Campaigners unhappy with EU stance on tobacco harm reduction

Campaigners unhappy with EU stance on tobacco harm reduction

According to the World Vaping Alliance (WVA), the European Commission’s approach to tobacco harm reduction runs counter to the views of EU citizens.

Snusforum's recent analysis of public consultations on the EU's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) found substantial consensus among citizens, NGOs and scientific bodies on the effectiveness of harm reduction products in helping smokers quit.

Shockingly, 77% of respondents believe these products are useful smoking cessation tools, while only 9% of EU citizens disagree. Additionally, an overwhelming 82% of respondents dismissed the idea that new nicotine alternatives pose a threat to public health, with only 6% considering them to be a threat.

Michael Rand, director of the World Vaping Federation, said in a statement: "The European Commission's current position on harm reduction is not only out of touch with reality; it is a blatant disregard for consumer opinion and scientific evidence. It is now up to the Commission to respond to reality It’s time to respond that harm-reduced products are not the enemy but vital allies in the fight against smoking.”

According to the World Tobacco Association, countries such as Sweden are living proof of the success of consumer-friendly harm reduction approaches, significantly outperforming the EU in reducing smoking rates. The group said the European Commission's reluctance to accept this approach was not only confusing but also harmful to public health efforts.

“Sweden’s success story demonstrates what sensible harm reduction policies can achieve,” said Michael Rand. “It is baffling and, frankly, irresponsible that the European Commission continues to adopt a hostile approach to these life-saving products. ’. The European Commission needs to align its policies with clear evidence and public opinion, rather than insisting on outdated and ineffective approaches.”
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