you can use nicotine without any major health risks, but still there are fanatics who are against it because it is nicotine in "enjoyable" dose and that it "resembles" smoking. Even though there is no indication or evidence whatsoever that vaping is harmful to others, it is "banned" in various places outdoors. Gabriel Wikström even wanted a ban on vaping on beaches and in parks:)).

  3. Isn't it a bit scary that we have politicians in parliament who indulge in conspiracy theories?
    The problem is that she is not talking about being smoke-free when she says someone has quit. She means completely nicotine-free.
    That our health has improved, that doctors recommend vaping, it doesn't matter because we are not nicotine-free.
    My oncologist told me after I finished my cancer treatment that I could vape as much as I wanted, as long as I stayed away from cigarettes.

  4. I reacted strongly to the claim that researchers have not found a single person who has quit smoking using e-cigs. If there is any research in Gothenburg, I would be happy to support them. I grew up in a family with smoking parents; my grandmother, grandfather, uncles and their wives were all smokers. So perhaps it is not so strange that I became a smoker myself. I started smoking when I was twelve and a half years old. Since I got interested in couple dancing in 1997 and very few are smokers among dancers and you are very close to your dance partner, you don't want to smell smoke. I therefore had to spend a lot of time during dance evenings washing and freshening my breath so as not to stink. Therefore, I tried several times to quit in recent years and with the help of everything the pharmacy and prescription drugs had to offer without success. But then at the end of October 2013 I got home my first e-cig and juice with 36mg nicotine and on 1/11 I was free from the stink sticks. Today I am sixty-five and a half years old, still using juice containing 1.5 mg nicotine that I mix myself. As I have adult children and a younger sister who also smoked, I have persuaded them to switch to vaping as well. Removing flavours would be devastating.

  5. The fact that she has links to the RNS, the temperance movement and similar movements says it all; these organisations have some kind of religious anti-drug and anti-pleasure ideology based on puritanism and totalitarian ideologies. This is as far as you can get from real public health work and the harm minimisation principle. But it is good that the "flavour ban" was voted down in the parliament and I continue to vape on the outdoor terraces:)).

  6. Well, if they were just looking for smokers who quit with the help of bubblegum flavour, I can understand why they had a hard time. 🤣😂🤣
    You should realise that Yasmine Bladelius is sitting on several chairs here.
    Not only does she represent S in the Social Committee, but she is also chairman of the Central Association for Alcohol and Drug Information (CAN), an organisation financed by the government to strengthen the work on the government's ANDTS (tobacco strategy). So they are paid to work AGAINST harm minimising alternatives.

  7. Interestingly, it seems that Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar uses a vape instead of smoking🙂I'm listening to Val 2022 | Annie Lööf (C) interviewed in Morgonpasset i P3 on Podbean, check it out! (edit: changed to the correct link: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-mf3xk-14eab8c9?utm_campaign=w_share_ep&utm_medium=dlink&utm_source=w_share - time: from 2:30 - reds adm :-)) Yet her party is against harm minimisation and in favour of puritanism and paternalism by voting for ridiculous and symbolic "road bans" in various outdoor locations and flavour bans in e-juices.

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