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Germans Attack Harm Reduction

The German Medical Association is attempting to drive a tank through tobacco harm reduction by calling for a complete ban on e-liquid flavours

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The German Medical Association is attempting to drive a tank through tobacco harm reduction (THR) by calling for a complete ban on e-liquid flavours, according to the BVRA e. V., an independent consumer association committed to THR and an assessment based approach to scientific evidence.

The German Medical Association, BÄK, has issued a call to ban all e-liquid flavours in a statement following the announcement of a planned amendment to the Tobacco Products Act and the Tobacco Products Ordinance. The Association claims that such a move is necessary in order to prevent nicotine addiction.

The Tobacco Products Act and the Tobacco Products Ordinance amendment plans to eliminate flavours for heated tobacco products (HTPs) but the German Medical Association wants this extended to include all juices in or for vape devices.

BVRA e. V. says: “In doing so, it not only reveals simple problems of understanding, but also argues in contradiction to the current state of research.

“In its press release, the BÄK speaks of ‘added flavourings’. This is of course a correct description for tobacco heaters or other tobacco products. However, this statement makes no sense for e-cigarettes.

“It's like saying an engine has been added to a car. Flavours are an integral part of liquids for e-cigarettes, there is simply no basic flavour without flavour addition. This can only be compared with tobacco products to a very limited extent, so of course the legislator must clearly differentiate here.”

The German Medical Association claims added flavours play a large role in making nicotine products such as e-cigarettes attractive to young people.

BVRA e. V. contends that it is due to the variety of flavours that vape products work so well as a quit tool for smokers of all ages.

BVRA e. V. said: “In our July 2022 consumer survey, almost 98% of 1,771 respondents said they were a smoker before using e-cigarettes. Only 2.26% said they had never smoked before.

“These numbers are consistent with all reliable scientific surveys on consumer behavior. In another Europe-wide consumer survey, 70% of 6,283 respondents from Germany stated that the existing variety of flavours played a decisive role in stopping smoking and switching.

“Without this diversity, many would probably have remained smokers - with all the negative and often fatal consequences.”

The consumer group went on to add: “A ban on flavours for e-cigarettes would therefore hardly change the consumption figures among young people but would prevent adult smokers from switching and thus from a potential improvement in their state of health.”

BVRA e. V. appealed to the German Medical Association to take a more pragmatic stance on the matter.


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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