After years of negotiations and especially waiting, Switzerland could well discover the concept of "free vape". Indeed, the Federal Parliament has just submitted to the Federal Council its second draft of the Tobacco Products Act, in which electronic cigarettes are also regulated.
The main problem in Switzerland is nicotine! At present, the sale of e-liquids with nicotine is prohibited in the country and the right to import e-liquid nicotine is limited to 150ml per order. If the e-cigarette market has been booming for years, the Swiss people can not enjoy it without having to use legal devices (creation of a club with a laboratory, a black market, etc.).
Thanks to this bill, the electronic cigarette could for the first time be the subject of a specific regulation in Switzerland. Because if the Swiss took the time, they decided not to follow the example of the European Union by demonstrating pragmatism. Indeed, it is a liberal solution adapted to the risk of a relatively new consumer good that has been selected. The legislator has not hesitated to admit that vaping is a real alternative to smoking, and the protection of consumer health has been an important factor in the preparation of the law.
As regards the health aspect, the sale of nicotine e-liquids should therefore be authorized in Switzerland for vials not exceeding 100ml and with a maximum nicotine level of 20mg / ml. Regarding composition, the law requires that the nicotine liquid be of high purity. To ensure good product quality Parliament follows the 2014 / 40 / EU directive on tobacco products. Added to this is a duty of self-control of the actors of the vape before the placing on the market of a product as well as an obligation of notification to the authorities (OFSP) of any new product put on the market. Warnings will also appear on the packaging of e-liquids with nicotine.
Clearly, Switzerland would adopt flexible legislation modeled on the European Tobacco Directive. Limiting nicotine e-liquids to 100ml maximum proves that Switzerland has understood the value of vaping.
Regarding advertising, the draft Swiss law imposes quite significant restrictions. Although nicotine-free e-liquids remain under the Food Act, the provisions of the draft law on advertising and the protection of minors apply to this as well. The Swiss legislator considers that the advertising of one of the two products will undeniably have an advertising effect on the other, which is why it has chosen to apply the advertising restriction to both e-liquids with and without nicotine. The advertising restrictions in the bill are specifically designed to protect minors.
Advertising is allowed on the internet only on paid sites that are not directly aimed at minors or whose access is restricted to adults. In sales outlets advertising should not be near treats and should be more than 1,2m high. E-liquid advertising with nicotine must also be accompanied by a warning. The last word, however, goes to the cantons who remain competent in the field and can set more binding rules.
Finally, the draft law should protect minors. Parliament has set the age limit at 18 years. Any sale or delivery of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine to minors is prohibited. This prohibition must be indicated in a visible and legible manner within the place of sale. The cantonal authority may make test purchases made by minors in order to ensure the control of the respect of the prohibition of sale to minors.
ON THE ROAD TO THE FREE VAPE IN SWITZERLAND!
If this draft law is good news for the world of vape in Switzerland, it must still be adopted. If that were the case, the country would finally have access to nicotine e-liquids and it would be a small revolution! Everything is not rosy but the Federal Parliament seems to have made strong choices to promote a kind of "free vape" in a country where tobacco is a state religion.