ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: ETHRA & partners respond to EU call for evidence - WHO attempt to manipulate NGO observers to the COP - Heated tobacco product flavour ban - Belgium & Czechia support for tobacco harm reduction - Consumer voice helps to defeat Swedish favour ban - Global Forum on Nicotine 2022 - Country updates. Read on for more.
Legislative framework for tobacco control call for evidence
Last month we reported that the European Commission had opened a call for evidence consultation which would inform the future regulation of safer nicotine products. The consultation received almost 25,000 responses which can be accessed here.
Read NNA UK’s contribution:
Our article explains more about the call for evidence:
Smoke-free environments call for evidence
The European Commission has launched a second call for evidence consultation that could directly impact safer nicotine products. The aim of the consultation is to extend the Council’s 2009 recommendations on smoke-free environments to include safer nicotine products, this could also include some outdoor spaces. The consultation closes on 20 July.
Access the call for evidence here:
Flavour ban for heated tobacco products
The European Commission has moved forward with its proposal to implement a flavour ban for heated tobacco products, which we first reported in March. The proposal will undergo a period of scrutiny by the Council and the European Parliament and enter into force 20 days after the publication in the Official Journal.
See our article for more information:
FCTC Secretariat uses Australian propaganda to influence COP NGO observers
A new article from COPWatch reveals that the anti-harm reduction arm of the WHO has been cherry-picking information to manipulate the NGO observers to the COP.
The Belgian Superior Health Council has published an update on vaping products in its scientific opinion on public health policy. The Council unanimously agreed that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, can be an aid to smoking cessation, and will provide public health gains if smokers completely transition to vaping products.
The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living gives its views on the report:
Belgium's support for tobacco harm reduction is in stark contrast to attitudes in Australia:
The Czech Republic will debate a new action plan which could see harm reduction play a key part of the country’s public health strategy. The plan could lead to safer nicotine products being promoted as low-risk alternatives to smoking.
Smoking prevalence among young adults is declining at an accelerated rate as young people transition to low-risk safer nicotine products. Behavioural researcher, Pelle Guldborg Hansen, believes that this ‘substitution principle’ is a golden opportunity to get young people to stop smoking.
Positive news from Finland as the National Coalition Party (NCP), the main opposition party, approved an initiative to legalise the sale of snus.
Read more here:
In April, the Bundesverband Rauchfreie Alternative eV (BVRA) conducted a survey to gauge consumer knowledge of the upcoming e-liquid tax and possible reactions to the tax, the results have now been published. Predictably, a large number of respondents said they would seek out products on the black or grey market in order to avoid the tax.
Read the full report here:
Senior researcher at the Department of Drugs and Tobacco, Karl Erik Lund, was highly critical of a new report on vaping products. The report failed to examine the public health benefits of vaping, and focused only on the risks compared to non-smoking.
In May the Ministry of Finance introduced a Draft Law for Tobacco and Related Products which aimed to bring the sale and distribution of safer nicotine products under the control of the State Monopoly. If enacted, the sale of safer nicotine products would be restricted to tobacconist. The draft law was open for public consultation from 25 May to 24 June.
Read our submission:
Read Anesvap's submission:
A huge win for tobacco harm reduction in Sweden as the proposed vape flavour ban was defeated by 177 votes to 126 in Parliament.
On 9 June the UK Government published the long anticipated Khan Review into achieving a smokefree England by 2030. Promoting vaping as a substitute for smoking, and providing accurate information on the benefits of switching are among the recommendations. The review also recommends increasing the age limit to purchase combustible tobacco by one year, every year.
The full report and summary is available here:
James Dunworth gives his thoughts here:
Global Forum on Nicotine 2022
Alex Norcia provides a comprehensive overview of this year’s Global Forum on Nicotine which brought together public health experts, academics, and consumer advocates for tobacco harm reduction.
"Rather than defending the status quo or egos, everyone at GFN seemed truly interested in finding solutions to improve population health, protect human rights and restore dignity and autonomy to nicotine users around the world"
Read more here:
Scientific community focuses on tobacco harm reduction through alternative solutions – such as E-cigarettes and heated tobacco
Smokers must be offered more than just ‘quit or die’ according to Dr. David Khayat, former president of France’s National Cancer Institute and head of medical oncology at the Clinique Bizet in Paris. A third option which embraces the concept of tobacco harm reduction can offer a real solution for smokers who want to quit
Lots to watch:
The Global Forum on Nicotine took place on 15 - 18 June. Over the course of 4 days experts discussed a range of topics, including prohibition by stealth. This important topic covered the many barriers to tobacco harm reduction, including excessive taxation and flavour bans. Consumer advocate, Norbert “Zillatron” Schmidt, was on hand to give the consumers perspective.
Marc Gunther joined the conference by video link to deliver a powerful keynote speech on the unchecked power of philanthropy. Read Marc’s talk here and watch the video below.
Check out all the videos from GFN22 here: