It is difficult to make sense of the various vaping policies throughout European. In order to inform the public, the European Policy Information Center (Epicenter) has published a report on the current state of European vaping policies. This reports gives an exhaustive overview of how different countries throughout the European Union view the e-cigarette.
The report, “Nanny State Index 2018 — Nicotine Supplement”, is 72-pages long. The report highlights the fact that European vaping regulations are becoming more and more stringent. This situation, however, seems illogical, since the restrictions applied do not benefit the general public.
In 2016, Italy and Portugal were the only European countries that had a vaping tax. Today, 12 members of the EU have implemented similar taxes.In just two years, three additional countries have banned the electronic cigarette in public spaces. These decisions contradict common sense, as the electronic cigarette is “95% safer than tobacco.”
Ranking the most tolerant countries
The report also provides a useful ranking of individual member states’ respective policies. Depending on the each individual country’s anti-vaping policies, the report attributes a point system to each country. Countries with the highest number of points are considered the least tolerant.
The report reveals that the most liberal country in Europe for e-cigarette policies is Sweden (15 points), by a long shot. There is a tie for second place, with three countries garnering 23 points: Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. France is currently the eighth most tolerant country in Europe, having the same number of points as Slovakia (33 points).
The most draconian countries in Europe are Hungary (73 points) and Finland (76 points). The report underlines the fact that increasingly drastic laws throughout Europe have begun targeting the electronic cigarette. At the same time, numerous studies continue to demonstrate the benefits of the e-cigarette as a nicotine substitute.