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Think Tank Considers Cancer Plan Feedback

The European Parliamentary Research Service think tank has responded to the feedback received following the release of Europe’s Beating Cancer plan

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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), a think tank, has produced a quick overview covering the initial reactions to the European Commission’s Beating Cancer plan. Initial feedback from nicotine consumer organisations was far from positive as the plan looked to tax vape products like cigarettes, to extend bans on vaping in public areas, and to ban flavours.

The EPRS says its mission is, “to provide Members of the European Parliament, and where appropriate parliamentary committees, with independent, objective and authoritative analysis of, and research on, policy issues relating to the European Union, in order to assist them in their parliamentary work.

It explains the purpose of the Beating Cancer plan in its briefing(1): “The plan consists of 10 flagship initiatives and 32 supporting actions, to be rolled out over the coming years. Implementation will be monitored by means of a roadmap and progress indicators, and the Commission will establish an EU cancer plan implementation group. With a €4 billion budget, the plan will make use of all available funding instruments, including the new EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe, and the Digital Europe programme.”

Initially, The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) called the plan “perverse”(2), the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) said “the European Commission is allowing ideology to get in the way of science”(3), and The Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA) said it needed “to consider all means available to reduce the burden of cancer related risk”(4).

The positive aspect of EPRS’ briefing is that it has included a snapshot of the negative feedback to balance the positive.

The Consumer Choice Centre, “a global consumer advocacy group, declares itself to be 'deeply concerned' by the Commission's decision to equate conventional smoking with vaping and introduce restrictions that 'don't stand up to scrutiny and disregard consumer choice'. The statement notes that, 'despite consistent calls from activist groups, including the CCC, and scientific evidence at hand, the Commission has chosen to pursue the path of paternalism as opposed to innovation and freedom'.”

It notes ETHRA’s “dismay”, adding that “according to ETHRA, the plan 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 said: “The World Vapers' Alliance is concerned about the bias the plan demonstrates against vaping, and … 'ignores the wealth of evidence showing that vaping represents only less than half of one percent of the cancer risk that smoking does'. According to the alliance, in addition to ignoring the evidence supporting vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking, the plan equates vaping to smoking in some of its parts. The alliance argues that, if vaping is subject to the same rules as cigarettes, then those who give up smoking thanks to vaping will see smoking become, relatively speaking, more appealing, which goes against what the EU is hoping to achieve.”

Whether any of this will be factored in to the final opinion statement remains to be seen.


  1. Europe's Beating Cancer plan; Quick overview and initial reactions -
  2. ETHRA Slams “Perverse” European Commission –
  3. WVA: EU Cancer Plan Misses The Mark -
  4. IEVA Responds In Measured Fashion -
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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