Will Netherlands ban nicotine pouches? The Netherlands have recently been making changes to the laws surrounding the sale and manufacture of nicotine related products, such as E-Cigarettes and most notably now Nicotine Pouches.
Later this year, a ban on the sale and manufacture of flavoured e-liquid that contains any ingredients that is not on the “approved” list by the NL Government will come into effect, which could potentially cause a massive hindrance to vapers in the country who are using these flavoured e-liquids to abstain from relapsing and going back to smoking.
Now, Nicotine Pouches are the latest non-tobacco related product in the scope of the Dutch Government, with a consultation on legislation launched regarding the total ban on Nicotine Pouches being sold in the country.
The consultation period has now ended, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the reply to the consultation which saw several large organisations involved with harm reduction voicing their concerns that this is the wrong thing to do.
In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the build-up to this legislation coming out, and what this could possibly lead to if Nicotine Pouches are then banned from sale in the Netherlands.
Nicotine Pouches are already under restrictions in the Netherlands
If you didn’t already know, Nicotine Pouches are actually already under regulation in the Netherlands as of November 2021.
The Government bought in an effective immediate ban from the announcement which meant that Nicotine Pouches sold in the country could no longer contain more than 0.035 milligrams of nicotine per pouch. This was such a drastic cut, with the legal limit now being an absolute fraction of what previously was allowed to be.
The Government made a statement on these and said, “The product is harmful to health” and also referred to Nicotine Pouches as Snus, which you and I both know is factually incorrect as Snus contains tobacco, whereas Nicotine Pouches do not.
They also go on to say that Nicotine Pouches are referred to as “foodstuffs” and harmful foods are prohibited for sale in the country of Netherlands. They deemed them harmful to health due to the fact that “people can become addicted to Nicotine, and this also applies to young people”
Nicotine is in fact not harmful to a person, and there hasn’t been any scientific proof of Nicotine being harmful either, so their reasons for doing this do not seem to make sense.
The new proposals for a total ban on Nicotine Pouches
Fast forwarding to the end of 2021, and bringing things more current, and the Dutch Government made the announcement that they intend on fully banning the sale of Nicotine Pouches in the country. This would be done by classifying them under the Tobacco and Smoking Products Act, but the contradiction there is, Nicotine Pouches do not contain either tobacco, or give out any form of smoke whatsoever, so the fact that these would be classed under this Act seems a bit strange.
“This bill proposes to also bring nicotine products that do not contain tobacco and devices used to use such nicotine products (nicotine devices) under the Tobacco and Smoking Products Act. Non-tobacco nicotine products for oral use (such as nicotine pouches) will be banned.”
This means that E-Cigarettes will now be classed under this act, another product that does not contain tobacco or emits smoke thus making this also a bit illogical to be classed under the Tobacco and Smoking Products Act, and also now they want to bring Nicotine Pouches under the act, and not classed as “foodstuffs” anymore.
Why the ban on Nicotine Pouches would not be a positive move going forward
If Netherlands ban nicotine pouches, I think this would not be a positive thing for the state of affairs on people stopping smoking in Netherlands, as not only will flavoured vape juice be banned, but also Nicotine Pouches, both of which are crucial tools for people to help them quit smoking.
The European Commission has already given an indication that they would not be opposed to banning the sales of Nicotine Pouches in the EU, similar to what they did to Snus in the early 1990s. And now that one of the biggest countries within the European Union is making the move to ban the sale of Nicotine Pouches, it might not be long before the EU enacts on their plans to ban them completely as well.
Nicotine Pouches are an absolutely crucial tool for people who are wanting to quit smoking and use them as a Nicotine Replacement option, and the same also goes for E-Cigarettes which some people will opt to use as well for the same purpose. And I believe it is wrong for people to be denied the choice to have these options available to them should they want to quit smoking.
The consultation process has now ended in the Netherlands on whether or not Nicotine Pouches should be banned, and it is now a case of waiting to see what the outcome was. And when the outcome is revealed, I’ll be sure to report it here in a future blog.