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Flavoured vapes could be banned in Europe under plan to fight cancer

If it is passed, it will be put into action come 2023.

In Summary

•The commission said it wants to ensure that less than 5 per cent of its population uses tobacco by 2040.

•If it is passed it will be put into action come 2023.

The European Union lawmakers are proposing to ban flavoured tobacco products, in a move that they say is intended to protect young consumers after a significant rise in sales of heated tobacco products.

The ban will not cover all vaping devices, only those that deliver heated tobacco.

"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 Stella Kyriakides, the commissioner for health and food safety.

The commission said it wants to ensure that less than 5 per cent of its population uses tobacco by 2040.

The proposal goes to members of the European Union and parliament members for review and if it is passed it will be put into action come 2023.

There are many different types of e-cigarettes, and thousands of different flavours on offer
There are many different types of e-cigarettes, and thousands of different flavours on offer

What is vaping?

In vaping, a battery-powered device called an e-cigarette, e-cig, e-cigar, or vape pen that resembles a traditional cigarette is used, with some looking like pens, pipes, or long USBs often with a mouthpiece at the tip, a heating element, electronic circuits, and rechargeable batteries—all in one device.

Weighing 30-80 grams, its portability makes it easy to have in purses, key holders, and pockets.

As the user sucks from the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a flavoured liquid solution called e-juice that fills the cartridges in the e-cigarette.

Holding it at the mouthpiece inhales the smoke into the lungs, which, in turn, causes a light-headed sensation.

A smoker puffs an e-cigarette.
A smoker puffs an e-cigarette.
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

The e- juice usually contains nicotine (an addictive drug in tobacco), propylene glycol, and flavouring.

The rise of vaping culture among millennials and Gen-Z is being attributed to the array of flavoured cartridges/ pods and vape products that may have tastes of watermelon, bubblegum, mint, strawberry, grapes, and yoghurt among other flavours.

It aims to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke, without the pervasive traditional smoke.

In Kenya, if the current budget 2022/2023 is passed, Treasury CS Yatani had in April during the budget reading proposed to change the taxation regime for liquid nicotine from the current shillings per unit to an excise duty of Sh70 per millilitre.

This is in a bid to make it less accessible to users, including school children and the youth.