ETHRA letter to European Health Ministers

In response to two communications to the European Health Council (EU member state health ministers) on 21 June (agenda) proposing various forms of vape prohibition, I assisted in the drafting of a letter to Health Ministers from European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) in the run-up to the meeting.

The letter is available on the ETHRA website: ETHRA letter to the Council of the European Union (PDF)

The letter argues that three main negative consequences would arise:

  1. More smoking
  2. Growth in illicit trade
  3. Risky workarounds

As an alternative, the letter proposes four strategies to address concerns about youth vaping:

  1. A lawful regulated market. 
  2. Age-secure retailing.
  3. Marketing controls. 
  4. Control of flavour descriptors

The Council communications were from the governments of Latvia and Denmark:

  • Latvia A call for action at the EU level to protect young people from harm caused by novel tobacco and nicotine products on behalf of the Cyprus, Estonian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg, Maltese, Portuguese, Slovenian and Spanish delegations, 5th June 2024
  • Denmark Strengthening efforts to protect children from direct marketing and sale of tobacco and nicotine products, especially on digital platforms on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain, 17 June 2024

This was one item of business in a crowded agenda: see the post-meeting press release and video of the proceedings.

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