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ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: UK disposable ban & vape flavours restrictions - Nicotine pouches under threat - Defend Harm Reduction at COP10 - COP10 Updates - Harm Reduction: The Road to a Smoke Free Europe - Evidence briefs for tobacco harm reduction - Country updates. Read on for more. 

Contents:

EU NEWS

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS

COUNTRY UPDATES

MUST READS

FINALLY

 

EU NEWS

Nicotine pouches under threat
Swedish MEP Johan Nissinen believes that the EU Commission could table proposals to ban nicotine pouches as early as February or March. The MEP urges consumers to contact their political representatives to voice their objections to any ban on safer nicotine products. 

Read more in Vejpkollen here:
De kämpar för skademinimering i EU – ”Risk för förbud mot nikotinpåsar i vår” / They fight for harm minimization in the EU - "Risk of a ban on nicotine pouches this spring"

 

Defend Harm Reduction at COP10
Bengt Wiberg, founder of EU for Snus, calls on the Swedish government to take a stand on tobacco harm reduction at COP10, and fight any recommendations to ban nicotine pouches or restrict flavours.  

Read more in Vejpkollen here:
Debate: "Government must explain itself to Sweden's 1.4 million snus users ahead of WHO meeting"

 

The consumer's voice in the EU Parliament
At the start of December ETHRA took part in an event in the EU Parliament where, for the first time, consumers had an opportunity to discuss their smoke free journey using safer nicotine products. Philippe Poirson, representing ETHRA partner SOVAPE, discusses the event and the potential impacts it could have on future regulation of safer nicotine products.

Read the interview in Vaping Post,here:
https://fr.vapingpost.com/la-vape-se-defend-au-parlement-europeen-interview/

Tom Gleeson of NNA Ireland talks to GFN-NEWS about the recent EU Parliament event “Harm Reduction: The Road to a Smoke Free Europe”

Read more about the event here:
https://filtermag.org/tobacco-harm-reduction-consumers-eu-parliament/

 

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS  

WHO FCTC COP10

The Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO FCTC will be held in Panama from 5 - 10 February. This biennial global tobacco control conference is far from favourable to tobacco harm reduction, and nicotine consumers are firmly shut out. Use the hashtags #COP10 and #COP10FCTC to join in the conversations around it.    

 

Consumer advocates call out the WHO for its lack of transparency around COP10 and for the continued exclusion of consumers from the proceedings.

Read more here:
Activists Criticize COP10 Tactics

 

Copwatch
Copwatch reports on everything we know about COP10 so far, including the increasing attacks on both safer nicotine products and those who advocate for them in the build up to COP10 on 5 February. 

Read more here:
#COP10 – full steam ahead

 

COUNTRY UPDATES    

Denmark
The Aarhus region of central Denmark is set to ban nicotine pouches and snus for municipal employees.

Read more here:
Snusforbud i Aarhus får kritik: - Symbolpolitik, der ikke gør op med det reelle problem / Snus ban in Aarhus receives criticism: - Symbolic politics that does not deal with the real problem

 

Finland
A TRIS notification on government proposals to amend the Tobacco Act closed on 17 January. The amendment would ban flavours in nicotine pouches and vastly reduce the amount of snus that can be imported. 

See ETHRA’s contribution:
https://ethra.co/submissions/148-finland-tris-notification-government-proposal-to-parliament-for-an-act-amending-the-tobacco-act

See Vapers Finland contribution:
Vapers Finland ry:n lausunto nikotiinipussien sääntelyä koskevaan lakiluonnokseen / Vapers Finland opinion on the draft law regarding the regulation of nicotine pouches

 

France
The Senate is currently debating a bill which would ban disposable vapes. According to Sovape's analysis, this measure could see a large number of current users returning to smoking. 

Read more here:
Les effets imprévus de l’interdiction des puffs / The unintended effects of banning disposables

 

Germany
The Thrombosis Initiative eV urges politicians to put the debate on vapes into context: “The focus must be on protecting young non-smokers, as well as providing support for adult long-term smokers who are particularly at risk of secondary illnesses”.

Read more here:
Harm Reduction aus medizinischer Sicht / Harm reduction from a medical perspective

 

Spain
ETHRA partner Anesvap urges the Minister of Health, Ms. Mónica García, to embrace tobacco harm reduction strategies in the government's upcoming comprehensive plan against smoking. 

Read more here:
Por un Plan de Tabaquismo basado en la experiencia de millones de vapeadores que han dejado de fumar gracias al vapeo / For a Smoking Plan based on the experience of millions of vapers who have stopped smoking thanks to vaping

In an exclusive interview with 2FIRSTS the Spanish Ministry of Health confirmed that there will be no restrictions on vape flavours in the near future:
https://www.2firsts.cn/news/detail?id=8188

Vapolitique has written about this too:
https://vapolitique.com/2024/01/31/en-espagne-les-aromes-de-vape-ne-sont-pas-interdits-la-ministre-de-la-sante-dement-la-fakenews-de-generation-sans-tabac/


UK
In what will surely be a blow to tobacco harm reduction globally, the UK government announced plans to ban disposable vapes and suggests it will restrict vape flavours and introduce plain packaging and display restrictions:

Taken from the UK government press release:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/disposable-vapes-banned-to-protect-childrens-health

NNA UK responds:
The government’s proposals on single use vapes, flavours and packaging are misguided and will cost lives

Clive Bates gives a blistering rebuke of the governments plans:
UK to ban disposable vapes, restrict flavours and do more stupid stuff

Commentary on the proposals from Planet of the Vapes and Ecigclick:
https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2024-01-28_here-comes-the-disposable-vape-ban.html

https://www.ecigclick.co.uk/uk-government-bans-disposable-vapes/

A mainstream media article which could see beyond the hype:
A vaping ban will unite the Tories… against Rishi Sunak

 

MUST READS

Evidence briefs for tobacco harm reduction
Clive Bates publishes a comprehensive set of evidence briefs to support tobacco harm reduction policy making and advocacy: "It is important that delegates, WHO and Secretariat officials, and observers understand the evidence and think carefully about policymaking"

Read more here:
https://clivebates.com/evidence/

 

Who would be affected by a ban on disposable vapes?
As the race to ban disposable vapes reaches epidemic proportions this study, led by Sarah Jackson, examines the impact a ban will have on consumers in Britain. 

Read more here:
Who would be affected by a ban on disposable vapes? A population study in Great Britain

 

UK Parliament COP10 Debate
A backbench debate on COP10 was held on Jan 18 in the UK Parliament. The debate aimed to challenge the WHO's opposition to safer nicotine products and tobacco harm reduction.

Read more here:
Sticking to its Guns

UK Parliament Backbench Debate: Is WHO Really Doing Good for Human Health?

 

Victory against junk science
A recent cross-sectional study claimed vaping increases the risk of cardiovascular disease among people who have never smoked. An expert analysis concluded that there were numerous issues in the analysis and reporting of this paper.

Read more here:
https://pubpeer.com/publications/CD0E2CD6E82EB2F69173F5A1193331#1

 

FINALLY

Something to watch:

Dr Karl Erik Lund gives a fantastic keynote speech at the SRNT-conference in London where he addresses, among other things, the changing goals of tobacco control policy.