On the way to a tobacco- and nicotine-free Switzerland
The Swiss Association for Tobacco Control is the center of competence for tobacco prevention in Switzerland. As an umbrella organization for the promotion of non-smoking, it today comprises over 50 organizational members. AT Switzerland offers its members a broad network of experts and provides expertise on tobacco control and prevention. With evidence-based offers and the networking of the central actors, it is committed to a sustainably healthy and smoke-free Switzerland and at the same time offers the population a hand in quitting smoking and nicotine withdrawal.
An important field of action is the denormalization of the consumption of tobacco and nicotine products. This is because a large part of the population still regards the consumption of lethal tobacco and nicotine products as "normal". Furthermore, the protection of young people is at the center of its work and AT Switzerland would like to encourage smokers on their way to quitting smoking. Finally, AT Switzerland is very concerned to strengthen the protection of the population from passive smoke.
China bans fruity e-cigarettes – but not their export to countries around the world
China has banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes. The new rules mean e-cigarettes that have flavourings other than tobacco – such as fruity or menthol flavourings – cannot be sold on the domestic market.
They can still be manufactured in China and exported around the world, including to Switzerland, where Chinese-made brands such as Elfbar, known for its range of flavoured disposable e-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are popular.
The ban in China, which comes into effect this October 2022, follows a tightening of other rules relating to e-cigarettes, including a ban on selling them online and an order for packaging to include warning labels that say they are harmful to health and must not be used by schoolchildren. It comes in response to concerns about underage vaping in China and is likely to severely affect its domestic e-cigarette market, which had been growing rapidly.
These remarkable policy developments in China demonstrate a disturbing understanding, whereby policy makers in China are aware of the risks e-cigarettes and their flavours pose yet are willing to continue the profitable production and sale to other countries.
E-cigarette exports from China have surged in recent years, increasing 180% in value from 2020 to 2021, according to the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce.
In Switzerland, the president of the Swiss Vape Trade Association stated that since the beginning of 2022, sales of disposable ENDS have been increasing by 30% every month and that they already represent 30% of the total ENDS market. Thus, if the monthly rate of increase holds steady until the end of the year, Switzerland will have experienced an increase in sales of these products by more than 2,200% in 2022.
Astonishingly, no bans on e-cigarette flavourings, regulations on packaging or reductions in point of sale are being considered in Switzerland.