SWITZERLAND: Prohibition of vaping products containing CBD or THC.

SWITZERLAND: Prohibition of vaping products containing CBD or THC.

In a statement released yesterday, Helvetic Vape, the Swiss association of personal vaporizer users denounces the unnecessary prohibitions of federal officials concerning vaping products containing CBD and / or THC <1%.


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Last February the 27, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO), the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and Swissmedic published their Recommendations products containing Cannabidiol (CBD). The Helvetic Vape Association notes with regret that the federal administration is pursuing its strategy of prohibiting products that allow consumers to consume substances that are less risky and that are exempted by the Parliament from the tobacco tax in 2012.

As with nicotine, the administration shamelessly uses art. 61 of the new ordinance on foodstuffs and everyday objects (ODAlOUs), which reproduces art. 37 from the old ordinance valid until 30 April 2017, to prohibit the professional import and sale of vaping liquids, untaxed, containing CBD and / or THC <1%. But on the other hand, it duly authorizes products to be smoked, the most risky mode of consumption, by taxing them as substitutes for tobacco.

Missed opportunity

The federal government could have, it should have, made its life easier by adapting the ODAlOUs at the time of its recent overhaul to allow the marketing of harm reduction and harm reduction products and thus act in the direction of public health, its own national strategy Addiction and the will of Parliament. The administration also recognizes half-word in its recommendations its problem of categorization of products induced by the content of the ODAlOUS which has yet knowingly refused to correct: "It is impossible to classify raw materials containing CBD without knowing the dosage or the final product and the use for which it is intended. The situation is comparable to that of caffeine or nicotine: although they have a pharmacological effect, these substances are also used in products in different categories. Some raw materials may, for example, also be legally used to make scented oils. "

The prohibition of vaping products on the simple basis of a pharmacological effect prohibited by the administration for the usual objects coming into contact with the mucous membranes in order to protect the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, is not adapted to the evolutions of the society. Today, millions of people around the world have chosen to benefit from the effects of substances, such as CBD or nicotine, at lower risk by taking the decision to avoid smoking, which is extremely toxic to health. . Artificially blocking this major health advance, initiated by the user population, is unworthy of the authorities. Especially since many products on the market, coming into contact with the mucous membranes and which could be described as usual objects, contain substances having a pharmacological effect. For example, a can of caffeinated soda comes into contact with the mucous membranes. A cigarette, containing a very large number of substances having a pharmacological effect, comes into contact with the mucous membranes. An essential oil intended to be used in an evaporator finally comes into contact with the mucous membranes when it is breathed, etc.

The use of ODIlOUs article 61 to prevent lower risk products from being placed on the market on the basis of fuzzy interpretation is therefore highly questionable. This purely administrative qualification of vaping liquids, confusing content and container, is more the pretext than the reality of use and public health concerns. This is a serious problem that will eventually require a complete rethinking of the regulation of all legal and illegal psychoactive substances and their consumption patterns as part of the National Addictions and Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) strategies. In the short term, the Federal Commission on Addiction Issues must play its full role and steer the federal administration towards a rapid legalization of the sale of harm reduction and harm reduction products.

Bypass administrative fads

In the meantime, as with liquids containing nicotine, professionals in the sector must refuse to implement these arbitrary recommendations to force the administration to make a questionable administrative decision before the Federal Administrative Court (FAT). Among others, the Federal Law on Technical Barriers to Trade (LETC) can be invoked. As a reminder, two procedures are still pending before the TAF concerning vaping liquids containing nicotine.

For individuals, the Federal Law on Foodstuffs and Household Goods (LDAl) allows imports for personal use of products that do not comply with Swiss regulations. As with vaping liquids containing nicotine, users can legally import from abroad vaping liquids containing CBD and / or THC <1%. This safety valve thus allows consumers to circumvent administrative fads but at the cost of unnecessary complication and an increase in the price of untaxed and less risky products. For now, the administration has not published any private import limits for these products. Will they be fixed as arbitrarily and without any scientific basis as for vaping liquids containing nicotine?

Risk reduction is fundamental

Vape is a tool for reducing risks and damage. This risk-reduction information, scorned by the federal government, is fundamental to the public in the context of the prevention of noncommunicable diseases and the ongoing discussions on the legalization of cannabis. The combustion of any plant produces many toxic substances for health such as carbon dioxide, tars, solid fine particles, etc ... The vapotage being without combustion, it is, in any case, better to vapot a substance than to smoke a substance. This is true for nicotine and that's true for CBD and THC too. According to a study, published in 2016 in the journal Nature, by a team of the University Hospital Vaud (CHUV), led by Dr. Varlet, "cannavaping" is an effective mode of consumption, much less toxic than consumption smoked cannabis that can adapt more flexibly to the different needs of users.

source : Helvetic Vape

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