Politics & Campaigns

Merci La Vape

The associations AIDUCE, SOVAPE, LA VAPE DU COEUR, and FIVAPE launched the MERCI LA VAPE operation in May and have gathered nearly 40,000 responses

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The associations AIDUCE, SOVAPE, LA VAPE DU COEUR, and FIVAPE launched the MERCI LA VAPE operation on May 31. The petition has already gathered nearly 70,000 signatures and will continue until December 31 with the goal of reaching 100,000 supporters. The questionnaire closed on September 30, and the organisations are unveiling a first summary before the publication of the white paper in early 2024.

The associations state: “We closed the survey at the end of September with almost 40,000 responses. Today we are publishing the first salient data from this survey.

  • with 40,000 respondents, this survey represents one of the largest ever conducted on a population of vaping product consumers (98% of respondents). The scale
    of participation establishes the robustness of the results.
  • Faced with threats of flavour bans (except tobacco) and taxes on vaping products, over 50% of vapers state that they would turn to alternative sources
    of supply (black market, purchases from abroad... without any quality control or compliance with regulations) and 25% state that they might start smoking
    cigarettes again
  • 63% of respondents feel that they have been misinformed about vaping by French health agencies.

“The associations AIDUCE, SOVAPE, LA VAPE DU COEUR, and FIVAPE wish to alert the authorities to the significant health risks of banning flavours and taxing vaping.
“Furthermore, the denigration of vaping and the clear misinformation of the public, especially millions of smokers, regarding the actual risk reduction of vaping compared to smoking tobacco and the real benefits of vaping instead of smoking, need to be urgently addressed, given the smoking rate in France, which is significantly higher than its European neighbours

The Survey synthesis (in French) is online on the Sovape website - https://www.sovape.fr/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/SYNTHESE-enquete-Merci-la-vape-2311.pdf

The petition made four key demands:

NO to flavour bans

  • Condemning former smokers to only tobacco flavour is absurd; it is the diversity of flavours that facilitates tobacco cessation. Proof of this is that 95% of vapers use at least one flavour other than tobacco. Flavours should remain available within a regulated and controlled framework. The manufacturing of e-liquids and their commercialization by professionals ensure the best guarantees of safety for users.

NO to taxes

  • Imposing excessive taxes on a device that helps people quit smoking is unfair. Neither nicotine substitutes, medications, hypnosis, auriculotherapy, nor quack remedies are subject to additional taxes. Taxes should not be a barrier to vaping. The VAT on vaping should be reduced to 5.5%, similar to nicotine substitutes. This would facilitate access for the most disadvantaged, who are most affected by smoking.

STOP the denigration

  • 8 out of 10 French people do not know that vaping is much less risky than smoking. This perception, contrary to scientific knowledge, keeps smokers trapped in tobacco use. The denigration must stop. It discourages both vapers and smokers who could find a solution to quit smoking through vaping.

STOP the misinformation

  • The public has the right to fair, clear, and appropriate information about vaping. Implementing a pragmatic public health policy against smoking goes hand in hand with responsible information. In the face of the scourge of smoking, which prematurely kills 75,000 people every year in France, vaping is not a problem, it is a solution. To quit smoking, everyone should be free to choose their path and, if they wish, choose vaping without obstacles.
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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