Ban Disposable E-Cigarettes: Swiss National Council Passes Motion

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    On June 12, the Swiss Federal National Council passed a motion with 122 votes in favor, 63 against, and 4 abstentions to ban disposable e-cigarettes, also known as Puff Bars. The motion, proposed by Christophe Clivaz of the Green Party, aims to amend the Federal Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes Act, prohibiting the sale of single-use e-cigarettes while allowing rechargeable ones to remain on the market.

    Proposed Ban on Disposable E-Cigarettes

    Amendment to Existing Law

    The motion seeks to amend the Federal Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes Act to specifically target the sale of disposable e-cigarettes. Rechargeable e-cigarettes will not be affected by this ban.

    Rationale for the Ban

    Christophe Clivaz, in his speech, highlighted several concerns associated with disposable e-cigarettes:

    • Attraction to Youth: Bright colors and sweet fruity flavors make Puff Bars particularly appealing to young people.
    • Addiction and Health Risks: These products quickly lead to addiction and contain carcinogens, posing a significant public health threat.
    • Environmental Impact: Disposable e-cigarettes contribute to ecological problems due to their plastic, electronic, and chemical components.

    Support and Opposition

    Support for the Motion

    The motion received significant support, with 122 votes in favor. Proponents emphasize the health risks and environmental impact of disposable e-cigarettes.

    Opposition and Abstentions

    There were 63 votes against and 4 abstentions. Some lawmakers and stakeholders may have concerns about the practical implications of the ban and its potential impact on the market.

    Key Points Raised During the Debate

    Health and Addiction

    Clivaz displayed a Puff Bar during his speech to illustrate how these products are designed to attract young users. He pointed out the high addiction potential and the presence of carcinogens in these e-cigarettes.

    Environmental Concerns

    Clivaz also stressed the environmental hazards posed by disposable e-cigarettes. These products are often discarded improperly, contributing to pollution.

    Government’s Position

    Federal Councilor Elisabeth Baume-Schneider

    Baume-Schneider acknowledged the issues posed by Puff Bars, noting that 8% of young people aged 15 to 19 use these products at least once a month. She mentioned that new legislation effective this fall would ban sales to minors and restrict advertising.

    Prematurity of the Motion

    Baume-Schneider argued that the government already has the legal basis to prohibit disposable products but needs to review such measures for compatibility with international obligations. She suggested that the motion might be premature.

    Next Steps

    The motion will now be reviewed by the Federal Council, which will consider its implications and compatibility with existing laws and international obligations.

    Implications of the Ban

    Reducing Youth Access

    Banning disposable e-cigarettes aims to reduce the availability of these products to young people, addressing health concerns related to nicotine addiction and exposure to carcinogens.

    Public Health Benefits

    The ban could lead to broader public health benefits by reducing overall e-cigarette consumption and associated health risks.

    Waste Reduction

    Prohibiting single-use e-cigarettes could significantly reduce plastic and electronic waste, addressing environmental concerns associated with improper disposal.

    International Context

    Other countries, including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Ireland, and Belgium, have also implemented or are considering similar bans, indicating a broader trend towards stricter regulation of disposable e-cigarettes.


    What does the new motion propose?

    The motion proposes to amend the Federal Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes Act to ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes while allowing rechargeable e-cigarettes to remain on the market.

    Why are disposable e-cigarettes being targeted?

    Disposable e-cigarettes are targeted due to their appeal to young people, high addiction potential, health risks from carcinogens, and environmental impact from improper disposal.

    What are the next steps for the motion?

    The motion will be reviewed by the Federal Council, which will consider its compatibility with existing laws and international obligations before making a final decision.

    How will the ban impact public health?

    The ban aims to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes, thereby lowering addiction rates and associated health risks, and contributing to broader public health benefits.

    What are the environmental benefits of the ban?

    Prohibiting single-use e-cigarettes could reduce plastic and electronic waste, addressing environmental concerns from improper disposal.

    How might the market respond to the ban?

    The e-cigarette market may see disruptions, with businesses needing to adjust their product offerings to comply with the new regulations. This could lead to a shift towards rechargeable e-cigarettes.