The European Commission launched its landmark ‘Beating Cancer Plan’ today, despite an overwhelming backlash from vapers and consumer advocacy groups.
Lawmakers plan to increase the taxation of ‘novel tobacco products,’ including e-cigarettes, as well as impose a broad-reaching flavour ban – measures which have infuriated vapers throughout the EU.
While supporters of the controversial plan claim it’s an ambitious step towards beating cancer, tobacco harm reduction groups have dubbed it a failure to smokers.
Commenting on the launch, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl, said:
“Today’s plan shows that the European Commission is allowing ideology to get in the way of science.
“Smoking and vaping are not the same and the Commission knows this. However, they are neglecting their duty to pursue policies in the best interests of all EU citizens.”Michael Landl, WVA
Landl stressed that, by treating the risks of smoking and vaping as equal, policymakers are preventing thousands of people from switching to a safer alternative.
The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) – who represent millions of vapers across Europe – have written to MEPs to express their anger and frustration at the proposed changes.
They said: “As ex-smokers, we are painfully aware how difficult it can be to quit smoking, and many of us could only quit using safer nicotine products after other methods had failed us.
“If these Cancer Plan proposals were already in force, there is no doubt that many of us would still be smoking today.”
They continued: “We are losing confidence in the European Commission as an objective and evidence-based institution.
“It appears to be adopting simplistic and emotive talking-points rather than putting the health and welfare of Europeans first.”
The commission will present its ‘Beating Cancer’ plan to the European Parliament tomorrow – World Cancer Day – where officials will be able to offer their own views and suggestions.