The Portuguese Directorate-General for Health has recently published the National Strategy for the Fight Against Cancer 2021-2030. One of the main objectives is to achieve a reduction of the prevalence of tobacco consumption to less than 14% in 2025 and less than 10% in 2030. Yet, the plan ignores all scientific evidence and fails to mention the role vaping can play in helping smokers quit!
Around half a million lives could be saved in Portugal if legislators embraced smart tobacco harm reduction policies such as those present in the United Kingdom. Vaping has been proved to be a 95% less harmful alternative to smoking, and it is almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments, such as patches and gum, at helping smokers to quit. Its potential to help Portuguese smokers quit and carry a healthier lifestyle can be unleashed through evidence-based regulations that keep vaping cheap, safe, and available to smokers. In this plan, vaping should be mentioned as part of the solution and not as part of the problem!
Despite all, Portuguese politicians are ignoring scientific evidence and the experiences of millions of consumers who have already quit smoking thanks to vaping. The Plan treats electronic cigarettes the same way as tobacco and threatens to apply the same legislation on it. This includes, among many other initiatives, increasing the price of vaping products, tightening sales conditions (maybe prohibiting online sales?) and potentially banning flavours! These measures would push many vapers back to smoking or the black market, leading to worse public health conditions and higher cancer incidence.
We need your help to prevent this from happening! The Portuguese Health Ministry opened a consultation to receive feedback about the plan. Raise your voice and let the Portuguese Government know how vaping has helped you to live a better life! To participate, you only have to follow the next steps:
- Register here to be able to participate in the consultation. All you need to enter is your name and email address, it will take you less than a minute.
- You will receive an email from Consulta Lex. Go to your email inbox and confirm your registration.
- Once registered, enter here and find the box to write comments on the lower part of the website. Write your feedback to the plan in it! You can also attach documents in the box below if you prefer so.
- To support your comment, you can use this vaping factsheet we have prepared for you. You will find many evidence and scientific facts you can add to your submission, feel free to use it!
- Click submit! You will have helped save thousands of lives!