The European Commission on Wednesday proposed to ban the use of flavoured tobacco vaping products in Europe because of concerns about their increasing popularity and health effects.
“With nine out of 10 lung cancers caused by tobacco, we want to make smoking as unattractive as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides in a statement.
The commission, the EU’s executive arm, said the ban was part of its ambition to decrease tobacco use in the 27-country bloc to less than five per cent of the population by 2040.
Vaping products can come in a wide variety of flavours such as bubble gum, chocolate and cotton candy, which critics say help attract younger users.
A recent Commission report decried an explosion in the sales of vaping devices in the EU, giving it the right to widen an existing law from 2014 on the prohibition of tobacco products.
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The report also said that a conservative estimate for 2020 put the share of retail sales for vaping products at 3.33 per cent of all tobacco products in the EU.
The proposal, which focuses only on flavoured vaping products, will now undergo scrutiny by the EU’s 27 governments as well as the European Parliament and come into force if it faces no objections.
In the US, a court on Friday put on hold the health regulator’s decision to ban vaping products by industry giant Juul Labs over safety concerns.
Juul came under fire for a surge in youth vaping over its marketing of fruit and candy-flavoured e-cigarettes, which it stopped selling in 2019.
In January 2020, US regulators said the sale of e-cigarettes in flavours other than tobacco or menthol would be illegal unless specifically authorised by the government.