Belgium to Ban Sale of Disposables


Belgium will ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes effective Jan. 1, 2025, making it the first EU country to do so, reports The Brussels Times, citing Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. The country has received approval from the European Commission for the ban.


Photo: Bennphoto


"The disposable e-cigarette causes a lot of damage to society and the environment," said Vandenbroucke. "This harmful product mainly targets our young people. I am therefore pleased that we can remove this from the market."


Vandenbroucke said that marketing for vapes is "very savvy" and "youth-oriented" despite sales of vapes to minors being banned in Belgium. Youth use is widespread, and in 2023, about three in four points of sale sold disposables to minors, according to an inspection.


"Belgium is playing a pioneering role in Europe to break the power of the tobacco lobby," Vandenbroucke said upon receiving approval for the ban from the European Commission. "This is another milestone in our fight against tobacco."


"We strive for a smoke-free generation and want people, especially young people, to be better protected and to come into less contact with tobacco or alternative smoking methods," Vandenbroucke said. "With this measure, we ensure that we remove an extremely harmful product from the market, which is also cheap and therefore attractive to young people."


Nondisposable e-cigarettes will still be allowed as many use them to quit smoking combustible cigarettes. "Still, we have been able to agree that they can no longer be offered with lights and other things to make them attractive," Vandenbroucke said. "It should not be a product to start smoking but to stop smoking."


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