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. It says that many European politicians have little or no knowledge of any type of new nicotine product but wish to regulate it nonetheless.
The WVA’s comments follow a survey conducted by ECigIntelligence where it asked Members of the European Parliament (MEP) for the second time about their knowledge. The results demonstrated 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. Policy making must be evidence based.”
Key findings of ECigIntelligence’s 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 WVA says 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 Centre has published a policy brief about nicotine and the unintended consequence of an unscientific war on nicotine.
The policy brief states that Governments around the world, wealthy “philanthropists,” misguided activists and a few others are waging a war against the wrong enemy.
“For decades, the war on nicotine has been a terribly unsuccessful exercise in futility – because the problem was never nicotine. So-called experts, media and politicians found a simple argument and a convenient scapegoat for an incredibly complex problem. They failed to prevent, as such, the deaths of millions of people around the world. And they persist in their thinking to the detriment of 1.1 billion people.
“A seventh of the world population smokes. A small part of them will eventually stop smoking ‘cold turkey’. For the rest, there are a number of options. In the last decade or so, vaping has come up to be the most efficient way to quit smoking. It retains the ‘familiarity’ of the ritual of smoking, without 95% of the harm of smoking. For many, it has been a steppingstone from a very unhealthy habit to life without cigarettes. For some people, this is one of the most important changes in their lives.
“Yet vaping has been under a constant and virulent attack from all sides. Despite the millions of people who have failed to quit through traditional methods but managed by vaping – it seems governments and politicians and some public health experts have been fooled into believing a narrative that makes absolutely no sense: since there’s nicotine in vaping, then it should be treated the same as cigarettes. But wait, there’s nicotine in nicotine gum and nicotine patches, and they’re not treated like cigarettes? They’re celebrated! They are prescribed and recommended as a first step to quitting. And as many studies have shown they are the most likely to fail.”
- You can read the full policy brief “STOP the War on Nicotine” here – https://consumerchoicecenter.org/stop-the-war-on-nicotine-six-reasons/
- World Vapers’ Alliance – www.worldvapersalliance.com