The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) has launched a manifesto on behalf of million of smokers who have managed to quit smoking or reduce harm, thanks to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus, declaring their rights within Europe.
ETHRA is comprised of 21 consumer associations in 16 European countries. Launched last May on behalf of 27 million grass roots consumers across Europe who have quit smoking using safer products, the manifesto urged policymakers to recognize the benefits of tobacco harm reduction in advance of World No Tobacco Day.
Despite the evidence in favour of the use of reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes and snus for smoking cessation and harm reduction, some European countries are placing unnecessary bans and restrictions on the products.
To this effect the ETHRA Manifesto, a document written by consumers, is promoting sensible and appropriate regulations for the products so that members of the public who wish to continue using safer alternatives in order to quit smoking or reduce harm, are able to do so.
“Tobacco harm reduction refers to public health and other evidence-based policies, designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with smoking. It endorses the use of novel nicotine products and supports research into their safety and efficacy,” explained an ETHTA press release.
“The 21 partners of ETHRA – representing millions of consumers in 16 countries – urge the EU, the WHO, and governments in Europe and beyond to consider these important principles when forming their policies.
- Access to harm reduction, including tobacco harm reduction, must be recognised as a human right.
- Consumers of safer nicotine products must be recognised as essential stakeholders in discussions of policy.
- Regulation for safer nicotine products must reflect the risks relative to the risks from smoking.
- Regulators must recognise that having a wide choice of products and flavours is key to the success of safer nicotine products in enabling people to stop smoking.
- Regulation must consider the harm to adults when considering bans intended to protect youth.
- Tax policy must take into account that high taxation of safer nicotine products increases rates of smoking.”
Diane Caruana – Vaping Post – July 18, 2020.