In light of the TPD which is thought to be introduced around May, 2016, Germany have drafted plans to ban a number of e liquid flavours, including menthol.
Germany are famous for blindly following rules and it looks like they plan to do the same with the TPD. As of yet the UK have no concrete plans on what they are going to do with regards the TPD, but if they plan on following Germany, then we could see the end of one of our favourite e liquid flavours.
Menthol is a natural product found in mint plants such as peppermint and spearmint. It acts as a cooling agent and is often used to relieve minor pain and infections. It’s been used in tobacco since 1924 and gained in popularity throughout the 1950s. Since then it’s been popular with smokers who believe that somehow smoking menthol cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but of course they carry the same risks as any form of tobacco.
In 2012 Brazil became the first country to outlaw flavoured cigarettes, including menthol, and since then the debate has spread to other countries. In 2013, EU health ministers agreed to also ban menthol cigarettes and it’s likely the directive will come into force in 2016/17.
So, as the debate rages about menthol in cigarettes then of course the same argument would be applied to electronic cigarettes and menthol flavoured e liquid. As part of the TPD countries have the option to ban any flavours other than tobacco and as yet it seems Germany are the first country to implement this ban.
Is it likely the UK will follow suit?
Possibly yes, but in my opinion it won’t be anytime soon. The UK seem to be the only country who have come out strongly in favour of electronic cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking. Recently we saw India disapprove of e cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking, and the debate is still raging in many countries around the world.
As a personal opinion it baffles me how people against e cigarettes can’t see the common sense in how obvious it is they aren’t as bad as smoking.
There are 5 ingredients in e liquid and over 4000 in tobacco. Smoking is a global problem and there is concrete proof that it kills people. So why on earth would governments and institutions try to dissuade people switching from tobacco to e cigarettes? E cigarettes may not be 100% safe, but there are millions of people who don’t plan on quitting tobacco but they might just switch to e cigarettes, a proven safer alternative.
Britain can see this clearly, as to us it’s pure common sense. Conspiracy theories abound that Big Tobacco are behind many of these studies and manipulate the press, but the facts speak for themselves.
So, Germany with their slavish attitude towards rules have banned menthol e liquid. This is the country that opened their doors to an influx of migrants that created more problems than even they could imagine. So Germany isn’t a good example for us to be following.
Fortunately, the UK, most of the time listen to the people and make independent decisions regardless of how much pressure is applied by other countries. This is why I hope, even when the TPD goes through Britain will stay strong and keep a relaxed attitude towards vaping. And we’ll be able to keep one of our favourite e liquid flavours.