The government of Slovenia has proposed new legislation banning the sale of vaping products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol. If approved by parliament, Slovenia would become the latest European country to restrict vape flavors. Here’s an overview of the proposed law and what it could mean for Slovenian vapers.
The Flavor Ban Amendment
The amendment to Slovenia’s tobacco control law was submitted to the National Assembly for consideration. It would prohibit all non-tobacco and non-menthol flavored vaping products, including both nicotine and nicotine-free options. Flavored heated tobacco products would also face restrictions.
The law must still be voted on and approved to take effect. If passed, it would become active 15 days after official publication. Slovenia would join at least seven other European Union members with bans on vape flavors.
Vaping in Slovenia
Per the latest data, Slovenia has approximately 26,200 adult vapers, according to Knowledge-Action-Change’s Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report, representing 1.48% of the population. On the other hand, more than 400,000 Slovenians smoke traditional cigarettes.
The country also imposes a vape tax of €0.18 per milliliter of e-liquid. This adds around €10.80 tax to a typical 60ml bottle. The proposed flavor ban is the latest policy impacting Slovenian vapers.
Concerns Over Limiting Options
While the legislation aims to discourage youth vaping, some worry limiting flavors could make switching from smoking less appealing for adults. With non-tobacco flavors banned, adult smokers may be less likely to try vaping as an alternative.
Proponents argue the flavor restrictions are necessary to curb underage use. But opponents note that youth smoking rates are very low in Slovenia, while adult smoking prevalence remains high. They contend that restricting flavors for all ages goes too far.
Ongoing Debate Over Vaping Policies
The proposed flavor limitations have sparked continued debate over balancing youth protections with ensuring adult access to safer nicotine products. However, Slovenia has so far avoided more stringent policies like an outright sales ban on vaping devices and e-liquids implemented in some countries.
For now, vapers and industry representatives will watch closely as parliament weighs approval of the flavor restrictions. The legislation highlights the ongoing challenges of crafting vaping policies amidst a complex landscape.