Denmark announces a bill that could upset the market for e-cigarette in the country.
An EU directive states that member states may not forbid the sale of tobacco.
The proposed measure is part of a new bill that the government believes will help reduce the number of smokers. If the bill becomes law, the current tobacco age limit of 18 would be moved up so that no one born after 2010 would be able to purchase nicotine products in Denmark for the rest of their lives.

The proposed ban would go into effect in 2028, when Danes born in 2010 turn 18. That year, the 18 year age limit would start being extended each year in order to prevent those born in 2010 or after from ever purchasing nicotine products.

“We’re ready to resort to drastic methods. If necessary, we are ready to ban the sale (of these products) to this generation by progressively raising the age limit,” said Denmark’s Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke (S) as quoted by Danish news agency Ritzau. “We’re not proposing a ban on using these products, but on buying them.”

An unlikely obstacle

However the Danish plan is now looking uncertain because an EU directive states that member states may not forbid the sale of tobacco. “It is based on this that the Ministry of Health concludes that a ban on sales of nicotine or tobacco products to persons born after 2010 or later would require a change to the (EU) tobacco directive,” said Heunicke.

The minister added that he was aware that there may be such “legal obstacles” to the proposal at the time it was presented by the government. “Of course we need a majority in parliament, but there’s also the tobacco directive,” he said. “As the rules are now, we could introduce it and roll it out until 2035. But after that the tobacco directive would have to be changed for us to continue the rules,” he said.

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