The popular flavored e-cigarettes will be banned from October 1 next year. From that date, the liquids for vapes and e-cigarettes may only taste like tobacco. “My right to exist is at stake,” says Steven van Rooij, owner of Primera on Tongelresestraat in Eindhoven. “Half of my sales are vapes.”
The ban covers liquids for refills as well as pre-filled e-cigarettes and disposable vapes. Van Rooij opens a cupboard in his shop. “All different flavours. You can’t imagine if it exists. There are also possibilities to make your own aromas. But unfortunately, everything will be gone next year.”
According to Van Rooij, the problem is much bigger and users underestimate the consequences of the ban. “There is only talk of a flavor ban. What people don’t realize is that all tobacco varieties on the Dutch market also fall under this. Every tobacco variety has a flavor such as vanilla or chocolate, just like a real cigarette.”
Of the two hundred tobacco flavors that are in the cupboard, ‘exactly 0’ may be sold next year. success.”
“Users go illegal or go back to the cigarette.”
The owner of the Primera fears that many illegal products will come onto the market. “Users are forced towards illegality or go back to cigarettes. There is no other choice. The black market will soon emerge.”
It is expected that manufacturers of vapes will go to court together with the Electronic Cigarettes Association of the Netherlands (Esigbond). “Several lawsuits have already been conducted. But you always get the short end of the stick,” predicts Van Rooij.
He says the government is burying its head in the sand. “In England, the e-cigarette is included in the care package to get rid of smoking. Our government prefers to earn from excise duties on cigarettes.”
“I am convinced that this will eventually help people to stop smoking.”
Van Rooij sees a gloomy future. “As a young entrepreneur, I focused on these products for ten years. That is what I earn my living with. I am convinced that this will really help people stop smoking. I will soon lose all that. It is terrible for my store.”
The regular customers of the Primera store also regret that the flavors are disappearing. “I’m a smoker, but I want to quit. The flavors should have worked by then,” says one of the customers.
Meanwhile, another customer picks up two boxes of watermelon and strawberry-kiwi flavours. “My favorite flavours. They are super delicious.” He has also heard that the flavors will disappear in October. “Then I should quickly stock up on a large stock. I hope to get rid of smoking in the long term.”
Van Rooij sees it from a distance: “Stocks have to be increased, but hoarding is not yet necessary.”