Following two years of deliberation and consultation, the Swiss Federal Administrative Tribunal (TAF) finally voted to allow the commercialisation of e-liquids containing nicotine. The law will come into effect in 2022.
For the vaping community in Switzerland, the semi-victory is bittersweet as there are many conditions attached to the change which are not going to be popular among vapers.
Current legislation in the country forbids the sale of any vape products with nicotine, much like in Australia. Despite boasting one of the world’s leading healthcare systems, smoking kills people in Switzerland as much as it does anywhere else in the world, with indications of 25 preventable deaths daily.
According to the Swiss Federal Public Health Office, the rate of vaping in Switzerland is incredibly low in comparison with it’s European neighbours, it currently stands at a mere 0.7 percent.
Vape shops do exist in Switzerland, however they are only permitted to sell zero nicotine short-fills. E-liquids containing nicotine have been widely available there on the black market however.
Those who have tried every other method of stopping smoking are content in knowing that as of 2022, they will be able to access e-cigarettes containing varying levels of nicotine, if they haven’t successfully quit by then. If you’re a smoker in Switzerland now, you may not be so pleased with the wait.
There is another benefit for the Swiss with this assertion however. This law will give way to a whole new economic sector, as it did in other European countries such as France, Denmark, Germany and the UK. In time, this will give rise to the continent’s newest vape expos and just like in the UK and Ireland, there will be an abundance of vape shops on every Swiss high street and with them, employment.
However many are not happy that hardware and other vape products will maintain the status of tobacco products under the law.
Under the law, the sale of any e-liquids to minors will be banned and manufacturers will not be allowed to advertise products by associating them with health claims.
The changes come just two weeks after independent Swiss non-profit organisation, The Helvetic Vape Association, sent a letter to the Federal Office of Food Safety and Veterinary (LFV) seeking clarification about a recent judgment passed by the Federal Administrative Court (FAC).
The association is in favour of reasonable and fair vaping regulations with a focus on smoking cessation and harm reduction.