ETHRA says: “Reduced risk products are providing a gateway out of smoking for millions of Europeans, but they face many threats. Today sees the launch of ETHRA, a new group formed by consumers themselves, to promote sensible regulation of innovative solutions for those who wish to continue using nicotine in a far safer form.”
Tobacco harm reduction is facing challenging times in Europe, as the EU Tobacco Products Directive review is already underway, and the WHO’s Conference of the Parties will be held in the Netherlands in just over a year’s time.
ETHRA aims to co-ordinate and amplify the voices of European consumers who have found a way out of smoking by way of products which are orders of magnitude safer than lit tobacco.
Carmine Canino said on behalf of Italy’s ANPVU: “We have always thought that through the right information and the diffusion of medical-scientific studies, the fight against combustion smoke could materialize quickly. At present, the need to join forces to strengthen our voice and counter bad information is increasingly pressing. We have always hoped for collaboration with associations sensitive to the condition of abandonment by the institutions in which the vaping sector is in many countries and for this reason we are proud to be part of the ETHRA.”
ETHRA partners will share information and coordinate action on regional issues, and support one another on national issues too, in keeping with five core principles:
- We support tobacco harm reduction
- We know from personal experience and science that a variety of delivery methods and flavours enhances the ability of smokers to quit and oppose any regulation that restricts this
- Regulation must always consider the minimal risks of harm reduced products versus the large risks of smoking and ensure that these are reflected
- We believe that the health and lives of adult smokers and ex-smokers should always be taken into account when quantifying the risk to young people
- Reduced risk products need to be affordable and there is no case to apply tobacco excise duties to products that offer a much safer alternative to smoking
“We are delighted to announce the launch of European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA)”, said Nathalie Durand of SOVAPE, a French consumer association dedicated to greater awareness of the benefits of e-cigarette use.
“Smoking rates in European countries which regulate safer products sensibly have been declining at an unprecedented rate, it would be foolish to obstruct this progress. ETHRA aims to represent the interests of nicotine consumers across Europe and to spread the word into states which are still sceptical about the benefits of harm reduction.”
Current ETHRA partners include:
- EU for Snus
- NNA Ireland
- NNA UK
Sarah Jakes, of the New Nicotine Alliance said: “Tobacco harm reduction has been an unprecedented success story in enlightened European states, yet the EU and the WHO appear eager to wind back the clock and impose harsh and ill-conceived restrictions on products which are saving lives. ETHRA is a welcome new consumer voice for the European region to fight for the rights of smokers and ex-smokers against counterproductive policymaking of nicotine use.”
European consumer groups interested in partnering with ETHRA should email: [email protected]