Vape Expo Raided in Italy
Vape Expo Raided in Italy
Italy has recently been going through a bout of political turmoil, with their most recent election ushering in a new configuration of parliament - this new government has meant tough crackdowns on the already heavily-regulated habit of vaping. In this article, we’ll look at the change in parliamentary government and the almost immediate effect it's had on the way that Italy has approached vaping.
Political upheaval is neither new nor surprising. Italy’s government has been changing hands continually since World War II, which has lead to uncertainty in regulatory reforms that are imposed by each passing government. In the 73 years since 1945, the government has changed hands a whopping 65 times.
Such head-spinning political turbulence can lead to change for better or worse, and in the short time since the Italian government has most recently moved from a center-left coalition to center-right leaning leadership, the vapor industry has already been the target of a massive raid at a vaping convention.
March 10, 2018 - six days after the latest paradigm-shifting election - a vaping convention/trade show in the northern city of Forli was raided by the police, according to Italian vaping website SkyVape. All products were seized and the expo was shut down, according to translated reports.
“Tomorrow the Fair resumes in line with the event without liquids only with [flavors] and hardware. Struck the stands of Smoking, Vapexpress and many others not known. They tell us that not even the lawyers have been able to do much because the preventive seizure has already been implemented,” said the report in SkyVape.
According to reports, the country’s finance guard, or Guardia di Finanza, conducted the raids first by having a pre-opening inspection and then seizing all e-liquids from participants in the expo; they even went so far as to tail convention attendees to see if they had e-liquid that might have missed confiscation.
Italy has already been known for having one of the more regressive attitudes towards vaping amongst European countries. They've heavily taxed vapor products, targeting e-liquid ingredients and sales along with the online sale of e-liquids. The heavy taxation implemented earlier this year made vaping products and e-liquid even more expensive than cigarettes.
Raids of this nature by state government officials have been more common in the southeast Asia, where Malaysian police have repeated conducted massive raids on vape shops in the country. The most recent raids were back mere weeks before this raid in Italy was reported. These were similar to raids conducted back in 2015.