World Vapers’ Alliance presents seven steps towards harm reduction in Italy as the new government takes office
ROME, 25 October — Today, the global vaping advocacy group delivered a 7-step strategy for the new Italian government to reduce smoking rates. In the wake of the new government’s appointment in Italy, World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) together with its Italian partner organisation, ANPVU, delivered the recommendations to reduce smoking and combat smoking-induced deaths to representatives of the parties forming the new government.
The “7-step strategy” was also announced during a press conference in Rome as the new government was receiving a confidence vote in the Parliament. The press conference was attended by the World Vapers’ Alliance’s director Michael Landl, MEP Gianna Gancia (Lega), Barbara Mennitti, editor-in-chief at SigMagazine, and Vice President of the National Association of United Vapers (ANPVU), Anna Corbosiero.
“I am of the opinion that this new government that has just taken office has all the credentials to address the issue of tobacco legislation with a scientific and fact-based approach. In the proposed revision of the Tobacco Products Directive, it is necessary that the Italian government insist on some fundamental points concerning the legislation on electronic cigarettes,” said MEP from Lega Gianna Gancia.
“In particular, Italy should maintain a wide range of flavours, which would help the consumer in the transition from traditional to electronic smoking while discouraging the formation of an illegal parallel market and have a fairer taxation system in order to avoid the emergence of a black market,” concluded MEP Gancia.
“There are still more than 12 million people who are current smokers in Italy alone. The direct and indirect cost of smoking amount to almost 26 billion Euros. Therefore, the new government needs to implement a new approach: instead of stigmatisation and prohibition, Italy must embrace innovation such as vaping. By following scientific evidence and consumer experience, the new Italian government has the potential to become a leader of tobacco harm reduction. Our “7-step strategy” offers a comprehensive guideline to achieve the smoke-free goals,” said WVA director Michael Landl.
The recommendations include the following points:
Embrace tobacco harm reduction;
Promote vaping as a smoking cessation tool;
Allow vaping in non-smoking outdoor areas;
Lower taxation on vaping products and adjust it to its relative risk;
Reject flavour bans;
Keep vaping available while enforcing smart regulations to prevent underage vaping strictly;
Promote tobacco harm reduction in the EU institutions and legislations.
The 7-step strategy on harm reduction for Italy is a part of the World Vapers’ Alliance’s Europe-wide campaign on harm reduction, presented under the slogan #BackVapingBeatSmoking. The group has previously visited France, Poland, and the Czech Republic to deliver Vaping Products Directive, a group’s vision of the Tobacco Products Directive on harm reduction, to several Members of the European Parliament and local policymakers. The campaign will continue in Portugal on 10 November and in Brussels on 30 November.
To learn more about the #BackVapingBeatSmoking campaign, visit www.worldvapersalliance.com/