1 December 2021 – Brussels: Many European politicians have little or no knowledge of any type of new nicotine product but wish to regulate it nonetheless. The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) is deeply concerned that politicians who don’t have enough knowledge and have not seen the evidence about the issue want to decide the future of vaping.
ECigIntelligence surveyed Members of the European Parliament (MEP) for the second time (the last survey was in 2020) and the results show that many MEPs continue to be misinformed or uninformed about vaping and other less harmful alternatives to smoking.
Michael Landl, Director of the WVA, commented on the survey:
“It is deeply concerning that those making decisions about the future of vaping are doing so without accurate information. Policy decisions should be rational and based on science instead of vague perceptions. It has been proven repeatedly that vaping is less harmful than smoking and therefore public health policies must include it. We urge all politicians to listen to science and those who are hit the hardest by bad anti-vaping regulation – the consumers. Policymaking must be evidence-based.”
Key findings of the survey:
- More than a third of MEPs have no knowledge of any type of new nicotine product (vaping, heat not burn, pouches), and over one in ten are not even aware of any of them.
- Incredibly, 28% believe that vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking and a further 18% don’t know at all.
- Also, 16% incorrectly believe that vaping is likely to lead non-smokers to smoking cigarettes
- On flavours, the worrying trend from last year continues. 53% are in favour of regulating flavours the same or even more than cigarettes.
The lack of knowledge about new nicotine products shows that there is a need for a better understanding of and engagement with the issue. Therefore the WVA together with the Consumer Choice Center has published a policy brief about nicotine and the unintended consequence of an unscientific war on nicotine.
“The discourse is riddled with double standards and partial truths. Due to innovation, nicotine consumption can finally be decoupled from the hazardous effects of smoking and therefore help millions of smokers to improve their health. And yet, vaping and nicotine consumption, in general, are unjustifiably demonised. This must end”, concluded Michael Landl.
Notes to editor:
Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance
- The survey can be found here.
- The policy brief “nicotine is not your enemy” can be found here.
- The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voice of vapers around the world and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. Our members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world. More information on www.worldvapersalliance.com
- Michael Landl is the director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. He is from Austria and based in Vienna. He is an experienced policy professional and passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and in the German Parliament.