The Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA) welcomed the decision of MEPs to recognize tobacco harm reduction as a tool in beating cancer; but remains concerned that the report approved today by the European Parliament leaves the door open to a flavour ban in the EU.
The Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) today voted on the amendments and the draft of the Beating Cancer report by Rapporteur Véronique Trillet-Lenoir. The authors of the report identify smoking as one of the main causes of cancer and IEVA agrees that everything should be done to significantly reduce the smoking rate in Europe.
There is little scientific doubt that tobacco harm reduction is a key tool in achieving this goal. Even those skeptical of tobacco harm reduction concede that vaping is many orders of magnitude less harmful than continuing to smoke. According to Public Health England (PHE), e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than tobacco and the risk of cancer drops by 99.6 percent.
The reports’ compromise amendment on vaping includes the recognition of vaping as a tool to help some smokers quit smoking and the need for further research on vaping to be done in relative terms (i.e. in comparison to combustible tobacco).
The meaning of flavours
But the final text of the report also includes a mention of further assessment of flavours “particularly attractive to minors and non-smokers” and a possible ban on them in the context of the review of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
Dustin Dahlmann, President of IEVA: “European Parliament reports like this are necessarily a compromise. IEVA notes that the variety of flavours is one of the most important reasons for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and for vapers not to go back to smoking. A ban on flavours would eliminate one of the main advantages of the e-cigarette over the tobacco cigarette – an improved taste.”
“We also see that the importance of the e-cigarette for quitting smoking is recognized and that the risks of vaping are planned to be assessed even more in relation to the risks of smoking in the future. This approach must be pursued, and not undermined by banning most products on the market today.”