Members of the European Parliament are much more likely to recognise the reduced risk of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine products if they have some knowledge of the subject, new research reveals.
A survey conducted by ECigIntelligence and TobaccoIntelligence found that 70% of MEPs with some knowledge of e-cigarettes considered them less harmful than smoking, against just 41% of MEPs with no knowledge of the topic.
“When it comes to politicians’ perceptions of new nicotine products, accurate information appears to make all the difference,” said Tim Phillips, managing director of ECigIntelligence and TobaccoIntelligence. “The MEPs with knowledge of these products generally realise that they carry less risk than smoking – but those lacking knowledge often don't understand that. The implications for policy across Europe are clear.”
The difference in MEPs’ attitudes was even more pronounced with two other new types of product, heated tobacco (sometimes called “heat not burn”) and nicotine pouches.
For heated tobacco, 74% of MEPs with some knowledge considered it less harmful than smoking, but only 32% of those lacking knowledge agreed.
And for nicotine pouches, almost all MEPs with knowledge of the products – 94% – considered them less harmful than smoking, but among those with no knowledge the figure fell to 26%.
The findings broadly demonstrate a similar trend from a previous survey of MEPs undertaken by ECigIntelligence and TobaccoIntelligence last year.
- ECigIntelligence – https://ecigintelligence.com/
- TobaccoIntelligence – https://tobaccointelligence.com/
- Full background on this research: How have MEPs changed in their views about new nicotine products?
- Article: MEPs on tobacco harm reduction and European cancer policy
- Article: MEP views on taxation of new nicotine products
- Article: UK plans for prescription e-cigarettes
- Research presentation: economic impact of novel nicotine products in Europe