Last week the European Commission (EC) organized two different workshops on the topic of the ban, one for member state representatives, and another for economic stakeholders. These had only minor variations in the text, yet clearly conveyed different messages.
This is not the first time that the commission or its consultants are trying to manipulate what is meant to be an evaluation process by exerting influence.
Last week, Vaping Post reported that a leaked EC document has indicated that the commission is trying to extend the EU-wide snus ban to nicotine pouches. Sadly, new reports are suggesting that the commission is being deceitful in trying to fulfill this agenda.
The story goes like this: the EC has recently organized two different workshops on measures for nicotine pouches. One workshop for member state representatives, and another for economic stakeholders. MEP Charlie Weimer who last week revealed the commission’s plot to ban pouches, has now shown screenshots of the documents distributed at both workshops.
A manipulative move
These documents have only minor variations in the text, yet these changes are enough to convey distinctly different messages. The text distributed to economic operators suggests that “economic operators believe that extending the ban to nicotine pouches will be detrimental for users intending to switch to ‘safer alternatives,'” whereas the text sent to member states reads, “…some challenges are posed by new products as covered under the relevance criterion that require the ban to be extended to nicotine-containing oral products.”
It appears that the consultant advising the EC is selectively sharing information. Whilst it seems like certain information is being withheld from economic operators, Member States are being urged to take action against nicotine pouches based on preliminary findings. This suggested approach is of course ignoring the fact that member states providing smokers with access to a range of alternative nicotine products, such as Sweden, have witnessed decreased smoking rates.
This is not the first time that the commission or its consultants are trying to manipulate what is meant to be an evaluation process by exerting influence. The public consultation on the legislative framework for tobacco control drew criticism from several entities, including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). These highlighted that this consultation was structured in a way so as to prevent the submission of responses that deviated from the narrative pre-established by the EC.
Thankfully, tobacco harm reduction experts are onto the EC’s deceitful game. Public health expert Clive Bates has written a detailed article explaining the shocking state affairs. He revealed that the European Commission and European Council are collaborating secretly, and aiming to take advantage of the lack of oversight and transparency of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 10th Conference of the Parties (COP-10), in gathering the support of the radical positions favoured by the WHO. Subsequently, they plan to present these positions as obligatory under international law, mandating their implementation by the European Union.
A plot to bypass parliamentary and public scrutiny
Sadly, added Bates, this seems to be a dirty plot, as their objective is to bypass parliamentary and public scrutiny and “settle it all in the closed groupthink bubble of COP-10 in Panama, in the final weeks of November.” Following this they would present it to the European Parliament and the European public as a done deal.
EUforsnus founder Bengt Wiberg made sure we understand the seriousness of the situation. “The EU is at war and lives, public health, tobacco harm reduction + democracy are at stake, “thanks” to Stella Kyriakides, the EU “Health” Commissioner,” he told Vaping Post. He added that the commissioner should be forced to step down and “asked to apologize for side-stepping the Parliament, the Council and every EU member state.”
In contrast Canada authorizes a nicotine pouch
Meanwhile moving in the opposite direction, Canada has approved a nicotine pouch for the first time. Nicoventures Trading has just been authorized by Health Canada to market its Zonnic nicotine pouch as a product aimed at helping adult smokers in quitting. It has been licensed as a Natural Health Product and has been granted Health Canada’s authorization as a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). This marks a significant milestone for Canada, as no other nicotine pouch had received approval from Health Canada yet.