Belgium’s vaping law ‘still too vague’, Sciensano warns

Belgium’s vaping law ‘still too vague’, Sciensano warns
Credit: Belga

The law regulating the use of electronic cigarettes is still too vague, the Sciensano public health institute reports on Thursday.

The law "imposes restrictions only on the presence of nicotines in e-liquids. Other substances are not explicitly banned and therefore we still often find them,” Sciensano said.

"These are nicotine impurities, volatile organic compounds and diacetyl and acetyl propionyl flavour enhancers. The latter are safe in food but can be harmful when inhaled over long periods of time," said Sophia Barhdadi, a researcher at Sciensano, based on sample analyses.

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In total, the institute analysed 246 e-liquids dating from before (2013-2016) and after (2017-2018) the revised European Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) and its implementation in the Royal Decree (RD) of 28 October 2016.

It also turned out that there were "more impurities in e-liquids sold online. The e-liquids that we bought in official vape shops were of better quality," Barhdadi said.

Sciensano pointed out, however, that the 2016 Royal Decree has improved the quality of e-liquids, including more correct nicotine information on labels, the absence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (up from 10% in 2016) and a reduction in caffeine and flavour enhancers.

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