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February breaking news

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: UK disposable ban & vape tax - Beating Cancer Plan Roadmap - Disappearing Directives - COP10 Roundup - Advocates Voice 2024 - Briefing: Prohibition and Organised Crime - Victory over junk science - Country updates. Read on for more. Read on for more.

Contents:

EU NEWS

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS

COUNTRY UPDATES

MUST READS

FINALLY

 

EU NEWS

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan
The European Commission published a roadmap for the Implementation of actions outlined in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP). Item 6.1 on achieving a tobacco free Europe has listed a follow up to the evaluation of the review of the TPD for 2025. We are not sure what this evaluation will be but we will keep you informed once more information becomes available.


The Implementation Roadmap is available here:
https://health.ec.europa.eu/document/download/24ff46d7-1d85-4876-b316-8ea9cb4926f3_en?filename=2021-2025_cancer-roadmap1_en_0.pdf

See our article for more on the actions in EBCP:
https://ethra.co/news/84-the-european-parliament-s-role-in-europe-s-beating-cancer-plan

 

Disappearing Directives
In June 2022 the EU Commission launched a consultation into extending smoke free environment recommendations to include vaping products and heated tobacco products. Politico reports that the updated recommendations on smoke free environments have been ‘shelved.’ It goes on to report that proposals to harmonise taxes on tobacco and vapes, meant to be published at the end of 2022, have ‘vanished without trace’.

Read more here:
https://www.politico.eu/article/tactical-retreat-how-ursula-von-der-leyen-is-rowing-back-her-agenda-ahead-of-elections/

See ETHRA’s submission to the consultation on smoke free environments:
https://ethra.co/submissions/113-smoke-free-environments-updated-recommendation

See ETHRA’s submission to the Tobacco Excise Directive:
https://ethra.co/submissions/81-tobacco-taxation-excise-duties-for-manufactured-tobacco-products-updated-rules

 

Beating Cancer Inequalities in the EU
On Monday 5 February 2024, a new report “Beating Cancer Inequalities in the EU: Spotlight on prevention and early detection” was launched, prepared by the Commission, in collaboration with the OECD.  

Some highlights: 
Tobacco is responsible for the biggest chunk of cancer deaths (over 25%).
The lowest lung cancer death rate is in Sweden.
The lowest smoking rates are in Norway, Iceland and Sweden.
In all countries, including Sweden, cancer burden is higher among lower income / educated populations.

Yet, the recommendations don’t say anything about THR.

 

Parliamentary Question
The Finnish Government has proposed a ban on the cross-border distance selling of tobacco and related products. Swedish MEP Johan Nissinen has asked the EU Commission what impact this proposal would have on free trade within the EU single market, and  whether the proposal would comply with current EU legislation. 

See the question here:
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2023-003129_EN.html

Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission
Ms Kyriakides stated that it is within the scope of the TPD to ban cross-border sales, and this was an option which Finland implemented. She added that Finland intends to extend the prohibition of cross-border distance sales to smokeless nicotine products. 

See the answer here:
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2023-003129-ASW_EN.html

 

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS  

FCTC COP10
The Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO FCTC finally got underway on February 5th. Copwatch provided daily updates on what was going on at this very secretive tobacco control conference. 

COP10FCTC LIVE Day One #COP10news #THRworks

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 2/3 #COP10news #THRworks

Interesting country statements made at #COP10

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 3/4 #COP10news #THRworks

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 5 #COP10news #THRworks

COP10FCTC LIVE Day Six #COP10news #THRworks


The Advocates Voice 2024
The Advocates Voice examines the current situation with vaping in Australia and the evolving situation in the United Kingdom.

 

COUNTRY UPDATES     

Ireland
Ireland's Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, announced that his department had started work with Revenue to introduce a tax on vapes in the next Budget. 

Read more here:
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/2024/02/28/new-tax-on-vape-and-e-cigarette-products-from-next-year/

 

Norway
Norway’s vaping regulations mean it is illegal to sell vaping products with nicotine.. The regulation has proven to be a significant barrier for smokers wishing to use less harmful products and it has also led to a rise in black market disposable vapes, which do contain nicotine. 

Read more here:
https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/the-unique-challenges-facing-norways-vape-shops

 

Sweden
Fears are growing that the next version of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive could include a ban on nicotine pouches. Sweden currently has an exemption to the EU-wide ban on snus but this exemption would not apply to nicotine pouches should a ban be enacted.

Read more here:
EU överväger totalförbud mot vitt snus / The EU is considering a total ban on white snus

More from Sweden
In a debate in the Swedish Parliament, Minister for Public Health Jakob Forssmed emphasised the importance of risk proportionate regulation for tobacco and nicotine products.

Read more here:
https://pouchpatrol.com/harm-reduction/swedish-minister-for-public-health-a-knight-in-shining-armour-for-european-ex-smokers/

 

UK
The UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has been urged to reconsider proposals to ban disposable vapes. 

Read more here:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1868392/Rishi-Sunak-vape-ban-UK

More from the UK
In a further blow to THR it has been reported that the UK Government is considering a new tax on vapes, with a higher rate of tax being applied to products with more nicotine.

Read more here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-68411690

 

MUST READS

Briefing on the Prohibition of Vaping and Organised Crime
Dr Colin Mendelsohn, Dr Alex Wodak and Dr James Martin examine the links between Australia’s vape policy and organised crime.

Read more here:
Briefing on the Prohibition of Vaping and Organised Crime

 

New England Journal of Medicine Backs Vapes as Harm Reduction
A new randomised control trial finds that participants who used vapes were 77% more likely to be smoke free at 6 months compared to those that received standard smoking cessation counselling.

Read more here:
https://filtermag.org/new-england-journal-medicine-vapes-harm-reduction/

See the study here:
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2308815

 

A victory over junk science
A new study claiming that vapes pose the same risk for disease (cardiovascular disease, stroke and metabolic dysfunction) has been thoroughly debunked by cardiologist and researcher Dr Konstaninos Farsalinos. 

Read more here:
https://www.ecigarette-research.org/research/index.php/research/2024/281-ecig-disease

 

FINALLY

Something to watch:

Dr Debbie Robson, Senior Lecturer in Tobacco Harm Reduction, Nicotine Research Group, King’s College London explains some of the key differences between smoking and vaping and how these can impact your health.