Spanish NGO Urges EU Commission to Restrict Vape Sales
The initiative organisers have six months to collect one million signatures from at least seven different Member States, forcing the EC to react to their proposal.
Discussing this announcement in a press release, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl, said that this initiative is a clear example of the rife misinformation circulating about vaping. “This initiative shows the widespread misinformation about different nicotine products. We can’t have a one-size fits all approach on very different products. Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, not from nicotine. Alternatives such as vaping are substantially less harmful and are proven effective methods to quit smoking. Prohibition will do nothing but cost lives.”
Moreover, he added, the WVA questions whether a sales ban tied to a year of birth is even practical. “How should this work in practice? In a few years, shops would have to check the IDs of 50-year-olds. This will not work. Those rules will be ignored, or they will generate a massive black market. Both outcomes are detrimental to public health. Aside from impracticality, generational bans may be illegal in Europe as they stand against an equal and fair treatment of EU citizens – a pillar of the Lisbon Treaty. Moreover, it is morally wrong to deny harm reduction to younger generations. Instead of stigmatising smokers, we need to give them all opportunities to quit smoking once and for all,” added Landl.
These actions show the increased pressure on the EC
Meanwhile, the initiative organisers have six months to collect one million signatures from at least seven different Member States in order to force the EC to react to their proposal. Landl explained that while the registration of the ECI is not an endorsement by the Commission, it shows that the pressure on the EC is increasing.
“The registration of this initiative shows that the pressure from anti-harm reduction groups on EU institutions is increasing. This is not a good sign regarding the upcoming Tobacco Products Directive update. Future regulation must be based on science and the experience of millions of consumers. Less harmful products must be treated differently than cigarettes. Prohibition never worked and will never work. It just creates massive unintended consequences and harms public health. The exact opposite of what we all want,” added Michael Landl.
The EC has recently announced that the proposal for the revised tobacco excise directive (TED) should be made public at the beginning of 2022’s fourth quarter. The announcement was made during a digital consultation session that was held on May 18th. Present at the online event were Commission officials and other interested parties such as medical and retail associations, retailers, and representatives of scientific and the tobacco industry.