Last February Sweden’s Ministry of Social Affairs announced plans of a vape flavour ban. Tobacco harm reduction groups are highlighting the repercussions this would have on former smokers. The announcement certainly took many by surprise, especially given that in 2018 Sweden reached a Smokefree status by endorsing the use of another nicotine alternative product.
In response to the proposal, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl, has recently said that if the measure goes into effect, the 150,000 former smokers in Sweden who are currently vaping instead, could be forced to switch back to smoking. “Banning flavours could force thousands of former smokers in Sweden to take up the habit once again. Research shows vapers are more than twice as likely to quit with flavours. If they are banned, 150.000 vapers – the equivalent of almost the entire population of Uppsala – would lose their flavours and could go back to smoking. This would be a major setback in the fight against smoking and its related illnesses.”
Flavours Matter – Flavours help smokers quit
To this effect, the WVA has taken to the streets with a billboard reading “Flavours Matter,” explaining how vape flavours help smokers quit cigarettes. The billboard was driven to the Parliament buildings in Stockholm and the following week the group displayed an art installation with the message “Flavours Matter – Flavours help smokers quit” also in front of Parliament.
“Last year, Dutch citizens rejected a flavour ban in a public consultation with a resounding 98% of respondents against it. Politicians have chosen to ignore their voices and now they’re at it again, risking the lives of up to 260.000 Dutch people, who could be pushed back to smoking in the absence of flavours,” said WVA’s Director, Michael Landl on the occasion.
“We’ve seen so much progress over the last decade, in terms of declining smoking rates in the Netherlands. Vaping flavours have been one of the most effective methods to quit smoking, with studies citing that those who vape flavoured e-cigarettes are 230% more likely to quit than those who don’t. But that route to smoking cessation may soon be banned if people do not speak up against this public health disaster in the making,” added Landl.