breaking news feb

 ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: Public consultation - ACT NOW - Who sets tobacco control policies in the European Union? - THR Summit Spain 2023 - Nonsense in Norway - Bulgaria backs THR - Finland tightens restrictions - Flavours under fire in France - Disposable's dilemma. Read on for more








Public consultation - ACT NOW
The European Commission launched the second part of its Evaluation of the Legislative Framework for Tobacco Control. This is a public consultation in the form of a questionnaire. It's one of the most important consultations to date and it is essential that a large number of consumers and consumer associations take part.

See our guide on submitting:


Who sets tobacco control policies in the European Union?
In January, the EU announced that a €3 million contract to support actions in tobacco control was awarded to a consortium which includes organisations that are hostile towards tobacco harm reduction and vaping. 

Read more here:


Smoke-free environments stakeholder survey
ETHRA has been invited to participate in a targeted stakeholder survey on the EU’s Smoke-free environments – updated recommendation. The purpose of updating the Recommendation is to bring non-combustible safer nicotine products under its remit. Last July we participated in a written ‘call for evidence’ consultation on updating the Recommendation, you can find our contribution here


EU parliamentary questions
Swedish MEP Sara Skyttedal asks:

1. Will safer nicotine products be included in the Tobacco Excise Directive (TED) review. 
2. Does the Commission accept that SNPs aid smoking cessation and will this factor into decisions on the TED. 

The written reply states: The risk assessment of emerging products will be extensively deliberated throughout the process by considering, among others, gateway effects, safety aspects, as well as addiction and attractiveness properties.

See the Parliamentary Question:

See the Commission’s written reply:



Bulgaria’s National Cancer Plan has been approved by the Council of Ministers. ETHRA was pleased to see that the Plan acknowledges the concept of tobacco harm reduction in cancer prevention and refers to the continuum of risk between tobacco and nicotine products. It also notes that evaluations must compare safer nicotine products to smoking.  

Download the Cancer Plan here


A new set of proposals from the Tobacco and Nicotine Policy Working Group would see further restrictions placed on both combustible tobacco and non-combustible safer nicotine products. In Vapers Finland’s words: ‘The working group's response to new nicotine products also follows the conventional line: they should simply be regulated in the same way as traditional cigarettes.’ (Google translate).

Read more on the proposals from ETHRA partner Vapers Finland here:
English: The report of the Tobacco and nicotine policy working group leaves much to be desired — not all methods to reduce smoking are used this time either

Finnish: Tupakka- ja nikotiinipoliittisen työryhmän mietintö jättää paljon toivomisen varaa — kaikkia keinoja tupakoinnin vähentämiseksi ei hyödynnetä tälläkään kertaa


A new draft National Tobacco Control Program, by the General Directorate of Health, has been submitted to the government. Vaping, and flavours, in particular, are being targeted. 

ETHRA partner SOVAPE’s article:
Rise in smoking, INCa cancer barometer, PNLT project: why is risk reduction ruled out? / Hausse du tabagisme, Baromètre cancer de l’INCa, projet de PNLT : pourquoi la réduction des risques est-elle écartée?

Vapolitique’s blog  post: :
Will Elisabeth Borne massacre vaping to maximise tobacco revenues? /


The Federal Government replies to parliamentary questions on tobacco harm reduction and the extortionate tax on  e-liquids.

Read more from ETHRA partner BVRA here:
Small request, big injustice /


The Norwegian government has launched a consultation on amendments to the Tobacco Control Act which would introduce plain packaging and a flavour ban for all e-liquids. We call on all consumers, consumers associations and advocates to participate. The consultation closes on 1 May. 

It is an easy consultation to respond to - see our guide for details:

Nonsense in Norway


The THR Summit Spain took place on Thursday 23 February. At the event national and international experts called for an open debate based on science to combat smoking in Spain.  The event was a huge success, followed by over 700 people.  

Speaker slides are being added to the THR Summit website, here 

See the press release: English, Español 


Swedish MEP Johan Nissinen speaks about his commitment to fighting for snus within the European Parliament, and the need for the Swedish Government to do more to promote Sweden as a public health role model for combatting smoking and cancer

Read more here:
Swedish MEP Johan Nissinen: Sweden should do more for snus in the EU /


Dr Caroline Johnson MP introduced a bill to Parliament which would ban the sale of disposable vapes. It passed without objection and will now move to its second reading. In separate actions, the Local Government Association called for a display ban and plain packaging for vapes, and ASH UK suggested a tax of £4 be added to the price of a disposable vape. NNA UK describes the proposals as “short-sighted and counterproductive”.

Read more here:
Proposed restrictions and bans on disposable vaping products are short-sighted and counterproductive



Nicotine e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation
A new study by four eminent academics in the field of tobacco control and policy said that there is abundant evidence that e-cigarettes can help some individuals to quit smoking and that they should be more widely recommended as smoking cessation aid. 

Read more here:

Read the study here: Nicotine e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation


Scientists’ Latest Bid to Fight Back Against Deadly Vaping Misinformation
Eleven top international addiction scientists have written a critique of Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council 2022 statement on e-cigarettes. They argue that it fails to meet the high scientific standard expected of a leading national scientific body. 

Read more here:

Read the critique:

Vaping: The Great Innovation Public Health Failed to Embrace
Doctor Sally Satel argues the case for vaping and tobacco harm reduction in smoking cessation. 

Read more here:


Time to Rethink the FCTC
Derek Yach, who was instrumental in the development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, calls on the WHO to update the Treaty to bring it in line with developments in tobacco harm reduction. 

Read more here:



Something to watch:

Debunking Vaping Myths | CASAA Explains
This excellent video from US consumer association CASAA debunks some of the most common myths around vaping.