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EU’s Misguided Flavour Plan

The EU Commissions' misguided attacks on harm reduction continue, says a campaign organisation, as the EU moves to ban all flavoured heated tobacco products

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The European Commission has announced its intention to ban the sale of all flavoured heated tobacco products. The EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, also called for “stricter enforcement” for new products entering the market. The World Vapers’ Alliance described the plan as “misguided”.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented: “It is shocking that the EU Commission still fights tobacco harm reduction. We need as many options as possible to achieve the Commission's own 5% tobacco use target. Vaping, nicotine pouches and heat-not-burn products all help people quit smoking and are less harmful.

“The Commission systematically ignores the wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the benefits, not to mention the first-hand experience of millions of vapers. The Commission's negative approach to harm reduction will do nothing but boost the black market and push people back to smoking.”

According to an article on Politico, the main reason for the push to ban flavoured heated tobacco products is due to increased sales and to protect the youth.

The World Vapers’ Alliance says that while, according to the EU Commission, 700,000 people die yearly from smoking-related illnesses, they are concerned about the rise in sales of less harmful alternatives.

The EU’s own Eurobarometer research says that: “nearly eight in ten (79%) among heated tobacco product users and a quarter of those who have tried heated tobacco products find them appealing, compared to only one in twenty among those who have never tried them.” Indicating that those products are clearly relevant for current smokers.

Landl added: “Instead of recommending smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives, Commissioner Kyriakides refuses to listen to science, experts, and consumers. This plan shows that the EU Commission intends to further crack down on harm reduction while accepting all the negative consequences.”

The upcoming update of the EU's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will determine the future of tobacco harm reduction, possibly threatening the most successful smoking cessation aids and public health. Currently, the EU is discussing the next TPD update and how to include new nicotine alternatives. Unfortunately, the EU seems to continue its hostile and anti-scientific attack on harm-reducing products.
The World Vapers’ Alliance says it “amplifies the voice of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. Our members are vapers associations and individual vapers from all over the world.”

Michael Landl is the director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. He is from Austria and is based in Vienna. He is an experienced policy professional and passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and the German Parliament.

The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA), a collection of independent regional consumer organisations, stated: “Lessons should be learned from the Swedish experience and the focus must be put back on reducing the harms from smoking. If the EU is serious about beating cancer, then smokers need to be provided with a wide range of low-risk alternatives which are accessible and appealing, options such as HTPs as well as vapes, nicotine pouches and snus. Putting up barriers to smoking cessation in the form of flavour bans protects the cigarette trade and prolongs smoking, and certainly doesn’t further the fight against cancer.”


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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