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Act Urgently Eu Urged

EU health ministers are being encouraged to act urgently and embrace science-based tobacco harm reduction strategies by the World Vapers’ Alliance

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The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) has called for immediate action from EU health ministers to adopt science-based tobacco harm reduction strategies amidst delays in tobacco legislation. The call came as health ministers gathered in Brussels for a two-day EPSCO meeting where the European Beating Cancer plan was one of the key topics of discussion.

Following its meeting, the members of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) agreed the agenda for May’s meeting – held this week. Again, they declined to hold a platform for evidenced-based discussion on vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

Michael Landl, Director of the WVA, criticised the current policies, stating: “The EU Commission is deaf to the science on tobacco policies. It is crystal clear that safer nicotine alternatives such as vaping or pouches are significantly less harmful than smoking and effectively aid in smoking cessation. EU health ministers have a critical opportunity to advocate for sensible regulations that could prevent 700,000 unnecessary deaths annually due to smoking. The Beating Cancer Plan acknowledges that vaping can help smokers quit. Politicians must act accordingly.”

Landl emphasised the potential turning point the meeting could represent: “This meeting should (have marked) the beginning of driving the EU towards a smoke-free future. Health ministers should take inspiration from Sweden, poised to become the first smoke-free country in the world, thanks largely to the adoption of safer and less harmful alternatives. It remains vital that the EU follow their example and enforce sensible regulation.”

The urgency of this issue is echoed by over 35,000 citizens who have signed the “Every Life Counts” petition, demanding that the EU embrace harm reduction principles in its tobacco policy. The WVA urges the EU Commission and health ministers to heed both scientific evidence and consumer advocacy to implement harm reduction policies that can save thousands of lives.

The WVA says: “Every year, 700,000 lives are needlessly lost in the EU due to smoking-related diseases. As the EU reviews the Tobacco Products Directive, there’s a concerning push to restrict safer nicotine alternatives, further endangering lives. 

This isn’t just a petition; it’s a demand for the protection of harm-reduction products, which are vital for public health. Your support is more than valuable—it’s crucial for advocating sensible, life-saving policies. At the end of this year we will submit the petition to the EU Parliament’s PETI committee.”

The World Vapers’ Alliance says that it, “amplifies the voices of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. Our members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world. More information on

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 a passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets, as well as in the German Parliament. 

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  • Photo by Farah Almazouni on Unsplash

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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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