2020 has been a busy year for tobacco harm reduction in Europe. Here we give you some of the news from December and look ahead to what is expected in 2021. Most importantly, there are 3 calls to action: 1) give your feedback to the EU tax roadmap, 2) respond to the NL consultation and 3) share our big consumer survey.


Tobacco Harm Reduction needs YOU!

Please take these 3 actions over the holidays:


1. EU tax roadmap

The EU Tax Directive is being revised and the Commission are considering the inclusion of vaping and “novel tobacco products” in the Directive. 
You can give your feedback to the roadmap consultation for tax (link) before 5 January. 
All the feedback submitted so far is here (link), including ETHRA’s (link).
See Vapolitique’s article for more information (link).



On Wednesday 2nd December, the Special Committee on Beating Cancer of the European Parliament (BECA) convened a hearing with leading specialists in cancer prevention entitled “Facilitating a healthy lifestyle: how to reduce cancer related lifestyle risk factors.” This was the first committee hearing to focus on prevention.

Before introducing the experts, Chair of the BECA, Bartosz Arłukowicz, opened the hearing by stressing the importance of preventative measures in combating cancer, stating that 40% of cancer cases in Europe are preventable.



Guest post from ANESVAP, Spanish THR consumer association and ETHRA partner.

Last week the Spanish Ministry of Health published a horrifyingly biased report on e-cigarettes. We believe that the purpose of the report is to justify e-liquid flavour bans and punitive taxation on vaping products, proposals which are expected in 2021.

The Spanish government’s report shares striking similarities with the recently published SCHEER preliminary Opinion on e-cigarettes, a key element of the review report of TPD2. Scientists and other experts have roundly criticised the SCHEER  preliminary Opinion for lacking objectivity and ignoring evidence. We are now waiting to see if SCHEER can redeem their reputation with the final Opinion, expected next month. Unfortunately, there is no such hope for the Spanish report, as the final version - which was issued without any public consultation - is already published.



  • The “informal" working group aims to "prepare the revision of the TPD". There will be no official or public documents relating to the group’s work.
  • The group is led by controversial MEP Rivasi. Rivasi attempted to give anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield a platform as recently as 2017.
  • Rivasi calls for "stricter supervision of e-cigarettes” after what she calls “the notice of harmfulness issued by the World Health Organization in July 2020".
  • It is unclear which WHO “notice” Rivasi is referring to, but it is clearly not the WHO Europe report released in May, which is broadly supportive of tobacco harm reduction.