Limiting the use of e-cigarettes is part of the EU's new plan to tackle cancer in Europe, according to leaked media reports.
"They are choosing to go completely against all scientific evidence," says the organisation ETHRA.
The EU's new plan to beat cancer in its member states will be published in early February. But information has already been leaked about what is included in the plan. A key goal is to reduce the number of smokers from the current 20% to 5% by 2040. According to the Commission, smoking causes 90% of all lung cancer cases, so limiting smoking in the region is a priority. In addition to cigarettes, the Commission also wants to limit the alternatives to cigarettes: e-cigarettes and other nicotine products.
Should focus on harm reduction
In the autumn, several researchers and commentators called on the Commission to promote the development of less harmful alternatives, such as snus and e-cigarettes. These methods of tobacco harm reduction would reduce the risk of cancer while allowing smokers to retain nicotine, they say. many experts in the field.
"We know that some ways of ingesting nicotine are more dangerous than others, and not all ways of using tobacco are life-threatening. I want the Commission to recognise the importance of tobacco harm reduction. They should provide information to smokers to let them know that snus and e-cigarettes are less harmful alternatives to cigarettes."
It says Anders Milton, Swedish doctor and former President of the Swedish Medical Association, to Vejpkollen.
E-cigarettes and snus do not shorten lives
In the context of a opinion piece in Eureporter magazine highlighted Anders Milton According to Mr Milton, the European Commission can contribute to cancer reduction by, for example, making e-cigarettes more attractive by steering pricing in a positive direction. He also mentions that Swedish snus as a proven option for reducing the harm from cigarette smoking.
"In Sweden, far fewer nicotine users die from tobacco-related diseases than in other countries. We are a shining example in the world and Europe. Snus is not health food, but it does not shorten life. And if smokers switch to using e-cigarettes, according to the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, the risk of various diseases is reduced by 95 per cent," he said. Anders Milton.
Want to limit the use of e-cigarettes
But according to the leaked information, the Commission is now moving in the opposite direction. According to the newspapers Euractive and Politico the Commission wants to make e-cigarettes less attractive. This will be done, among other things, through common taxes and a comprehensive ban on smoking in public places. Restrictions on flavours will also be on the agenda, according to information provided to Vaporound magazine
"If true, this is very worrying. It suggests that the Commission is ignoring all the scientific evidence on harm reduction and at the same time ignoring all the European consumers who have quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes," said a spokesperson from the consumer organisation. ETHRA, European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates to Vejpkollen.
38,000 vejpers responded to survey
According to a major survey In 2020, between 20% and 80% of the EU's smoking population use e-cigarettes, either daily or occasionally. Amongst ex-smokers between 7 and 15 per cent use e-cigarettes.
In the autumn, ETHRA also conducted a questionnaire survey among people who use e-cigarettes and/or snus in the European Union. 38 000 users answered questions on flavours, availability and what makes alternative nicotine products work to keep them away from traditional cigarettes. The results have not yet been summarised.
Will fight the Commission
According to ETHRA, the planned measures to restrict e-cigarettes are a direct blow to both smokers and e-cigarette users. The vaping is a way out of tobacco, says ETHRA.
"Thousands of consumers have commented on this issue ahead of the Commission's new plan to fight cancer. If the Commission chooses to go down this route, we will have no choice but to fight the proposal at every opportunity," said Mr Van Rompuy. ETHRA to Vejpkollen.
The European Commission is reportedly due to publish its first draft of the new plan to fight cancer in the middle of the week.