One of the principles the UKVIA has fought hard for over the years is to stop at all costs vaping being lumped into the same category as combustible tobacco.
While the situation on our shores is far better than it was just a few years ago – to the point where a growing numbers of MPs in Westminster are also calling for vaping to not get thrown in with smoking – for our friends overseas this is sadly not the case.
According to a statement from the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) proposals from the European Commission call for a debate to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco.
The WVA also points out that the European Parliament has just published a draft report on “beating cancer”, which fails terribly to make a clear statement on the potential of vaping and harm reduction in the fight against smoking-induced cancers.
We would urge the European Parliament to look at the cold, hard evidence about vaping’s impact in helping millions of adult smokers here in the UK to stop smoking for good, backed by the likes of Cancer Research UK, which recommends smokers try e-cigarettes as a quit method, and further reinforced by Public Health England which is consistently on the record stating vaping is far less harmful than smoking combustible tobacco.
There’s no doubt that the UK is already taking a world lead in the use of vaping as a quit method, one great example of which is the NHS itself is trialling giving e-cigarette devices to smokers in some A&E departments, which are all part of plans to become a “smoke free” nation by 2030.
But we take no joy from the fact that tens of millions of adult smokers across the EU and beyond may not have the same support and resources due to their political leaders’ refusal to properly embrace vaping as a far safer alternative to smoking and highly effective quit method.
We don’t do everything right in the UK but, when it comes to efforts to stop smoking levels and increase harm reduction, we are making excellent, world-leading progress.