Fontem Ventures reaction to NOS report on vaping products and reported sales to minors in the Netherlands26.04.19
Fontem Ventures responds to the NOS article and video regarding the potential ‘harmfulness’ of electronic cigarettes (electronic vaping products or EVP) and reported sales to minors.
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Amsterdam, April 26 – Fontem Ventures, a subsidiary of Imperial brands, based in Amsterdam and producing the leading e-vapour brand blu, has taken notice of the NOS article (1) and video (2) regarding the potential ‘harmfulness’ of electronic cigarettes (electronic vaping products or EVP) and reported sales to minors.
As a responsible manufacturer, we strongly condemn the fact that vaping products and ‘shisha pens’ are reportedly being sold to minors in the Netherlands. We call upon the Government to ensure strict enforcement of the existing legislation to ensure that all vaping products are sold only to, and used by adult smokers.
At Fontem Ventures we support and adhere to the highest product quality and marketing standards and encourage regulators to adopt and enforce such standards.
Although our products are currently not yet for sale in the Netherlands, in all markets where we sell our products, we make it very clear that they are solely intended for use by adult smokers and should never be sold to, or used by minors.
There is no evidence that the ingredients mentioned in the NOS video, such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, cause cancer. Vegetable glycerine is non-toxic and helps to produce the vapour. Propylene Glycol is also non-toxic and is used in food, cosmetic and medicinal products as humectants.
These two ingredients are then combined with natural or artificial flavours, to give the e-liquids their unique flavour. Whilst vaping products are regarded by a number of international health agencies as less harmful, in order to gain population level health benefits, it is important that smokers switch to and use them, if they decide not to quit nicotine completely. Flavours are important in facilitating this permanent switch away from cigarettes. Fontem Ventures believes no vaping flavour should be marketed or designed to appeal primarily to minors. Our marketing codes are very clear in that our intended consumers are adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.
According to the NOS report, vaping would be an “on-ramp” to smoking. This statement is not supported by recent scientific evidence which shows vaping does not act as a gateway to cigarettes. According to Public Health England’s 2018 report (3) on e-cigarettes in England, EVP contribute to about 20,000 successful new quits every year and the evidence does not support that EVPs are a gateway to cigarettes amongst youth.
Fontem Ventures agrees with the statement in the NOS report that electronic vaping products are less harmful than combustible tobacco products. This has indeed been established in independent scientific reports, and summarized in the annual report of Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom. Furthermore a Fontem Ventures study (4) shows that our products contain up to 99% fewer toxicants compared to cigarette smoke.
3 Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, 2018 – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684963/Evidence_review_of_e-cigarettes_and_heated_tobacco_products_2018.pdf
Senior Communications Manager
Fontem Ventures B.V.