Last Friday, 20 May, the European Commission launched a call for evidence to evaluate the legislative framework for tobacco control, which will include the Tobacco Products Directive and the Tobacco Advertising Directive. The evaluation will assess if current tobacco control legislation has achieved its objectives and how it can support future commitments, namely a “Tobacco-Free Generation” by 2040, as set out in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. ETHRA's contribution to the call for evidence can be found on the EU consultation page, and on the submissions section of our website.
The rationale behind the consultation is given as the need for legislation to keep up with the “rapid rise” in emerging products, such as nicotine-free vaping products, nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products, which have entered the EU market. Other areas of concern they identify are online sales and social media, we know that some member states have already banned online sales and there has been growing calls to ban advertising and promotion of vaping products on social media.
The call for evidence is the first of three consultations that will make up the evaluation. Following the call for evidence there will be a 12-week public consultation, and targeted stakeholder consultations. As well as the consultations, the Commission will consider various reports including the SCHEER report, Report on the Application of the Tobacco Products Directive, and the Study on Smoke-free Environments and Advertising of Tobacco and Related Products, to name a few. These reports recommend harsh restrictions on safer nicotine products (SNPs) that include flavour bans, adding SNPs to smoke-free environment legislation, and recommend the [mis]application of the precautionary principle in relation to SNPs. Recommendation that are of great concern to consumers.
The call for evidence will run until 17 June and is open to the general public, consumer associations, and academic and scientific experts. To give your feedback you can access the consultation here, on that page you can download a pdf with additional information on the consultation, available in 23 languages.
After clicking ‘Give Feedback’ you will have to either sign in or create an account.
Once signed in you can choose which language your feedback will be in, add your comments to the text box (4000 characters max), or you can add your feedback as a file (files must be less than 5MB).
Finally, you can decide if you want your feedback to be public or anonymous, click submit and your contribution will be published. Note that only your name will be published if you choose public.
Consumers, advocates, and those defending tobacco harm reduction as a means of reducing the burden on health from smoking, must make their voices heard, both in the call for evidence and also during the public consultation that will follow.