The first Swiss e-cigarette fair opens tomorrow in Montreux. A review of the practices, legislation and health aspects of vaping.
«The sale of nicotine liquids for the electronic cigarette is totally illegal in Switzerland, but almost all businesses do it", Explain Thierry Wyss, one of the organizers of Swiss Vaping Days in Montreux. This regulation only affects professionals. The private sector can freely import nicotine products from countries that authorize it or order nicotine for personal use over the Internet. The limit is set at 150 ml of nicotine per person per order.
To meet the needs of consumers, specialty stores circumvent the law by offering nicotine to their customers. They simply add 0,3% to 2,5% of nicotine in the different liquid flavors chosen by the consumer. "Some businesses have opened private clubs right next to the store, people sign up and can, via this association, nicotine the liquids they buy"Continues Thierry Wyss.
On the side of professionals in the sector, it's radio silence! Nobody wants to address the issue. For the teacher Jacques Cornuz, Director of the Lausanne University Medical Polyclinic and head of the National Stop Smoking Program «Living without tobacco»:«It's a secret of Polichinelle, it is likely that many smokers know it! And so much the better.»
«Yes, I am aware, that is why, in the face of this reality principle, the future federal law on tobacco products (LPTab) plans to authorize the sale of nicotine liquids."Says Karim Boubaker, cantonal doctor.
"JI do not think shops would survive without doing that. I think they're good at providing nicotine to people who want to quit, even if they're breaking the law."Judge on his side Olivier Théraulaz, President of Helvetic Vape, Swiss Association of Personal Vaporizer Users.
The electronic cigarette is not considered legally a tobacco product. It is governed by the Food Act. A new Tobacco Products Act (LPTab), best provided for 2018 and including the authorization of nicotine liquids, is in preparation. A project that stuck under the Dome. The Council of States voted to send it back to the Federal Council, an opinion that is not shared by the National Public Health Commission, which wants the law to be debated in parliament. In the event of a negative vote by the National Council in December, or if the Upper House confirms its first referral in the spring, the project would return to the Federal Council and the deadline could be extended to 2021.
This law does not completely satisfy Olivier Théraulaz: "To remove the black market from nicotine, it is necessary to allow nicotine liquids in Switzerland. However, the project also aims to assimilate the e-cigarette to tobacco products. It is ridiculous to go in that direction, we would not be allowed to say that the electronic cigarette is better for health than another tobacco product, otherwise it would be considered advertising.»
Professor Jacques Cornuz is more mixed on the question: "Even though vaping is considered a tobacco product in this text, it is better to have this law than no framework at all.»
«According to a serious British study, the risk to health is reduced by 95% with the electronic cigarette compared to a conventional cigarette, if the consumer stops smoking completely"Argues Professor Jacques Cornuz. A figure also put forward at the beginning of the month by Simone Buchmann, spokesperson of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) in the columns of the Germanic edition of minutes 20. This figure is the result of a report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom. A study tempered by the cantonal doctor, Karim Boubaker: "The results of this study have been somewhat criticized. Although risk reduction is currently widely accepted, it remains difficult to quantify.»
For the sellers of e-cigarettes, no doubt, most have got rid of their addiction with the vaping products they offer. "The e-cigarette is the invention that can save the most life in the 21st centurysays Stéphanie Ceppi, from Vap-E Shop in Vevey. Some pulmonologists or general practitioners send us their patients.Professor Jacques Cornuz is one of them. "I urge my patients to visit vaping shops, I need them on specialized websites and forums to learn. I also talk about e-cigarettes to my students in my classes. I think that on this subject, it is necessary to be proactive.»
Is the new Philip Morris iQOS system, which is heating a small compressed cigarette, competing with the world of vaping? "I think the one who tried the vape is not going to go back on products of the tobacco industry"Says Stephanie Ceppi. An opinion shared by Olivier Théraulaz: «These are two different markets, each cigarette-dependent person who wants to quit must find what suits him. I am for a reduction in the health risk, even if it comes from the tobacco industry.»
source : 24heures.ch