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 July2 breaking news

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: Threat to ban flavours in Ireland - ETHRA & partners submit to EU call for evidence - WHO announce knowledge hub in France -  The Half-Truth Initiative - The consequences of regressive vape policy - Master list of junk vaping studies - Country updates. Read on for more. 

 

Contents:

EU NEWS

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS

COUNTRY UPDATES

MUST READ

FINALLY

 

EU NEWS

Smoke-free environments – updated recommendation
From 22 June - 20 July the European Commission conducted a call for evidence consultation with the aim of updating the European Council’s 2009 Recommendation on smoke-free environments to include safer nicotine products in its scope. The consultation received 207 responses in total with THR advocates and associations being well represented. 

Read ETHRA’s submission:

https://ethra.co/submissions/113-smoke-free-environments-updated-recommendation

Read submissions from ETHRA partners: ACPAN, Aiduce, Anesvap, BVRA, IG-ED, NNA Ireland, NNA UK, SOVAPE

Read INNCO’s submission:
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13333-Smoke-free-environments-updated-recommendation/F3325711_en

 

EU consultations - your voice counts
An overwhelming majority of EU citizens who submitted to the European Commission’s call for evidence on the legislative framework for tobacco control were in favour of tobacco harm reduction. The consultation received a record number of responses (over 24,000), 90% of which came from the general public. The people have spoken and the Commission must pay attention.

Read more here:
https://nnalliance.org/nnanews/news/373-a-record-consumer-response-to-the-eu-s-calls-for-evidence-on-future-legislation-your-voice-counts

 

GLOBAL CONSUMER ADVOCACY NEWS

The Advocates Voice
The advocate's voice returns to discuss how best to communicate our message and make it resonate with the people who need to hear it.

Advocates voice2

 

COUNTRY UPDATES

Belgium
The Belgian Superior Health Council has acknowledged that vaping is less harmful than smoking and recommends that smokers switch to vaping.

Read more here:
https://www.thebulletin.be/smoke-how-belgium-regulates-e-cigarettes-and-alternative-tobacco-products

 

France
Since 2014, the Secretariat of the WHO FCTC has coordinated the establishment of eight Knowledge Hubs in different regions of the world to support Parties in addressing different tobacco control issues. France now has the first WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on education, communication, training and public awareness, areas addressed in Article 12 of the WHO FCTC.
Will this knowledge hub in France communicate truthfully on tobacco harm reduction?

Read more here:
https://fctc.who.int/newsroom/news/item/05-07-2022-signing-of-a-memorandum-of-understanding-between-the-secretariat-of-the-who-framework-convention-on-tobacco-control-and-sante-publique-france

 

Germany
The BVRA have created an overview of what will change for vape consumers as a result of the new tobacco tax. In particular, the issue of taxes on private stocks.

Read more here:
https://bvra.info/aktuell/steuerentstehung-bei-bunkerware/

The consumer association put themselves forward as an important stakeholder in the discussion around safer nicotine products, and held a productive meeting with the Office of the Federal Drug Commissioner.

Read more here:
https://bvra.info/aktuell/austausch-mit-dem-buero-des-bundesdrogenbeauftragten/

 

Hungary
Excessive regulation of vaping products, including a flavour ban which took effect in May 2021, has led to a flourishing black market. A recent announcement by the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) and the Regulatory Authority for Regulated Activities (SZTFH) stated that over €300,000 worth of disposable pod systems were seized in just a few weeks.

Read more here
https://www.helloecig.com/elf-bar-is-officially-illegal-in-hungary/

 

Ireland
On 15 July, Ireland’s Joint Committee on Health made a range of recommendations to the Department and Minister for health regarding its upcoming ‘Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products Bill.’ One of the recommendations is a ban on all flavours apart from tobacco. The New Nicotine Alliance Ireland wrote to members of the Committee and the Department & Minister for Health to highlight the huge negative consequences such a measure would have. They included a letter which was signed by global leaders in tobacco & nicotine science and policy.

Read the press release and expert letter here:
https://nnai510701598.wordpress.com/2022/07/17/joint-committee-on-health-report-on-the-public-health-tobacco-and-nicotine-inhaling-products-bill/

Dr Garrett McGovern, NNA Ireland trustee, asks why are we waging a war on e-cigarettes when they help smokers quit?
https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/vaping-legislation-5820156-Jul2022/

Read the Committee’s press release and report:
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/press-centre/press-releases/20220715-joint-committee-on-health-publishes-its-report-on-pre-legislative-scrutiny-of-the-public-health-tobacco-and-nicotine-inhaling-products-bill-2019/

 

Netherlands
The State Secretary has said that he will not revise the vape flavour ban even if it leads to an increase in smoking.

Read more here:
https://www.esigbond.nl/2022/07/16/staatssecretaris-vws-smaakverbod-e-sigaret-niet-aanpassen-als-aantal-rokers-stijgt/

 

Scotland
A survey conducted on behalf of the Scottish Grocers' Federation found that almost half of the 2000 participants believed that the Government should encourage smokers to switch to vaping.

Read more here:
https://www.aberdeenlive.news/news/aberdeen-news/scots-smokers-should-encouraged-switch-7374304

 

Sweden
Rumours about flavour bans, unclear guidance around new licensing requirements, and incorrect information from authorities has led many, including business owners, to believe that e-cigarettes have become illegal.

Read more here:
https://www.vejpkollen.se/2022/07/manga-tror-att-e-cigg-blivit-olagliga/

Changes to the retail licencing system may mean that thousands of businesses can no longer sell vaping products:
https://www.vejpkollen.se/2022/07/tusentals-foretag-utan-tillstand-att-salja-e-cigg-nu-backar-kemikalieinspektionen/

 

UK
Clive Bates provides an in depth critique of the recommendations in the recently published Khan review into tobacco control.
Read more here:
https://clivebates.com/independent-review-of-tobacco-policy-in-england-misses-the-point/

 

MUST READ

The Half-Truth Initiative
Marc Gunther does a deep dive into the Truth Initiative and how the lavishly funded anti-smoking group has lost its way. 

“They have spun and ignored the science to cherry pick only information and data that supports the ideology of prohibition” 

Read more here:
https://filtermag.org/truth-initiative/

 

Critique of the Banks review
A study commissioned by the Australian Department of Health has come under fire from four leading Australian academics who say:

“The review from the Australian National University omitted important information, made critical scientific flaws and did not achieve its objective of providing an accurate analysis of the available scientific information. It is flawed and misleading”

Read more here:
http://colinmendelsohn.com.au/banks/

 

The Impact of an Information Shock on Vaping and Smoking Cessation
As with excessive taxation and flavours ban, misinformation about vaping can also have dire consequences. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that misinformation around EVALI decreased the use of vaping for smoking cessation by as much as 30%.

Read more here:
https://www.nber.org/papers/w30255

 

The unintended consequences of vape taxes 
It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with tobacco harm reduction that taxation can affect consumer choice when purchasing products. A new study found that higher taxation of vaping products will likely increase cigarette sales.

Read more here:
https://news.yale.edu/2022/07/19/higher-taxes-e-cigs-likely-boost-cigarette-smoking-among-young-adults

 

Lousy Vaping Studies
The American Council on Science and Health has prepared a master list of junk vaping studies, complete with rebuttals.

Read more here:
https://www.acsh.org/news/2022/07/19/lousy-vaping-studies-master-list-junk-science-updated-july-19-2022-16142

 

FINALLY

Something to watch: 

The Swift Half with Snowdon ft. Clive Bates
An enthralling discussion about barriers to e-cigarette use, the attitude of the WHO and much more!

The Swift Half

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The European Commission has moved forward with its proposal to implement a flavour ban for heated tobacco products (HTPs), which we first reported in March. The proposal will undergo a period of scrutiny by the Council and the European Parliament and enter into force 20 days after the publication in the Official Journal.

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 June2 breaking news

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: ETHRA & partners respond to EU call for evidence - WHO attempt to manipulate NGO observers to the COP - Heated tobacco product flavour ban - Belgium & Czechia support for tobacco harm reduction - Consumer voice helps to defeat Swedish favour ban - Global Forum on Nicotine 2022 - Country updates. Read on for more.

 

Contents:

EU NEWS

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

COUNTRY UPDATES

MUST READ

FINALLY

 

EU NEWS 

Legislative framework for tobacco control call for evidence
Last month we reported that the European Commission had opened a call for evidence consultation which would inform the future regulation of safer nicotine products. The consultation received almost 25,000 responses which can be accessed here

Read ETHRA’s contribution:
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13481-Evaluation-of-the-legislative-framework-for-tobacco-control/F3293420_en

Read NNA UK’s contribution:
https://nnalliance.org/images/EU_Call_for_evidence_-_NNA_Response_June_2022_2.pdf

Read Vapers Finland’s contribution:
https://vapers.fi/2022/06/vapers-finlands-response-to-the-eu-commissions-call-for-evidence-for-the-evaluation-of-the-legislative-framework-for-tobacco-control/

Our article explains more about the call for evidence:
https://ethra.co/news/107-european-commission-call-for-evidence

 

Smoke-free environments call for evidence
The European Commission has launched a second call for evidence consultation that could directly impact safer nicotine products. The aim of the consultation is to extend the Council’s 2009 recommendations on smoke-free environments to include safer nicotine products, this could also include some outdoor spaces. The consultation closes on 20 July. 

Access the call for evidence here:
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13333-Smoke-free-environments-updated-recommendation_en


Flavour ban for heated tobacco products
The European Commission has moved forward with its proposal to implement a flavour ban for heated tobacco products, which we first reported in March. The proposal will undergo a period of scrutiny by the Council and the European Parliament and enter into force 20 days after the publication in the Official Journal.

HTP flavour ban

See our article for more information:
https://ethra.co/news/112-eu-seeks-to-ban-flavours-in-heated-tobacco-products

Read more at the links:
https://health.ec.europa.eu/latest-updates/europes-beating-cancer-plan-commission-proposes-prohibit-flavoured-heated-tobacco-products-2022-06-29_en

https://health.ec.europa.eu/publications/commission-delegated-directive-withdrawal-certain-exemptions-respect-heated-tobacco-products_en

 

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

FCTC Secretariat uses Australian propaganda to influence COP NGO observers
A new article from COPWatch reveals that the anti-harm reduction arm of the WHO has been cherry-picking information to manipulate the NGO observers to the COP. 

Read more here:
https://copwatch.info/fctc-secretariat-uses-australian-propaganda-to-influence-cop-ngo-observers

 

COUNTRY UPDATES

Belgium
The Belgian Superior Health Council has published an update on vaping products in its scientific opinion on public health policy. The Council unanimously agreed that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, can be an aid to smoking cessation, and will provide public health gains if smokers completely transition to vaping products. 

Read more here:
https://www.health.belgium.be/nl/beter-vapen-dan-roken-maar-niet-zonder-risico

The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living gives its views on the report:
https://www-gezondleven-be.translate.goog/themas/tabak/e-sigaret?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en#

Belgium's support for tobacco harm reduction is in stark contrast to attitudes in Australia:
https://colinmendelsohn.com.au/belgium/ 

 

Czechia
The Czech Republic will debate a new action plan which could see harm reduction play a key part of the country’s public health strategy.  The plan could lead to safer nicotine products being promoted as low-risk alternatives to smoking. 

Read more here:
https://ecigintelligence.com/czechia-embraces-harm-reduction-looks-to-include-it-in-public-health-strategy/

 

Denmark
Smoking prevalence among young adults is declining at an accelerated rate as young people transition to low-risk safer nicotine products. Behavioural researcher, Pelle Guldborg Hansen, believes that this ‘substitution principle’ is a golden opportunity to get young people to stop smoking. 

Read more here:
https://avisendanmark.dk/artikel/summen-af-laster-er-konstant-unge-dropper-cigaretterne-i-stor-stil-men-et-andet-produkt-hitter

 

Finland
Positive news from Finland as the National Coalition Party (NCP), the main opposition party, approved an initiative to legalise the sale of snus. 

Read more here:
https://yle.fi/news/3-12489662

 

Germany
In April, the Bundesverband Rauchfreie Alternative eV (BVRA) conducted a survey to gauge consumer knowledge of the upcoming e-liquid tax and possible reactions to the tax, the results have now been published. Predictably, a large number of respondents said they would seek out products on the black or grey market in order to avoid the tax. 

Read the full report here:
https://bvra.info/aktuell/verbraucher-fuehlen-sich-von-politik-betrogen/

 

Norway
Senior researcher at the Department of Drugs and Tobacco, Karl Erik Lund, was highly critical of a new report on vaping products. The report failed to examine the public health benefits of vaping, and focused only on the risks compared to non-smoking.

Read more here:
https://www.vi.no/helse/rapport-om-e-sigaretter-framstar-som-et-politisk-bestillingsverk/76228958

  

Spain
In May the Ministry of Finance introduced a Draft Law for Tobacco and Related Products which aimed to bring the sale and distribution of safer nicotine products under the control of the State Monopoly. If enacted, the sale of safer nicotine products would be restricted to tobacconist. The draft law was open for public consultation from 25 May to 24 June. 

Read our submission:
ETHRA_submission_to_the_Spanish_Ministry_of_Finance_and_Civil_Service.pdf

Read Anesvap's submission: 
ANESVAP-Contribucin-AP-Ley-Mercado-de-Tabacos-junio-2022.pdf

 

Sweden
A huge win for tobacco harm reduction in Sweden as the proposed vape flavour ban was defeated by 177 votes to 126 in Parliament.

Read more here:
https://www.vejpkollen.se/2022/06/the-swedish-e-cigarette-flavor-ban-stopped/

 

UK
On 9 June the UK Government published the long anticipated Khan Review into achieving a smokefree England by 2030. Promoting vaping as a substitute for smoking, and providing accurate information on the benefits of switching are among the recommendations. The review also recommends increasing the age limit to purchase combustible tobacco by one year, every year. 

The full report and summary is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-khan-review-making-smoking-obsolete

James Dunworth gives his thoughts here:
https://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2022/06/uk-smoking-age-limit-21.html

 

MUST READ

Global Forum on Nicotine 2022
Alex Norcia provides a comprehensive overview of this year’s Global Forum on Nicotine which brought together public health experts, academics, and consumer advocates for tobacco harm reduction. 

"Rather than defending the status quo or egos, everyone at GFN seemed truly interested in finding solutions to improve population health, protect human rights and restore dignity and autonomy to nicotine users around the world"

Read more here:
https://filtermag.org/global-forum-nicotine-harm-reduction/

 

Scientific community focuses on tobacco harm reduction through alternative solutions – such as E-cigarettes and heated tobacco
Smokers must be offered more than just ‘quit or die’ according to Dr. David Khayat, former president of France’s National Cancer Institute and head of medical oncology at the Clinique Bizet in Paris. A third option which embraces the concept of tobacco harm reduction can offer a real solution for smokers who want to quit

Read more here:
https://www.neweurope.eu/article/scientific-community-focuses-on-tobacco-harm-reduction-through-alternative-solutions-such-as-e-cigarettes-and-heated-tobacco/

 

FINALLY

Lots to watch:

The Global Forum on Nicotine took place on 15 - 18 June. Over the course of 4 days experts discussed a range of topics, including prohibition by stealth. This important topic covered the many barriers to tobacco harm reduction, including excessive taxation and flavour bans. Consumer advocate, Norbert “Zillatron” Schmidt, was on hand to give the consumers perspective. 

GFN prohibition by stealth

 

Marc Gunther joined the conference by video link to deliver a powerful keynote speech on the unchecked power of philanthropy.  Read Marc’s talk here and watch the video below.

GFN Marc Gunther

Check out all the videos from GFN22 here:
https://www.youtube.com/c/GFNconference/videos

 

 

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 may breaking news

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: The European Commission wants to hear from you - Secretive WHO meetings revealed - Advocates celebrate World Vape Day - WHO updates its post-truth fact sheet on e-cigarettes - GFN Fives return -  Country updates. Read on for more.