SOFIA – In a move to curb the appeal of vaping to younger users, Bulgaria has announced a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The prohibition, set to take effect from January 1, 2024, comes as part of revisions to the country’s Tobacco Act.
Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes or vapes, have grown in popularity worldwide as an alternative to traditional smoking. However, concerns have arisen over their appeal to younger users, particularly when flavored. Many EU countries are grappling with the regulation of these products, and reducing smoking in general, to ensure public health while considering the rights of adult users.
The Bulgarian Council of Ministers has submitted changes to the Tobacco Act to the Parliament, which, if approved, will halt the sale of e-cigarettes with distinct aromatic qualities or flavorings. This includes any component of the product, such as filters, paper, packaging, capsules, or other technical elements, that might alter its taste or aroma to enhance its appeal.
The proposed amendments will also outlaw alternatives to tobacco products containing nicotine substitutes that can be accessed by individuals under 18. This includes nicotine products packaged in pouches. The legislation cites health concerns, noting that consumption of such products can lead to a range of symptoms, from nausea and vomiting to more severe reactions like muscle paralysis, respiratory failure, and central nervous system depression.
According to Eurostat, Bulgaria tops the charts among EU countries with the greatest number of smokers per capita, with 28.2 per cent of the population consuming tobacco daily.
Source/s: Dneven Trud
Image source: Lindsay Fox / Wikimedia
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