The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is deeply concerned by reports that the European Commission is potentially seeking to ban flavoured e-liquids, in a move which could undermine the public health potential of vaping. Leaked EU plans for a ‘Tobacco Free Generation’ will increase controls on e-cigarettes, despite their proven value in smoking cessation efforts.
The leaked document comes ahead of the expected launch of the EU’s ‘Beating Cancer Plan’ on 3 February, causing concern amongst vaping industry leaders and harm-reduction advocates.
This latest EU plan could include the following proposals, all of which are out-of-step with the UK’s more progressive policies:
- Extend taxation to “novel tobacco products”, including vaping
- Extend the coverage of the smoking bans, both indoor and outdoor, to vaping
- A full ban on flavoured products
- The enforcement on plain packaging for vaping products
The Director General of the UKVIA John Dunne expressed his concern at the leak:
“We at the UKVIA are seriously concerned by reports that the European Commission is considering such regressive action, which will likely reduce the positive impact that vaping has on people’s lives.
“While we completely support efforts to combat the scourge of cancer in our society, the creation of artificial barriers to harm-reduction products is clearly counterproductive. Adult smokers must be empowered to make positive change, rather than being discouraged.
“Cancer Research UK, along with the Royal College of GPs, have confirmed vaping’s significant harm-reduction compared to cigarettes, as well as its efficacy in smoking cessation. The EU’s plans are out of step with this latest evidence.
“It is vital that the UK now take advantage of the legislative and regulatory independence afforded by Brexit, to safeguard this country’s proportionate, evidence-based approach to vaping.”