The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer has included a tobacco harm reduction perspective as part of its recommendations
The Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) adopted a report on 9 December, calling for stronger EU actions against cancer in which tobacco harm reduction is part of the recommendations.
BECA’s recommendations include to consider that electronic cigarettes could allow some smokers to progressively quit smoking and BECA calls on the Commission to fund programmes that promote smoking cessation. It is also underlined, among other things, that tobacco consumption is a risk factor common to other chronic diseases and BECA therefore believes that cancer prevention and risk reduction measures have to be implemented in the context of an integrated chronic disease prevention programme.
Haypp Group welcomes BECA’s report and the introduction of a tobacco harm reduction as a goal for the continued work within the European Union for preventing disease and promoting a healthy lifestyle. All measures that encourage consumers to change their tobacco habits and switch from cigarettes to healthier and safer alternatives will lead to positive effects on public health. For this reason, we regret to see that BECA’s report also includes recommendations that aim to restrict flavouring of electronic cigarettes and tobacco products. Risk reduction products such as medicinal products with nicotine have been around for a long time and have not contributed to reduce smoking. In order to achieve harm reduction and encourage smokers to switch to safer tobacco and nicotine products, it is important to ensure that the safer products remain an attractive alternative. Restricting the possibilities to offer various flavours for safer alternatives will therefore risk being counterproductive to the goal of harm reduction.
The next step is that the report will be subject to a Parliament’s plenary voting and it is expected to be adopted in early 2022.