8 December – Brussels – The European Parliament has today voted to support reducing the harm caused by smoking, as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer plan, but ties vapers’ hands when it comes to flavour choices.
The World Vapers’ Alliance, representing thousands of vapers voices around Europe, had called for flavours to be part of Europe’s Beating Cancer plan during its Back Vaping Beat Smoking European tour.
Commenting on the result of the vote that was held today at the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance said:
“The Parliament acknowledged that vaping allows smokers to quit, and that is a significant step forward in our fight to save lives by reducing the harms caused by smoking. It’s a testament to the power of the voice of individual consumers coming together. However, risking vapers’ access to flavour choices means this positive step forward is overshadowed by uncertainty. “
The wording in the adopted amendments to the Cancer Plan throws the ball in the Commission’s court for identifying vaping flavours which are “appealing to children” in order to ban them.
“Experts, as well as consumers, have been clear about the consequences of banning flavours and ignoring harm reduction on public health. Time and again it has been proven that flavours are what keeps adults away from switching back to cigarettes and we need our policymakers to listen and legislate for this,” Landl added.
Looking to the future, the Commission is in the early stages of updating its Tobacco Products Directive, and it remains to be seen how the vote today will impact that legislation when it comes to vaping.
“It is crucial that experts and consumers keep raising their voices. Having harm reduction acknowledged by the European Union’s main elected body is a showcase of the progress we have been able to make. We hope this will be the case with the Commission’s future proposals as well. We will continue to advocate for our members, ensuring their voices are heard as this process moves ahead”, Michael Landl concluded.
Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance
Notes to editor:
- More information about the BECA committee 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.