UKVIA says it is, “deeply concerned” that the European Commission is seeking to ban flavoured e-liquids, “in a move which could undermine the public health potential of vaping”. Speaking after the document was leaked, it added that it believes the EU plans for a “Tobacco Free Generation” will increase controls on e-cigarettes, “despite their proven value in smoking cessation efforts”.
It says the plans are, “causing concern amongst vaping industry leaders and harm-reduction advocates”.
As detailed in our other article today, this latest EU plan includes the following proposals, “all of which are out-of-step with the UK’s more progressive policies”:
- Classifying vape products as tobacco products
- Plain packaging
- A full flavour ban
- Additional taxation on vape products
- Further restrictions on advertising
- Further restrictions on promotion
- Further restrictions on sponsorship
- Further restrictions on the internet and social media
- A ban on vaping in outdoor spaces in line with the prohibition on smoking
- Somehow clamping down on under-age sale that are already illegal
- “Better enforce legislation” on smoking cessation campaigns
- Implementing a track and trace system
The Director General of the UKVIA John Dunne expressed his concern at the leak: “We at the UKVIA are seriously concerned by reports that the European Commission is considering such regressive action, which will likely reduce the positive impact that vaping has on people’s lives.
“While we completely support efforts to combat the scourge of cancer in our society, the creation of artificial barriers to harm-reduction products is clearly counterproductive. Adult smokers must be empowered to make positive change, rather than being discouraged.
“Cancer Research UK, along with the Royal College of GPs, have confirmed vaping’s significant harm-reduction compared to cigarettes, as well as its efficacy in smoking cessation. The EU’s plans are out of step with this latest evidence.
“It is vital that the UK now take advantage of the legislative and regulatory independence afforded by Brexit, to safeguard this country’s proportionate, evidence-based approach to vaping.”