Ukraine has become the sixth European country to pass a ban on flavored vaping products (except tobacco flavors). The law, which took effect July 31, also prohibits public use and advertising of vaping products.
The law was passed on June 1, according to Tobacco Reporter. Legislators in Ukraine claimed that banning flavors will reduce youth vaping. Some cited the unproven World Health Organization claim that vaping is a gateway to smoking.
More than 20 percent of Ukrainian adults smoked daily in 2017, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. Ukraine is not a country that should make it harder for smokers to switch to low-risk nicotine products.
Ukraine only restricted the legal age to purchase vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) last December. Before 2021, no law prevented those under 18 from buying vaping products.
Five other European countries also have flavor bans. In Estonia, Finland and Hungary, restrictions on non-tobacco flavors are already in place. Denmark’s flavor ban will take effect April 1, 2022. In the Netherlands, vaping advocates are still fighting a flavor ban, which is set to take effect July 1, 2022.
Unlike the countries named above, Ukraine is not a member of the European Union, but it plans to apply for membership in 2024. As part of a 2017 Ukraine-EU agreement intended to set the stage for EU membership, Ukraine has committed to align its laws with the EU’s. Eventually this will mean passing tobacco and vaping laws that use the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) as a baseline for vaping regulation.
No European country has imposed a complete vape ban.
Ukraine is a large country. Among European countries, only Ukraine’s eastern neighbor Russia has more land area. With 44.4 million people, Ukraine has the eighth largest population in Europe. It is the poorest country on the continent, along with Moldova.