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EU Strategy fails Tobacco Harm Reduction

The EU’s Health Strategy fails on Tobacco Harm Reduction, according to the World Vapers’ Alliance

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The EU Commission has announced in its “Global Health Strategy” that the new guiding principle will be to “prioritise tackling the root causes of ill health”. Unfortunately, the strategy fails to tackle one of the leading causes of ill health — smoking. Tobacco harm reduction must be included in such a strategy to combat smoking-induced illnesses says campaigning group the World Vapers’ Alliance.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented: “The EU Commission is ignoring science and consumer voices again. Tobacco harm reduction must become a key element of all health policies for the EU. Seven hundred thousand people die each year due to smoking, and at the same time, the Commission fights against less harmful alternatives. The science is clear: vaping is far less harmful than smoking and is one of the most effective smoking cessation aids. Consumers demand the Commission to accept this reality finally.”

The World Vapers’ Alliance delivered a petition signed by more than 4,000 EU citizens to the Members of Parliament and voiced their concerns about the negative attitude towards vaping within the EU institutions. The petition asked the EU to embrace tobacco harm reduction and refrain from flavour bans and higher taxation.

Giannia Gancia, Member of the European Parliament said: “The Commission's goal is to ensure a high level of health protection but fails to deliver practical solutions. A health strategy without tobacco harm reduction is likely to fail right from the beginning. The Commission must focus on solutions which benefit public health by embracing harm reduction alternatives such as vaping and snus and refrain from encouraging the growth of the black market.”

Additionally, consumers are voicing their concerns about the EU Commissions’ leaked plan to increase taxation on vaping products and fear negative consequences for public health. The EU Commission plans to “bring the taxation of novel smoking products, such as vapes and heated tobacco, into line with cigarettes”.

“The Commission claims that higher taxes will improve public health, but the reality is the exact opposite. A less harmful alternative, such as vaping, must be affordable for ordinary smokers trying to quit cigarettes. The Global Health Strategy is a missed opportunity to make the EU a tobacco harm reduction leader and the leaked tax plan proves this further”, added Landl

The World Vapers’ Alliance urges the EU Commission and Member States to follow scientific evidence and abstain from higher taxation of vaping products and embrace tobacco harm reduction instead.


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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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