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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.

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  • 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.

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Please do the EU Nicotine Users Survey [ LINK ] and help to spread it far and wide, by sharing it on social media

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ETHRA partner the New Nicotine Alliance Ireland issued a press release yesterday in response to the Irish Heart Foundation’s (IHF) call for the introduction of a tax on e-liquid. We repost the press release below, with this introduction from NNA Ireland:

The rallying call to impose a tax on harm reduction products was made in the IHF pre-budget submission to the government, which was then circulated to newspapers on Monday in a press release. Protection of youth, which has become a mantra for those opposed to tobacco harm reduction, was yet again cited as the rationale. Ironically, repeated suggestions from NNA IE and vendors to introduce U18 legislation that would make it illegal to sell vapour products to under 18’s have been ignored.

Instead of a common sense approach that would directly address their concerns regarding youth, the plan from the IHF seems to be to punish adult vapers who have made the decision to greatly improve their health by switching from smoking to vaping, by adding extra expense to the products they depend on to remain smokefree. Vaping products are used by +200000 people in Ireland and have led to historically low levels of smoking.

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