ETHRA Writes To Danes

Posted 26th August 2020 by Dave Cross
The group European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) represents consumer groups from across the European continent, promoting tobacco harm reduction products and policies. It has written to the Danish Health Minister, MPs and MEPs to explain why the proposed advertising ban will be damaging to public health.

Denmark says it is driving to place harsher restrictions on vaping and other alternative nicotine products in order to combat tobacco related disease and protect children and young people, “as they are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco and other nicotine products.”

The government says its proposed legislation, “intends for the Ministry of Health and The Elderly to tighten up tobacco legislation in order to reduce the number of smokers – in particular that fewer young people start smoking or become dependent on other nicotine products. It is also the Ministry's intention to ensure that smoking or the use of other nicotine products does not appeal to children and young people and that children and young people are not confronted with it in the context of their schooling.”

It aims to do this by implementing a range of measures such as display bans, hiding products in shops, and placing stricter bans on advertising and sponsorship.

Copying others in on the letter, ETHRA has written to Magnus Heunicke, Minister for Health and the Elderly. The organisation directly addresses the Bill amending the Act on the ban on tobacco advertising.

It says: “We are concerned that the Bill will deny Denmark’s 786.000 adult smokers a route away from the deadly combustible cigarette and will also make it very difficult for Denmark’s


250.000 vapers to remain smoke free.”

ETHRA points out that the government’s intention to regulate safer nicotine products such as vaping and snus as strictly as tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars ignores the huge difference in health risks they pose.

It adds that forcing companies to adopt standardised packaging will also pass the costs on to the consumers, making products more expensive, and increasing the risk that smokers will find this a reason not to switch.

The letter addresses in depth:

  1. The disproportionate focus on youth (and the resulting unintended consequences for adult smokers and vapers), that teen vaping is rare
  2. That teens experimenting with vaping is safer than the alternative
  3. That flavours are essential to help smokers switch successfully
  4. That people die from the tar in tobacco, not the nicotine
  5. That everybody, including smokers, “have a right to accurate information about safer products”
  6. And, increasing the cost of vaping deters smokers switching to the safer alternative

The full letter is linked below.



  • ETHRA & DADAFO’s letter – [link]
  • Danish Government’s impact assessment, in English, thanks to Peter Stigaard – [link]
  • ETHRA indsender også kommentar til EU-kommissionen”, DADAFO – [link]
  • DADAFO – [link]
  • ETHRA – [link]
  • ETHRA Calls For Help – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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