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March breaking news

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: UK vape tax & public consultation - Mediocre Meeting - UK policy on tobacco and vaping: a muddle and a mess - The Case of Diversion by Snus in Norway - COSTED Trial - David Sweanor interview - Country updates. Read on for more.

Contents:

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS

COUNTRY UPDATES

MUST READS

FINALLY

 

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. Tobacco Reporter provide an account on what was going on at this very secretive tobacco control conference, and what impact it could have on reducing smoking.

Read more here:
https://tobaccoreporter.com/2024/04/01/mediocre-meeting/

 

COUNTRY UPDATES    

Belgium
Belgium will ban the sale of disposable vapes from 1 January 2025, having received the necessary approval from the European Commission.

Read more here:
https://ecigintelligence.com/belgium-gets-go-ahead-to-be-first-eu-member-state-with-disposables-ban/

 

Finland
Specialist doctors question Finland's prohibitionist approach towards safer nicotine products.

Read more here:
Kolme lääkäriä kysyy: Kumpi on pahempi, keuhkosyöpä vai nikotiinivalmiste? / Three doctors ask: Which is worse, lung cancer or nicotine products?

E-cigarettes have been studied to be useful - In this situation, they should be used:
https://www.aamulehti.fi/lukijalta/art-2000010303828.html

The Finnish government wants to limit nicotine levels in nicotine pouches to 20 milligrams per gram:
https://yle.fi/a/74-20078963

 

Germany
ETHRA partner BVRA add their contribution to the ongoing debate on vape flavours. 

Read more here:
Aber bitte mit Sahne / But with cream, please

 

Ireland
A new survey from Red C Research and Marketing found that 20% of current vapers would return to smoking if a vape flavour ban was enacted.

Read more here:
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/one-in-five-vapers-would-return-to-smoking-habit-if-flavours-banned-survey-says/a1689265917.html

 

Luxembourg
Luxembourg is set to implement a new tax regime for vapes and nicotine pouches. Under the new regulation e-liquids will be taxed at €120 per litre, while nicotine pouches will incur a tax of €22 per kilo.

Read more here:
https://today.rtl.lu/news/luxembourg/a/2179297.html

 

Poland
Poland is set to implement an EU Delegated Directive which will ban flavours for heated tobacco products. Health Minister Izabela Leszczyna has also said that the government is considering a ban on disposable vapes. 

Read more here:
https://tobaccoreporter.com/2024/02/29/poland-mulling-ban-on-disposables/

 

Romania
New regulations passed by the Romanian government will prohibit the sale of safer nicotine products to minors. Under the new law, the maximum nicotine content allowed in a nicotine pouch cannot exceed 20 mg. 

Read more here:
https://www.2firsts.com/news/romanian-parliament-passes-new-tobacco-products-law-prohibiting-youth-e-cig-use

 

Spain
The Ministry of Health is proposing to ban smoking and vaping in "certain outdoor community and social spaces" and in other private spaces in the presence of minors, as well as tax increases and measures to reduce the ‘attractiveness’ of safer nicotine products. The proposals are similar to those in a plan which was drawn up two years ago but never approved.  

Read more here:
Sanidad planteará el jueves a las comunidades prohibir fumar y vapear en nuevos espacios / Health will propose to communities on Thursday to prohibit smoking and vaping in new spaces

 

Sweden
The next ANDTS (Alcohol, drugs, doping, tobacco and nicotine products and gambling) strategy must include a harm reduction approach for tobacco and nicotine products, according to the Sweden Democrats.

Read more here:
https://www.vejpkollen.se/en/2024/03/sd-info-harm-reduction-in-tobacco-policy/

 

Switzerland
The Swiss National Council rejected proposals to revise the Federal Act on Tobacco Products and Electronic Cigarettes, which would add further restrictions to the advertising of tobacco products and vapes. 

See more here:
https://www.parlament.ch/de/services/news/Seiten/2024/20240229120205653194158159026_bsd092.aspx

 

UK
NNA UK responds to the government's vape tax proposals which could, in some cases, see the cost of e-liquid increase fourfold. A public consultation on the tax proposal will run until 29 May. 

Read more here:
The Chancellor’s vape tax is wrong in principle and childlike in application

Help Us Fight Unfair UK Harm Reduction Regulations

Vaping Products Duty Consultation - open until 29 May 2024
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65e80ba108eef600115a5621/Vaping_Products_Duty_Consultation.pdf

A tax on vaping liquids is irresponsible, will cost lives, and further erodes the UK’s former world-leading tobacco control strategy:
https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2024-03-11_nna-comment-on-budget-announcement.html

Consumers and harm reduction advocates react to the proposed UK vape tax:
https://filtermag.org/uk-vape-tax/

 

MUST READS

UK policy on tobacco and vaping – a muddle and a mess
Clive Bates does a deepdive into the UK’s policy on achieving smoke free status by 2030. What are the policies? Will they be effective? What could they do better?

 

The Case of Diversion by Snus in Norway
Could swapping cigarettes for snus be a lifesaver? The Swedish experience with snus might just hold the key to reducing smoking related mortality. How many lives could be spared with less smoking and more snus?

Read more in this preprint from Arielle Selya and Karl Lund:
https://osf.io/preprints/osf/tzdq2

 

Cessation of Smoking Trial in the Emergency Department (COSTED)
Giving out free vape starter packs in hospital emergency departments (A&E) to people who smoke helps more people quit, according to research from the University of East Anglia in the UK. 

Read more here:
https://emj.bmj.com/content/early/2024/03/01/emermed-2023-213824

University of Oxford Podcasts
Associate Professor Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Dr Nicola Lindson discuss the new evidence in e-cigarette research and interview the COSTED trial co-lead author Dr Ian Pope:
https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/march-2024-ian-pope

 

FINALLY

Something to watch:

Tobacco control policy expert David Sweanor explores the surprising boom of the U.S. vaping market as people who smoke transition to safer nicotine products, and offers a cautionary message to those who try to block this shift.