The WVA was delighted to announce its initial members of the Advisory Board as Professor Bernd Mayer, Brian Marlow and Francisco Ordonez. It believes they will help broaden the Alliance, bringing in additional expertise, and ensuring that the WVA continues to fulfil its important mission.
WVA Director Michael Landl said: “I am delighted that our efforts to defend vaping and vapers will be supported by the extremely capable Advisory Board members who have joined us this month. They come from different parts of the world and have excellent expertise in their fields. I am looking forward to working with each of them.”
- Bernhard Mayer is a professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Graz in Austria.
- Brian Marlow is the Executive Director for the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, and the Director of Legalise Vaping Australia.
- Francisco Ordoñez is the President of ASOVAPE Colombia and the Asociación para la Reducción de Daños por el Tabaquismo de Iberoamérica.
The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) met for the third time to discuss lifestyle choices and cancer. WVA saw this as a great opportunity to drive home the importance of vaping in combatting tobacco-related disease.
Landl commented: “While we can’t be there in person, we wanted to make sure that MEPs hear us and see us. 700.000 people die every year in the EU due to smoking induced cancer but as vapers, we have seen first-hand how vaping helps to quit smoking. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan must endorse vaping as an effective method to help smokers move to a safer alternative and reduce cancer in Europe.”
During the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, a number of MEPs highlighted vaping and its potential with their suggestions, recommendations and questions to expert speakers. Italian MEP Pietro Fiocchi highlighted studies showing the much lower cancer risk of vaping compared to smoking, while MEP Tomislav Sokol from Croatia asked about how the concept of ‘harm reduction’ could help in fighting cancer.
Additionally, German MEP Peter Liese highlighted the need to ensure vaping is not as restricted as smoking saying: “Stop smoking is easy to say, but for those who are addicted it is very difficult. That is why I think we need to be a bit more open towards e-cigarettes. So at least we need to make sure that e-cigarettes are not more difficult to access than tobacco.”
Welcoming these encouraging interventions from leading members of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, Michael Landl added: “I’m encouraged by the increasing open-mindedness of MEPs to how vaping can help reduce smoking and help reduce cancer. It’s good to see MEPs Fiocchi, Sokol and Liese raising vaping in the Special Committee and I hope that over the next few months, the support for vaping will increase.
Speaking to the Special Committee as an invited expert, Dr Nataliya Chilingirova (Associate Professor of Oncology, Science and Research Institute, Medical University Pleven, Bulgaria) highlighted that vaping should not be as restricted as smoking.
In her intervention, Dr Chilingirova said: “Based on current evidence the levels of exposure to carcinogens [from e-cigarettes] are lower than those in the cigarette smoke. They are good options for current smokers who don't want to quit or cannot quit. I would suggest that the legal restrictions which apply to cigarettes should not fully be applied to heated tobacco products and other novel nicotine delivery systems. They could be used as harm reduction for heavy smokers and those who don’t have any other options.”
Currently 140 million people in the EU still smoke which shows the need for better alternatives to help people quit smoking. According to health authorities, vaping is 95% less harmful and twice as effective for quitting smoking as nicotine replacement therapies.
The demonstration was a part of the World Vapers’ Alliance’s BACK VAPING. BEAT CANCER campaign to rally the voices of the many who have already experienced the benefits of vaping first-hand and quit smoking as a result.
Calling on European vapers to make their voices heard, World Vapers’ Alliance Director Michael Landl concluded: “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is an opportunity and one we cannot miss. I’m asking every vaper across the EU to join our movement and to sign our petition calling on the EU to Back Vaping to Beat Cancer.”