The EU Commission (EC) has just announced the registration of a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) titled 'Call to achieve a tobacco-free environment and the first European tobacco-free generation by 2030', which urges the commission to ban the sales of tobacco and nicotine products to anyone born after 2010.
The initiative organisers have six months to collect one million signatures from at least seven different Member States, forcing the EC to react to their proposal.
Discussing this announcement in a press release, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl, said that this initiative is a clear example of the rife misinformation circulating about vaping. “This initiative shows the widespread misinformation about different nicotine products. We can’t have a one-size fits all approach on very different products. Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, not from nicotine. Alternatives such as vaping are substantially less harmful and are proven effective methods to quit smoking. Prohibition will do nothing but cost lives.”
Moreover, he added, the WVA questions whether a sales ban tied to a year of birth is even practical. “How should this work in practice? In a few years, shops would have to check the IDs of 50-year-olds. This will not work. Those rules will be ignored, or they will generate a massive black market. Both outcomes are detrimental to public health. Aside from impracticality, generational bans may be illegal in Europe as they stand against an equal and fair treatment of EU citizens – a pillar of the Lisbon Treaty. Moreover, it is morally wrong to deny harm reduction to younger generations. Instead of stigmatising smokers, we need to give them all opportunities to quit smoking once and for all,” added Landl.
The EC has recently announced that the proposal for the revised tobacco excise directive (TED) should be made public at the beginning of 2022’s fourth quarter. The announcement was made during a digital consultation session that was held on May 18th. Present at the online event were Commission officials and other interested parties such as medical and retail associations, retailers, and representatives of scientific and the tobacco industry.