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Europe’s Beating Cancer plan: yet another health failure

Date

03 Feb 2021

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels, Belgium: Today, the European Commission unveiled the historic Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan that will set the tone of Europe’s lifestyle policies for the generations to come. The Consumer Choice Center, a global consumer advocacy group representing millions of consumers across Europe, is deeply concerned by the Commission’s decision to equate conventional smoking with vaping and introduce restrictions that don’t stand up to scrutiny and disregard consumer choice.

As part of Europe’s Beating Cancer, the Commission seeks to expand taxation to “novel tobacco products,” including vaping; extend the coverage of the smoking bans indoor and outdoor to e-cigarettes, and impose a broad flavour ban.

Commenting on the launch, Maria Chaplia, Research Manager at the Consumer Choice Center, has said that despite consistent calls from activist groups, including the CCC, and scientific evidence at hand, the Commission has chosen to pursue the path of paternalism as opposed to innovation and freedom.

“Due to its harm reduction purpose, novel products, such as vaping, have gained popularity among European smokers. The Commission’s approach which is mainly driven by the desire to take a grab of more freedoms won’t drive down demand. Rather, it will result in a spike in illicit trade which, in turn, will endanger European consumers and increase the budget losses from uncollected taxation. We call on Members of the European Parliament to step in: the future of entire generations depends on you,” said Luca Bertoletti, Senior European Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center.

“It is high time the EU has learnt that trying to force smokers into making tobacco products more difficult to reach and ban alternatives is ineffective. When given the choice, smokers choose vaping as a means to quit and reduce health-associated risks. Using e-cigarettes in order to quit has been proved to be positively associated with quit success rates, and turning a blind eye to these facts about vaping is irrational and inconsistent with our shared commitment to reduce cancer rates in Europe. Europe Beating Cancer plan, as it is now, can become our gravest mistake,” added Chaplia.

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