ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: BECA report adopted - BVRA joins ETHRA - Countries propose anti-vaping measures - Tobacco Tax Directive revision - UK leads the way in tobacco harm reduction - INNCO position statement on flavours. Read on for more.
Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) Report adopted
The positive news is that the language in the final report acknowledges tobacco harm reduction, and the role safer nicotine products can play in beating cancer. However, this is overshadowed by a provision that could see flavours banned by the Commission. The BECA report will now move to a vote in plenary at the European Parliament scheduled for 14 February 2022, where it is expected to be approved.
Minutes from the meeting:
Smoke-free environments and advertising of tobacco and related products
A new report by the European Commission recommends extending advertising prohibitions to heated tobacco products, which could also apply to social media. The report also recommends vapes and HTPs are included in smoke free environment provisions.
Taken from news item at:
INNCO position statement
The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) has published a position paper on potential bans of flavoured vaping products. They argue that there is compelling evidence that such prohibitions will cause harm by perpetuating smoking.
Read the position statement here:
A bill proposed by MP Els Van Hoof (Christian Democrats) would see limitations placed on the number of e-liquid flavours available.
Read more here:
The Cancer Foundation has published its new smoking survey indicating that smoking prevalence has increased.
Healthy Ireland released their annual report on Dec 7, 2021. The report covers key health indicators such as smoking, alcohol intake, and social connectedness. For the first time in the history of the report, first issued in 2015, smoking prevalence has increased while vaping prevalence decreased.
The cost of e-liquid is set to soar as the Italian parliament has reintroduced taxes that will see an extra €2.50 per ml added to the price.
Read more here:
Norway's Ministry of Health has issued a bill for consultation that will ban all flavourings other than tobacco flavour in vaping products. In response, Karl Erik Lund PhD, senior researcher (Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs) at the National Institute of Public Health has published a new paper discussing vape flavour bans and the effects that will have on public health.
The Federal Council has proposed a tax on e-liquid. The proposal would see e-liquids taxed at 2 cents per mg of nicotine, and pods taxed at 50 cents per ml regardless of nicotine content. Under the proposal an extra 4 francs would be added to the cost of a 10ml bottle of 20mg/ml. A public consultation on the tax will run until 31 March.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has, for the first time, included vaping products as a recommended stop smoking aid in its newly released tobacco guidelines.
Read the guidelines here:
Louise Ross, Interim Chair of NNA UK and smoking cessation professional, welcomed the new guidelines:
NCSCT service guide
The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) has produced new advice to help and encourage stop smoking services to make vaping products available to smokers who want to quit.
Smoking prevalence continues to fall
New data from the Office of National Statistics found that smoking rates have continued to decline while the number of ex-smokers that vape has risen.
Vaping is the driving force behind quit attempts:
ETHRA continues to grow with the addition of our 25th partner, German consumer association the Federal Association of Smoke Free Alternatives (BVRA e.V.). BVRA was founded in May 2020 to amplify the consumer voice and educate policymakers on the importance of tobacco harm reduction. We are delighted to welcome them to the ETHRA family.
Tobacco Tax Directive
A list of items planned for the agenda for upcoming meetings of the Commission has been published. The revision of the Tobacco Tax Directive is due to be discussed on 18 May. It's possible that the revision of the Directive may lead to minimum excise taxes being applied to vaping products and other safer nicotine products in all EU member states.
Link to download the document:
Vape predictions 2022
In their 10th annual vape predictions article E-Cigarette Direct has brought together 18 experts to give their views on what 2022 will bring in the area of tobacco harm reduction.
Transformers Versus Abolitionists
This must read piece from Clive Bates discusses the two camps in tobacco control.
Read more here:
Busting the myths about nicotine
Dr Colin Mendelsohn addresses some of the most common misperceptions about nicotine.
Something to watch:
Harm Promotion | Public Health Schism Over E-Cigarettes
Dr. Kenneth Warner is at the forefront of recent calls for a balanced approach to vaping product regulation. Here he discusses the role of tobacco harm reduction in reducing the harms from smoking, and the perverse consequences of irresponsible regulation.
Watch the interview: