The Commission is the EU's unelected executive arm, responsible for drawing up proposals for legislation and implementing decisions made by the Parliament and Council.
When the Plan was release, The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates, the umbrella organisation for European consumer groups, commented: “The Plan spectacularly fails to make a distinction between harmful smoking products and smoke free alternatives and signals that the Commission intends to turn its back on innovation and science by cracking down on vaping, the popular and far less risky alternative to smoking.”
The WVA(1) tells the Ministers of Heath: “We believe that this plan does not adequately consider tobacco and smoking-related cancers. The plan shuts the door for smokers trying to quit using novel tobacco products, specifically vaping by picking abstentionism over harm reduction.”
It describes the plans to tax vaping like tobacco, to ban vaping in public areas, and to treat vape like a tobacco product as misguided and dangerous.
“We, at the World Vapers’ Alliance, know that our 13,000 vapers and 23 partner organisations are very concerned about the development of vaping legislation at a European level. If the Commission’s current direction on vaping products is kept, it will lead to increased smoking rates and curb any progress that has been made towards a cancer-free society. This plan would also have regulatory knock-on effects around the world. Therefore, we urge you to push back on the EU Commission's current version of the Plan, because it would have catastrophic consequences for public health.”
The WVA says that what vapers want to see from their elected officials is:
- A clear commitment to the concept of harm reduction - The goal is to reduce the adverse consequences among persons who continue to use unhealthy products. It was developed in response to the unsuccessful zero tolerance approach. Instead of idealised goals it puts practical solutions centre stage. Harm reduction has proved to be effective and is accepted in many countries
- To encourage current smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, like the governments of the United Kingdom, France Canada and New Zealand
- To guarantee access to vaping products for adults - therefore it is essential that affordability and variety are ensured
The WVA’s Michael Landl told Planet of the Vapes: “The Commission's proposal of the Beating Cancer Plan is a disaster for public health and for European citizens. The health ministers need to push back. Making vaping less appealing to smokers would discourage them from switching to less harmful alternatives and force many vapers back to smoking. The proposed policies are certainly not going to be of any public health benefit. The national health ministers must not ignore these unintended consequences and should speak up. The anti-science war on vaping needs to end now.”
- The World Vapers’ Alliance - https://worldvapersalliance.com/