Vape industry slams EU plans

Vape and cigarettes

POTENTIAL plans to ban flavoured e-liquids and increase controls on e-cigarettes in the EU would “undermine the public health potential of vaping”, according to the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).

The proposals come as part of the European Commission’s Beating Cancer Plan – published on 3 February – which aims for a ‘Tobacco Free Generation’.

Described by the UKVIA as “out-of-step with current UK policies”, the European Commission’s proposals include: an extension of taxation to “novel tobacco products”, including vaping; the inclusion of vaping to indoor and outdoor smoking bans; a full ban on flavoured products; and the enforcement on plain packaging for vaping products.

John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, said: “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.”