Brussels, 29 June 2022 — The Superior Health Council (a scientific advisory board for the Government) acknowledged that vaping is less harmful than smoking and recommends smokers to switch to vaping. The recommendation to the Government was published yesterday.
Michael Landl, Director of the global vaping advocacy group World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:
“It is great that the Council acknowledges the benefits of vaping and its role in helping smokers quit. Vaping is proven to be one of the most successful smoking cessation methods. Now the Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke, needs to follow their lead.”
The report states that vaping “is a better alternative than smoking and can be used as a smoking cessation aid.” Therefore, “it is a good idea to switch from a classic cigarette to an e-cigarette in the first place, but ideally also to phase out vaping afterwards”, according to the report. It also contains some vague recommendations on how to treat vaping flavours: the Council suggests to “freeze the current e-liquid market” and to “investigate the effects of inhalation of the e-liquids”.
“Unfortunately, the Council seems to miss the most important point about flavours: they are essential for vapers and smokers who want to switch. Obviously, we need safety and quality controls, but we must stay away from banning flavours generally. This would push thousands of vapers back to smoking or the black market. Hence, it would damage public health instead of improving it.”
It is expected that the Minister of Health will react to the recommendations within the following weeks. The World Vapers’ Alliance hopes that vaping will be endorsed as a harm reduction tool, smokers will be actively encouraged to switch, and flavour bans won’t be implemented.