European Cancer Plan Threat

Posted 27th January 2021 by Dave Cross
In a leaked document, shared with Planet of the Vapes, the EU Commission’s upcoming “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan” proposal considers vaping the same as tobacco, seeks to ban flavours, and could ban vaping in public. The Plan is due for launch on 3rd February is causing major concern amongst Europe’s vaping groups.

Europe's beating cancer plan aims to reduce the cancer burden for patients, their families and health systems. It will address cancer related inequalities between and within Member States with actions to support, coordinate and complement Member States' efforts.

World Vapers’ Alliance Director Michael Landl commented: “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is an historic chance to beat cancer and the Commission is about to botch it. Vaping is not the same as smoking and treating the two as the same is a mistake that could prevent thousands of smokers from quitting. What we have seen in the leaked plan is very concerning and I hope that the version announced will correct this flawed approach.”

The leaked proposal of the European Commission Europe Beating Cancer Plan looks to:

  • Extend taxation to “novel tobacco products”, including vaping
  • Extend the coverage of the smoking bans indoor and outdoor to e-cigarettes
  • Ban flavours

Michael Landl added: “We should be led by science and not by ideology on this issue. Europe’s Beating Cancer plan must acknowledge vaping is not smoking, and actively encourage smokers who are not willing or not able to quit to switch to e-cigarettes. Otherwise, the goal of eradicating cancer in Europe cannot be achieved.

“I truly hope that what the Commission publishes on vaping will look very different to what we see in this leaked document or the future for vaping in Europe looks pretty bleak. If this is what we get from the Commission, then I hope we see Members of the European Parliament push back against these misguided proposals.”


The World Vapers’ Alliance’s BACK VAPING. BEAT CANCER [link] campaign has been ongoing for 6 months now. Whilst there are voices in favour of vaping in Brussels and across Europe, the EU Commission seems to still fail to recognize the benefits of vaping.

Leaked Text

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan - Draft proposal Achieving a tobacco-free Europe

Tobacco consumption continues to be the leading preventable cause of cancer with 27% of all cancers attributed to tobacco use. [1] By eliminating tobacco use, 90% of lung cancers may be avoided.

Through rigorous enforcement of the EU tobacco control framework and its adaptation to new developments and market trends, including stricter rules on novel products [2], starting in 2021, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan will help create a “​Tobacco Free Generation” ​, where less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040. As an interim step, the goal is to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and WHO target of a 30% relative reduction of tobacco use rates by 2025 as compared to 2010. This would correspond to a prevalence of smoking of about 20% in the EU[3].

The Commission will continue to prioritise protecting young people from the harmful effects of tobacco and related products [4]. Tobacco taxation is one of the most effective instruments to fight tobacco consumption, particularly in deterring young people from taking up smoking. Decisive action will be taken to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco and related products by reviewing the ​Tobacco Products Directive, ​the ​Tobacco Taxation Directive, and the ​legal framework on cross border purchases of tobacco by private individuals. This includes working towards plain packaging and a gull ban on flavours, using existing EU agencies to improve the assessment of ingredients, extending taxation to novel tobacco products, and tackling tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, namely on the internet and social media.

By 2023, the Commission will ​update the Council Recommendation on Smoke-Free Environments, ​and recommend to extend its coverage to emerging products, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products and to strengthen smoke-free environments, for instance concerning outdoor public places. The Cancer Plan will also support Member States to improve enforcement of the existing legislation within their overall tobacco control strategies, including sales to minors and smoking cessation campaigns, enabling better implementation of ​the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. ​In addition, the EU track and trace system will be extended to all tobacco products by 2024

  1. acco-use-causes-almost-one-third-of-cancer-deaths-in-the-who-european-region
  2. For instance novel tobacco products, e-cigarettes, herbal products for smoking.
  4. According to the Eurobarometer data, the trend has reversed for youth smoking rates (ages 15-24) which went down to 20% in 2020, from 25% in 2014, following a peak of 29% in 2017.


  • Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan – [link]
  • The World Vapers’ Alliance – [link]

Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay

Image by Ag Ku from Pixabay

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