“On November 18, the Spanish Ministry of Health launched a campaign to discredit the vapor sector, on the basis of widely scientifically denied reports (it blames EVALI among other things for the responsibility of electronic cigarettes, the fact that the vapor emitted is carcinogenic and that electronic smoking is not helpful in quitting smoking, and even claims that it is just as harmful as cigarettes),” said president of the Spanish Association of Vape Professionals, Massimiliano Belli, in an email to Vaping Post.
In contrast, several other countries in Europe have endorsed vaping products as smoking cessation tools, as data keep indicating that they are more effective than other NRTs in helping smokers quit. In fact, a recent study from Italy published in Addictive Behaviors, has confirmed the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes in helping smokers reduce tobacco consumption and improving their pulmonary health. While, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has now officially recognized and is recommending the products as smoking cessation tools.
To this effect, Spain’s e-cigarette industry has initiated legal action against the government for launching the inaccurate campaign. Started by the Union of Vaping Promoters and Entrepreneurs (Unión de Promotores y Empresarios del Vapeo (UPEV), the lawsuit accuses the Ministry of Health campaign “El tabaco ata y te mata” (“Tobacco ties and kills you”) of being in violation of several articles of the Spanish General Law of Advertising and the Law of Publicity and Institutional Communication.
UPEV is demanding that the campaign is terminated immediately
A release by ECigIntelligence explained that the UPEV said the campaign “identifies vaping and smoking tobacco in a manifestly misleading way, putting both activities on the same level and attributing the same harmful effects to them”. The association is therefore demanding that the campaign is terminated immediately, and presented the court with technical and scientific data indicating the benefits of vaping as a smoking cessation tools.