Madrid, 28.11.2023. – The World Vapers’ Alliance has sent an open letter to the Spanish Ministry of Health and its new head, Mónica García, calling for an anti-smoking approach based on harm reduction and the abandonment of the measures proposed in the last legislature aimed at restricting the use of e-cigarettes.
The draft of the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking 2021-2025 and the Draft Bill on the Tobacco and Other Related Products Market presented during the last legislature included among its measures a ban on flavours and higher taxes on electronic cigarettes, as well as a ban on their use in smoke-free areas and their sale online and in specialised establishments. The approval of the two documents last legislature was left pending, so it is possible that they will be passed in the near future.
Vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking according to Public Health England and is more than twice as effective at quitting smoking as traditional nicotine replacement therapies, according to Queen Mary University researchers.
Alberto Gómez Hernández, policy manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:
“Passing such restrictive measures would prevent millions of smokers from switching to a much less harmful alternative and would push hundreds of thousands of vapers back to smoking. In contrast, adopting tobacco harm reduction as the main approach to tobacco control in Spain could save millions of lives, improve public health and reduce the health care costs of smoking.”
Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, added:
“Hundreds of studies support the e-cigarette as a tool to quit smoking and improve public health. Instead of discouraging its use, Spain should help smokers to switch and learn from the UK and Sweden, countries that are leading the way in reducing smoking rates by implementing tobacco harm reduction policies.”
Vaping flavours play an essential role in smoking cessation, increasing the likelihood of quitting by 230%, according to researchers at the Yale School of Public Health.
In this regard, Alberto Gómez Hernández added:
“Banning vaping flavours and bringing the price of e-cigarettes in line with combustion cigarettes would jeopardise the last decade’s progress in reducing smoking rates. It is necessary to keep flavours and vaping products available at an affordable price to help smokers.“
“In Spain, more than 50,000 people still die every year from smoking-related diseases. Spain needs to adopt an anti-smoking strategy that includes the use of less harmful nicotine products as a smoking cessation tool. Sweden is on the verge of becoming the first smoke-free country thanks to this approach, and the UK is reducing its smoking rate at full speed thanks to e-cigarettes. We must follow their example,” concluded Gómez Hernández.