On 12 June this year, the Swiss National Council gave a clear signal in favour of banning disposable e-cigarettes, more commonly known as "puffs". The decision follows a series of debates and expert publications that have highlighted concerns about the growing use of these devices by young people.

In May 2023, the Federal Council proposed rejecting the motion, despite acknowledging the problem. In particular, the Federal Council pointed out that the EU has no ban on these products. A ban would therefore create a new technical barrier to trade.

For Health Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, a ban on puffs would be premature.


In Switzerland, the legislative process involves several stages and various players in the adoption or rejection of motions and other proposals. When the Federal Council (the government) proposes to reject a motion but the National Council (one of the two chambers of parliament, the other being the Council of States) supports the motion, the following happens next :

1. Transmission to the Council of States.

The motion, having been supported by the National Council, is forwarded to the Council of States for deliberation. The Council of States will examine the motion independently.

2. Deliberation in the Council of States

The members of the Council of States debate the motion. They can choose to accept or reject it. If they accept it, the motion is adopted. If they reject it, the motion is rejected.

3. Resolving differences

If the two chambers (National Council and Council of States) do not agree on the motion (for example, if the National Council accepts it and the Council of States rejects it), a conciliation procedure is set up to try to resolve the differences. This procedure may involve further discussions and votes to reach a compromise.

4. Final adoption or rejection

If the two chambers reach an agreement, the motion is either adopted or rejected, depending on the agreement. If no agreement is reached after the conciliation procedure, the motion fails.

5. Implementation of the motion

If the motion is finally adopted by both chambers, the Federal Council is responsible for implementing it. This may involve drafting new laws or amending existing ones, taking administrative measures or other actions necessary to achieve the aims of the motion.

In short, after the National Council supports a motion rejected by the Federal Council, the motion is examined by the Council of States. The fate of the motion then depends on the outcome of the deliberations in the Council of States and, if necessary, the conciliation procedure between the two chambers.


Supporters of the ban, including Christophe Clivaz of the Green Party, who tabled the motion, put forward a number of arguments. The main concerns include :

1. Impact on young people's health 

Puffs are often seen as a gateway to smoking and can lead to nicotine dependency in young people.

2. Environmental impact

Disposable e-cigarettes generate a lot of electronic and plastic waste.

3. Non-compliance with regulations

Some puffs do not comply with legal nicotine limits and safety standards.


Instead of a complete ban, a number of alternative measures could be put in place to address concerns about puffs :

1. Strengthening regulations

It is essential to ensure that all puffs on the market comply with legal nicotine limits and safety standards. New Swiss regulations on electronic cigarettes and their derivative products will come into force from the autumn. These new rules impose precise limitations on the volumes of liquids containing nicotine. For disposable electronic cigarettes and single-use cartridges, the maximum volume is set at 2 millilitres per unit, with a maximum concentration of 20mg of nicotine per millilitre.

2. Education and prevention

Stepping up education campaigns aimed at young people is crucial to informing them of the risks associated with nicotine. In the same way as prevention campaigns against traditional cigarettes, a programme to educate adolescents and pre-adolescents about the health risks of tobacco and related products could be introduced as early as secondary school. Teenagers are often curious and test the limits, so an information programme could be more effective than a ban, which could make puffs even more attractive to them.

3. Access control

Strict measures to restrict the sale of puffs to minors are essential. This includes stricter age verification and restrictions on targeted advertising. Swiss producers and distributors of vape objects and products, such as Sweetch, have been committed since 2018 by signing the CODEX of the SVTA. This code provides in particular:

- Minimum age for sale : The signatories undertake not to sell vape objects and products containing nicotine to minors.

- Advertising: The signatories undertake not to advertise specifically to minors.

4. Waste management

Developing recycling and take-back programmes is crucial to reducing the environmental impact of puffs. All Sweetch stores have recycling bins so that used e-cigs and puffs can be collected and transported to a specialist recycling organisation. A recent survey shows that 85% of specialist e-cigarette shops take back all used products free of charge, compared with only 50% to 55% for other shops, such as kiosks or petrol stations.

Gen Fit Pod Vaporesso Vape


Although the concerns raised are valid, it is important to consider the benefits of electronic cigarettes, including puffs, as part of an overall strategy to reduce the risks associated with smoking.

1. Risk reduction compared to traditional tobacco

Puffs, like other e-cigarettes, offer a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes. The vapour inhaled contains fewer toxic substances than cigarette smoke, which reduces the health risks for adult smokers looking to stop or reduce their tobacco consumption.

2. Access to a variety of options.

Banning puffs could limit the options available to adult smokers looking for a practical and discreet alternative. Puffs offer an easy-to-use solution without the need for refills or maintenance, which can be crucial for some users.

3. Potential for reducing smoking among young people

Although puffs are popular among young people, it is essential to distinguish between experimental use and addiction. The majority of young people who try puffs do not develop an addiction. Strict regulation of sales to minors and increased education about the associated risks could be more effective measures than outright prohibition.


The Swiss National Council's decision to support a motion to ban puffs reflects legitimate concerns about the health of young people and the environment. However, it is crucial to consider the benefits of puffs in reducing the risks associated with smoking and to explore alternatives to a total ban. A balanced approach, combining strict regulation, education and waste management, could offer a more effective and equitable solution for all concerned.

Thank you for reading.

The Sweetch team