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  • Writer's pictureMariia Chubareva

Vape Stores and Consumers to Adapt to the Upcoming Vape Ban

The Dutch government has decided to prohibit the sale of flavored vaping products from January next year. The Groninger spoke with those involved in the vaping business to find out how the ban will affect them.


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The Netherlands, together with a few other European countries, banned vape manufacturers from producing flavored products since July 1st. The vape stores were allowed to sell the remaining stock of flavored liquids and e-cigarettes until October 1st. However, later this year NVWA extended this deadline to January 1st, 2024.

One of the parties directly affected by the ban is vape stores. Rick Enninga (33) works at Pure Smoke, a local vape shop in Groningen. Rick says that the ban will affect small stores like his more than larger chains. “It’s an argument of scale. We have a smaller customer base, so it is easier for us to fall over and close shop.”


Rick Enninga © Mariia Chubareva

Although vapes will not cease to exist from January 1st, customers will no longer find familiar sweet flavors on vape shop shelves. Instead, tobacco-flavored vaping liquids and e-cigarettes will be available for purchase.

Rick finds it hard to predict what is going to happen on January 1st. He says that the most popular products now are disposable e-cigarettes with sweet flavors.


He further explains that sweet vaping flavors are popular amongst people trying to quit smoking. With those products off the market, Rick thinks there are two options. “Those people will either start smoking again and we lose those customers, or they will have to adjust,” he explains.


Floris Glasbeek, a 43-year-old local vape store owner, says the ban does not surprise him. Floris opened Limbo Liquids in Groningen in 2019 and claims that he included the ban in his business plan 3 years ago.


© Floris Glasbeek

“I predict we will lose around 20% [of customers] in the beginning, and then we'll gain them back. Because the alternatives we offer and the alternatives of mixing liquid yourself are just the safest and the cheapest options,” says Floris.

“We are a specialty store. So, people can buy the nicotine base with us. And if they choose to mix their own liquids, we have a selection of aromas that are safe to mix yourself,” he adds.

The premise for the prohibition of flavored vapes was to prevent underage vaping. After the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) research showed that flavored e-cigarettes are attractive to youngsters, the Dutch government concluded that those products serve as a “stepping stone to smoking regular cigarettes” for teenagers.

Adam Gliožeris, a 21-year-old student at the University of Groningen, has been vaping since he was 15. Although he admits that for him vaping did serve as a stepping stone for eventually trying cigarettes, he doubts the ban is going to solve the problem of underage smoking.


Adam Gliožeris © Mariia Chubareva

“The black market is so big. Even a few days ago, I saw a horrible site when I was going past the school. And there were a bunch of like, 13-ish-year-old kids, just standing outside puffing on these huge disposables with a bunch of lights and everything, which clearly were counterfeit disposables because those are illegal. And also, everybody had the same one. So, it's probably coming from the same dealer,” says Adam.

Both Rick and Floris also mentioned the black market as part of the problem of underage vaping which the ban does not solve. They agree that if younger people want to vape, they will find ways to do it.


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