EU Health Strategy fails on Tobacco Harm Reduction

Brussels, 30.11.2022. — Today the EU Commission announced in its “Global Health Strategy” that the new guiding principle will be to “prioritise tackling the root causes of ill health”. Unfortunately, the strategy fails to tackle one of the leading causes of ill health — smoking. Tobacco harm reduction must be included in such a strategy to combat smoking-induced illnesses.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:

“The EU Commission is ignoring science and consumer voices again. Tobacco harm reduction must become a key element of all health policies for the EU. Seven hundred thousand people die each year due to smoking, and at the same time, the Commission fights against less harmful alternatives. The science is clear: vaping is far less harmful than smoking and is one of the most effective smoking cessation aids. Consumers demand that the Commission finally accept this reality.”

The World Vapers’ Alliance delivered a petition signed by more than 4,000 EU citizens to the Members of Parliament and voiced their concerns about the negative attitude towards vaping within EU institutions. The petition asked the EU to embrace tobacco harm reduction and refrain from flavour bans and higher taxation.

Members of the World Vapers’ Alliance delivering petition signatures to the European Parliament in Brussels

Giannia Gancia, Member of the European Parliament said:

“The Commission’s goal is to ensure a high level of health protection but fails to deliver practical solutions. A health strategy without tobacco harm reduction is likely to fail right from the beginning. The Commission must focus on solutions which benefit public health by embracing harm reduction alternatives such as vaping and snus and refrain from encouraging the growth of the black market.”

Additionally, consumers are voicing their concerns about the EU Commission’s leaked plan to increase taxation on vaping products and fear negative consequences for public health. The EU Commission plans to “bring the taxation of novel smoking products, such as vapes and heated tobacco, into line with cigarettes”.

“The Commission claims that higher taxes will improve public health, but the reality is the exact opposite. A less harmful alternative, such as vaping, must be affordable for ordinary smokers trying to quit cigarettes. The Global Health Strategy is a missed opportunity to make the EU a tobacco harm reduction leader and the leaked tax plan proves this further,” added Landl

The World Vapers’ Alliance urges the EU Commission and Member States to follow scientific evidence and abstain from higher taxation of vaping products, and embrace tobacco harm reduction instead.


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Vaping can save 200 million lives and flavours play a key role in helping smokers quit. However, policymakers want to limit or ban flavours, putting our effort to end smoking-related deaths in jeopardy.

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