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EU Scientific Advisory Committee ignores crucial evidence on vaping

Yesterday, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), published their preliminary opinion on e-cigarettes. Two of the more preposterous claims this study makes is that e-cigarettes do not help people quit and they are a gateway for young people to start smoking.

It is no exaggeration to say that SCHEER has exposed themselves as dismissive of crucial scientific evidence about vaping and the experience of millions of vapers. The end result of this is an opinion that risks driving a significant amount of Europe’s 15 million vapers back to smoking, something that will cost lives.

This opinion holds significant importance as it will inform the European Commission’s review of the Tobacco Products Directive, as the Commission ponders whether to throw up yet more obstructions to accessing vaping products.

In dismissing scientific evidence from public health bodies like Public Health England, which established that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, SCHEER are vilifying vapers for no reason other than bias against vaping.

They even state in their draft opinion that a not insignificant portion of the evidence it is based on is “weak to moderate.”

SCHEER’s opinion on e-cigarettes is yet another episode in a long-running series of regulators ignoring vapers as well as evidence and actions taken by other countries to reduce the prevalence of smoking. For example the UK and France have included the use of electronic cigarettes in their annual “stop smoking” campaigns, based on science that proves vaping can help people quit.

The World Vapers’ Alliance calls on policymakers to listen to our members, vapers from all over the world as they tell their stories about how vaping has changed, and often saved, their lives.

We will not give up in our fight against smoking. We will submit to the public consultation on SCHEER’s opinion, now open, and explain to them, in detail, the concrete evidence behind vaping as a far less harmful alternative to smoking.

This is not about absolutes. E-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes and that is what is key. If ideological decision making drives former smokers back to smoking, it will cause untold harm to many thousands of people across Europe.

We call on our members to raise their vapers’ voices loud and clear to ensure that vaping is recognised by policymakers as the effective quit smoking tool it is. Submit to the consultation with us, continue to share your vaping stories, and sign our petition to include vaping in the European Beating Cancer Plan as a harm reduction tool.