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Portuguese Government Jeopardises Efforts

The Portuguese Government is jeopardising smoking cessation efforts with new legislation that will discourage smokers from switching to vapes

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The Portuguese Government is jeopardising smoking cessation efforts with new legislation that will discourage smokers from switching to vapes, according to the World Vapers' Alliance. The group believes the move is a retrograde step that shuns evidence-based policy making in favour of pretending banning outdoor vaping will stop smoking.

The Portuguese government is discussing a new draft law regulating tobacco use that will detrimentally damage Portugal’s efforts to curb smoking. The government is currently transcribing the EU delegated act of the Tobacco Products Directive into the national legislation on heated tobacco products, including several provisions on vaping that have not been a part of the original delegated act.

These measures, according to the World Vapers' Alliance, represent a step backward in the adoption of an open and evidence-based approach to alternative nicotine products and will discourage smokers from switching to this safer alternative pushing many vapers back to smoking.

Draft Law No. 88/XV aims to extend smoke-free areas’ restrictions to the use of vaping products – effectively banning vaping in outdoor spaces such as the terraces of bars and restaurants – and to restrict the sale of vaping products by banning online sales.

Alberto Gómez Hernández, Community Manager of the World Vapers' Alliance, commented: “Instead of making it more difficult for smokers to access safer nicotine products, Portugal should follow the steps of countries that are successfully reducing smoking rates by encouraging smokers to switch, such as the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Banning the online sale of vaping products leaves smoking as the only option for those who do not have alternative nicotine product outlets nearby.”

The law introduces the ban on the online sale of e-cigarettes as a measure to make it more difficult for minors to access the products.

The Portuguese Government should rather focus on preventing minors from accessing the products while keeping them available for adult smokers. Measures such as age verification on deliveries can prevent sales to minors while keeping products available to adults,” added Gómez Hernández.

Vaping is different from smoking and should not be treated in the same way. This will only fuel the misconception that e-cigarettes are as harmful as combustion cigarettes and make it harder for more people to switch.

Moreover, confining vapers and smokers together will lead to vapers often being tempted to go back to smoking.”

World Vapers’ Alliance is calling on the Portuguese Government to follow an evidence-based approach towards vaping and allow it in smoke free areas to incentivise smokers to switch.

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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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