BELGIUM: The situation is not improving for the e-cigarette.

BELGIUM: The situation is not improving for the e-cigarette.

In Belgium, we are currently talking about a legal uncertainty about the e-cigarette and especially about the sale of nicotine e-liquid. We already see that some people are delighted with the dissipation of the legal vagueness by the arrival of the TPD (transposition of the tobacco directive) by May.


54760e973570a0fe4c5ab490If for France so far e-liquids that contain nicotine are allowed, in Belgium, things are not clear. Didier Willot, owner of several of these stores, has never had an official answer on this subject:« This is the complete legal blur! We made phone calls, sent dozens of emails but nobody, I mean nobody, could give us an answer. Therefore, I do not sell nicotine in my Belgian stores, even if my French site can sell to my Belgian customers".

On the cabinet side of the Federal Minister of Health, Maggie De Block , the tobacco expert Mathieu Capouet is more accurate: « The sale of nicotine with electronic cigarettes is illegal. We rely on the 2013 legislation for that. Nicotine can only be sold in pharmacies".


If some of the e-liquids can be bought under the counter or by correspondence via France, Didier Willot explains to us that everything and everything circulates on the e-liquid market: " « Products come from China, Ukraine, countries where there is no Electronic Cigarette Retailers Face Legislative Setbackcontrols. And there, we must be very careful! When we see that we can find in night-shops doses of two euros fifty, we must be wary: we do not know what's inside. We have already found acids, acethyl and other very harmful products that can damage the voice, it has already been seen"..

This situation is denounced by specialists such as Antoine Frémaut, a tobacco specialist in a hospital in Charleroi, who recommends caution: « Currently, few electronic liquids are of a good quality. And, therefore, there are liquids sold as containing a lot of nicotine and which do not contain it. And, paradoxically, there are liquids sold without nicotine and containing them! And the big problem is that since there are no controls, no liquid on the market is safe at 100%!«

For our part, we find it very sad to hear such speech knowing that many brands of e-liquid quite often offer comprehensive analyzes of their recipes, more we currently have many studies that tend to say the opposite of what can be said by this famous tobacco specialist in Charleroi. If he could give us concrete proof of what he says, it could help us understand his reasoning.


pubhIn the office of Minister De Block, we are well aware of these potential drifts. The market is booming since the appearance of this type of cigarette, in 2008, even if we are still far from the French generalization. The legislation will soon change, confirms Mathieu Capouet: « The Minister of Health is expected to sign and publish in the coming weeks a new Royal Decree transposing Article 20 of the new Directive 2014 / 40 / EU concerning the electronic cigarette with nicotine. Europe requests that it be transposed into national legislation for the month of May. We take a step ahead: in practice, this decree will apply ten days after its publication in the Monitor and allow the sale of e-cigarettes with nicotine.«

But this sale will take place under certain conditions including the following ones :

- Obligation to notify e-cigarettes by producers to the authorities
- Restriction in composition, especially with a maximum dosage of nicotine
- Health warnings on the packets
- Restriction of advertising
- Prohibition of internet sales.


As we understand, Antoine Fremaut, a tobacco expert, is not a fan of the e-cigarette, moreover he has not hesitated to give his worries once again based on the same words: " JI wonder about non-smokers, who might be tempted to test the e-cigarette. And then, what about the youngest? Is not there a fashion phenomenon that is created? Is the use of the electronic cigarette not a gateway to conventional smoking? We do not know. There are many young people who smoke e-cigarettes when they have never smoked traditional cigarettes. In any case, caution is needed: if it is a way to prevent the increase of smoking and it is a way to encourage smokers to stop, why not. But we still have little perspective.

Yet a step back, we still have a little bit, just learn about it before just talking about it!

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Editor and correspondent Switzerland. Vapoteuse for many years, I take care mainly of Swiss news.