Published on the 25th of June, the draft report on Beating Cancer fails to recognize the potential of vaping in the fight against smoking-induced cancer. The director of the World Vapers Association (WVA) Michael Landl highlighted that the document is an improvement on the European Commission’s draft, which leaves the door open for flavour bans and higher taxes, but by ignoring the potential of vaping products it still misses the mark.
“Members of the European Parliament have taken the time to listen to vapers and their stories, as well as to the wealth of evidence that has been presented by experts. Vaping could save an additional 19 million lives in Europe if the right policies are put in place,” said Landl.
“But the Parliament has yet to fully back vaping as a tool to help smokers quit. It is vital that vapers continue to tell their stories and ensure their representatives understand how vaping has helped them change their lives for the better,” he added.
Thankfully the EP report does not put vaping in the same category as tobacco cigarettes, however given the imminent review of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and proposals from the European Commission to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco, “vapers must raise their voices even louder,” said Landl.
The UK’s progressive stance
In contrast, in the UK e-cigarettes are being officially recognized and recommended as smoking cessation tools by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The NICE guidelines on smoking cessation state the following:
- “nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help people to stop smoking and are similarly effective to other cessation options” and
- “people should be able to use e-cigarettes as one of several options to support smoking cessation, if they so choose.”’
The UK has been a leader in endorsing the use of safer alternatives to reduce tobacco harm, and local smoking rates are reflecting this. “Once more the UK is setting an example for the world on how to effectively and pragmatically help smokers to quit.The UK authorities are following the evidence and supporting a tool that actually works. They are supporting smokers to switch to vaping,” said Landl of the guidelines.