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The Dutch government considers vaping for under-18s more harmful than thought

Electronic cigarettes and water pipes will be banned in the Netherlands for children under 18 from next year

The Dutch government has stated, this week, that vaping products were more harmful than thought and decided to ban e-cigarettes and water pipes for teenagers. The Netherlands will ban advertising of the vaping products when the new law comes into force in May 2016, and e-cigarettes will be subject to new safety requirements, their packaging will have to carry health warnings.

The health state secretary, Martin Van Rijn, declared: “With this ban I want to protect young people from the damage e-cigarettes cause. I also want to avoid young people thinking that these e-cigarettes in hip colors are normal”.

The government’s decision is motivated, according to Reuters, by the recent publication of a report by the Dutch food safety and public health institutes showing that e-cigarettes were more damaging to health than expected, on the one hand, and from a recent US study showing that the e-cigarette may be a gateway to tobacco for the teenagers and the young adults, on the other hand.

The ban itself is not surprising, since most countries have decided, in agreement with the EU TPD, to prevent children from accessing vaping products. But recent surveys in the UK and in France, however, show that the e-cigarette may not be considered a gateway to tobacco and this position is surprising from the Netherlands, a country that have demonstrated a certain maturity with respect to soft drugs’ consumption on the territory.