ETHRA Addresses APPG Inquiry

Posted 3rd June 2021 by Dave Cross
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) group has written to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPG) as part of its inquiry that will feed into the Tobacco and Related Products Regulation (TRPR) review. The review closed on 27 May and the report on the submissions will be published by the APPG in due presently.

The key objectives of the APPG’s inquiry were:

  • To assess the likelihood of England reaching its smoke-free 2030 target under existing regulations
  • To assess the effectiveness of existing regulations concerning e-cigarettes; nicotine pouches; snus; heated tobacco products and other emerging types of nicotine alternatives
  • To identify potential legislative areas for development and divergence from EU law
  • To produce a report with key recommendations for tobacco/nicotine-related legislative change within UK law post-Brexit

The APPG says: “The intention is to propose regulatory divergence from the EU to ensure that UK legislation aligns with the Government’s position on tobacco harm reduction, improves public health, and strengthens the UK’s standing as the world’s most progressive nation on tobacco harm reduction.

“Given that the Department of Health and Social Care has announced its intention to release a new Tobacco Control Plan for England in 2021, the work of this inquiry will provide valuable “Parliamentary input into a process traditionally run by the civil service.

It is our hope that Parliament can effectively channel the voice of the community to ensure the next Tobacco Control Plan will accelerate the UK’s push towards smoke-free 2030.”

ETHRA (1) thanked the APPG for Vaping for holding this inquiry and being able to make its important contribution. It is an alliance of 22 grass root consumer groups in 16 European countries, representing approximately 27 million consumers across Europe and supported by scientific experts in tobacco control or nicotine research.

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ETHRA points out that its members are all ex-smokers who have switched to using safer nicotine products, such as vapes, heated tobacco products and snus, to quit smoking and to remain smoke-free. The organisation is not funded and has no industry conflicts of interest. It also offers a unique pan-European perspective on how smokers are using safer nicotine products.

The report (2) concludes: “Lots of us regularly use several safer nicotine consumer products. We know how important it is to offer smokers a wide variety to choose from, both across and within product categories. All safer nicotine products are just that - vastly safer than smoking combustible cigarettes. Those who smoke deserve to have access to as wide a range of reduced risk products as possible. Variety is key to the success of safer nicotine products in winning over smokers.

“We hope that the UK can move away from having a distinction between tobacco and non- tobacco products and instead legislate according to whether products are combustible or non- combustible.”


  1. European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates -
  2. ETHRA's report to the APPG -

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