First launched in the Summer of 2021 when the WVA unveiled a new graffiti mural outside the European Parliament at the European with a clear message: “19 million lives could be saved in Europe by endorsing vaping.”
Kicking off the campaign in Strasbourg this time round, WVA representatives met with several Members of the European Parliament to present their “Vaping Products Directive” showing how vaping can be used as a tool to fulfil its full potential for public health. This was accompanied by an art installation titled, “Don’t Let 19 Million Lives Fall”, a message that will spread across ten cities within six countries between October and November 2022.
The WVA campaign reaches Eastern Europe
Subsequently the WVA has launched the campaign in Prague where the group’s Vaping Products Directive was presented to the Ministry of Health in Czech Republic. Moreover, the WVA hosted a protest art installation in the city centre of Prague which displayed a set of falling dominoes that represent lives fallen from smoke-induced illnesses.
WVA director Michael Landl, explained why embracing the use of safer alternatives can save thousands of lives. “Every year, more than 700,000 people in Europe and 17,000 in Czech Republic die from tobacco-smoking illnesses. These are catastrophic numbers if we think how many lives could be saved by consumer-friendly vaping regulation. Therefore, we hope the Czech government further increases its commitment towards harm reduction. The Czech government also needs to push back against attacks on vaping and other less harmful alternatives on the EU level. Our #BackVapingBeatSmoking campaign serves to raise awareness that 19 million lives in Europe could be saved if we embrace vaping as a powerful tool to quit smoking in the Czech Republic and on the EU level.”
Similarly earlier this month, the campaign proceeded to Warsaw where it urged Polish policymakers to embrace tobacco harm reduction and vaping as part of this approach. The WVA told representatives of the PIS and Platforma Obywatelska that if endorsed, vaping has the potential of saving one million lives in Poland and 19 million lives across Europe.
On presenting their directive, the WVA highlighted how vaping would need to be treated and incorporated in order for its full potential for public health to be reached. “Only in Poland, more than one million smokers could potentially switch to vaping if the Government embraced harm reduction. This means, one million lives could be saved from tobacco-related illnesses if politicians stop banning flavours, raising taxes and lowering nicotine levels in e-liquids. In Poland, more than 70 thousand people die every year from tobacco smoking, and if politicians don’t change their approach to harm reduction, this number will keep growing,” WVA director Michael Landl.