May 2, Budapest. Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz doubles down on its anti-tobacco harm reduction stance and denies scientific evidence about the potential benefits of vaping for public health. State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Benec Rétvári, reaffirms that Hungary will continue to treat vaping the same as smoking and won’t overturn the vaping flavour ban.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:
“It is shocking that the Hungarian government still pedals worn-out and debunked myths about vaping. Rétvári systematically ignores scientific evidence proving the benefits of vaping, not to mention the first-hand experience of millions of vapers. Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and a more effective method to quit smoking than traditional therapies such as gum and nicotine patches. The Hungarian approach to vaping will do nothing but cost lives.”
The statement is a written response to a question asked by MP Laszló Lukács regarding the future treatment of vaping by the Hungarian government.
Furthermore, the government refuses to recognize the success of other countries that follow a harm-reduction approach. If they did, it would become clear that the current approach is wrong. The United Kingdom and Sweden are experiencing record-low smoking rates and fewer smoking-induced illnesses than Hungary because they encourage smokers to switch by smart regulation. At the same time, the Hungarian government continues its failing prohibitionist approach.
“The statement shows that Hungary intends to keep ignoring science and spreading misinformation about vaping. This is not a good sign for public health. Vaping is not the same as smoking and must be treated differently. Equating a 95% less harmful alternative with smoking will prevent thousands of smokers from quitting,” added Landl.