Most disposable e-cigarettes sold in Switzerland break the law, study finds

Most disposable e-cigarettes sold in Switzerland break the law, study finds

In a study, the Swiss Association for the Prevention of Smoking (AT Switzerland) has revealed that the “vast majority” of disposable electronic cigarettes sold in the country do not comply with the law. They found that many exceed nicotine concentration and capacity rules.

Disposable vapes in Switzerland break capacity rules

Under Swiss law, all disposable electronic cigarettes cannot have a capacity of more than 2 millilitres of liquid. This means that they should run out of nicotine after 600 draws.

However, according to AT Switzerland, more than half of electronic cigarettes sold in the alpine nation in stores and on the internet break the rule, meaning people can use the cigarettes a lot more frequently before having to buy another. Disposable e-cigarettes offering up to 2.500 puffs are “commonly available” across Switzerland, the organisation noted. In the most extreme case, an e-cigarette promising 16.000 puffs was available online, 15 times over the legal limit.

Many e-cigarettes contain too much nicotine

At the same time, AT Switzerland found a large number of disposable e-cigarettes exceed the limit for the amount of nicotine they can offer. Swiss law states that e-cigarettes cannot contain more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per ml of vape smoke. However, the organisation found several sites online that offer cigarettes with a much higher nicotine concentration, up to 50 mg / ml. 

AT Switzerland added that it is “easy” to order non-compliant e-cigarettes online and have them delivered to Switzerland through the post. They concluded that every site that they analysed, including the Swiss online store Galaxus, sold an e-cigarette that broke the law.

While e-cigarettes generally contain fewer toxic chemicals than tobacco-based products, the nicotine present within them is still highly addictive. Consuming excessive amounts of nicotine has also been linked to various cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.

Swiss suppliers take illegal e-cigarettes off the shelves

In response to the findings, Galaxus, a firm owned by Swiss supermarket Migros, confirmed that it was taking all the offending cigarettes off its website. A spokesperson told 24 Heures that they would automatically take illegal e-cigarettes off its platform from now on, and thanked AT Switzerland for bringing the issue to their attention.

For their part AT Switzerland called on the Swiss government to take the issue of illegal e-cigarettes more seriously. They concluded that their findings have been sent to all 26 cantons so that they can take action against those who sell illegal e-cigarettes.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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