It’s the second time in three years that the world’s largest cigarette industry has suffered a major setback.
Last year, the European Union voted to scrap its ban on e-cigarettes in the bloc.
But this time, the e-cigarette industry in the Netherlands and Denmark is not only facing a major blow but also an unexpected threat: a proposal by the Dutch parliament to repeal the country’s current cigarette ban.
As part of the government’s plan to tackle smoking, the Dutch government recently announced a plan to ban e-cigs from public places.
The plan would allow anyone 21 and older to buy e-liquids at participating shops.
But that could soon change.
The Dutch Parliament voted last week to repeal a previous ban on smoking in public places, saying that “the existing law will not protect the health of Dutch smokers.”
The move has outraged the Dutch industry, which had already lost a huge amount of money in recent years due to the ban.
And while the industry has promised to fight the repeal, the decision comes at a very critical time for the industry.
“It’s a sad day for the e cigarette industry,” said Kristoffer Jonssen, CEO of the Dutch Tobacco Industry Association.
“The new laws were not designed for the cigarette market.”
Jonssen says the new legislation will force the industry to cut corners, leading to lower quality cigarettes and less smoking.
And that could hurt the industry, he said.
“This is a sad moment for the Dutch cigarette industry and for smokers,” he said, adding that the tobacco industry has already seen a huge drop in sales due to e-cig bans.
Since the government introduced the ban in 2014, the cigarette sector has lost more than $5 billion, according to Jonsens estimates.
The Dutch tobacco industry lost $4.2 billion in 2016 alone.
The new law, which is slated to be discussed at a meeting of the European Parliament later this week, will allow e-smokers to purchase e-liquid at the participating shops, but will not allow the sale of e-juices, which are not regulated by the European Commission.
In an attempt to make sure the ban is not overturned, the EU has offered the Netherlands up to $9.3 billion in aid over a three-year period, but that amount is not being used as part of a general funding package.
The government is also threatening to block any funding from reaching the industry in future years.
The EU also has plans to cut the amount of tobacco products that can be sold in the country, with the aim of reducing smoking rates by about 20 percent by 2025.
Even though the EU is now calling on the Dutch to allow e, it has also been pushing for the tobacco market to stay strong, as it is not a member of the EU’s “Troika,” the EU Commission, the U.K., France and Germany.
So far, the government has refused to allow the tobacco companies to purchase tobacco products from the EU.
If the government does not immediately approve the Dutch legislation, it will have to spend the next three years trying to change the law to allow smoking.
The tobacco industry in Denmark has already been lobbying for the legislation to be changed in order to protect smokers.
In the past, the Danish government has supported the e cigarettes industry, but has been reluctant to go all-in on the ban, as many people are concerned about the effects of e cigarettes.
“We have been trying for a long time to have a smoking ban, and we just never had any luck,” said Jonsen.
“So this is the first time that the cigarette ban in Denmark is now in jeopardy.”
In recent years, the tobacco trade in Denmark’s largest city, Copenhagen, has grown rapidly.
A study by Danish government researchers found that the number of e cigarette sales in the city increased by 40 percent in 2016.
But in the months leading up to the vote, the number fell dramatically, as people started to get sick from smoking.
Meanwhile, e-digs have also become a major source of revenue for the Danish tobacco industry.
According to the Danish National Tobacco Industry Board, the industry makes around 10 percent of the countrys total cigarette sales.
E-cigarette sales have grown so much that the Danish Tobacco Council estimates that in 2019 the industry will make up around 40 percent of Danish tobacco revenue.
The new Dutch legislation is the latest blow for the European Tobacco and Related Products Directive, which was adopted in 2012 to prevent the spread of e and other tobacco-related diseases.
But despite the loss of billions of dollars in revenue, the rules have proven to be successful in curbing smoking rates.
According, smoking rates have fallen by about 15 percent since 2010.