Italy already has several pro-vaping organisations, such as the Italian Federation of Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers (SVAPO) and the Association of Independent Retailers (Anide), but up to now there hasn’t been a group focused on vapers themselves. While manufacturers and retailers share an interest in keeping a range of vapour products available, their goals don’t always coincide with those of vapers themselves. The birth of ANPVU therefore gives them a much-needed opportunity to influence the debate.
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According to a press release sent to Vaping Post by ANPVU’s president, the organisation’s mission is:
- To develop, carry out and promote cultural and recreational activities, nationally and internationally.
- To defend the rights of vapers, and promote a code of good vaping conduct.
- To work towards having a range of available premises, owned by ANPVU or by third parties, where informative activities can be carried out.
- To carry out various analysis and testing, with expert assistance, of vaping hardware and liquids.
- Organise regional and national conferences with scientists on the topic of the benefits to be achieved from switching to vaping.
- To promote proposals and initiatives suggested by ANPVU members.
A hostile environment
Italy has some of the most hostile anti-vaping policies in the EU, with widespread bans and a punitive tax on e-liquids. This has had a dramatic effect; in 2013 Italy was the world’s second-largest vaping market after the USA, with more than 4,000 registered businesses. By 2015 this had fallen to around 1,000, and the number of vapers had also fallen sharply. Since then the situation has improved, but harm reduction still isn’t achieving all it could be. ANPVU’s aim is to remedy this by giving accurate information to smokers, and lobbying the government to adopt more sensible policies pioneered by the UK.