The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) has launched a landmark tobacco harm reduction survey.
ETHRA, which brings together 22 European tobacco harm reduction advocacy groups, has urged all adult nicotine users to respond to the survey, in order to generate data that can be presented to the European Parliament and European Council.
In order to reach as many consumers as possible, the ETHRA survey has been translated into 11 languages.
The survey covers topics such as consumer reaction to flavour bans, container size limits, new taxes and the legalisation of alternative reduced risk nicotine products.
At the time of writing, the European Commission is preparing proposals to amend two directives in 2021:
1. The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), in which Article 20 deals with vaping as a related product, but prohibits the sale of snus in the EU, except in Sweden.
2. The Tobacco Excise Directive (TED) to harmonise definitions and tax treatment of new products, including vaping, at the request of the European Council.
Almost 90% of citizens and organisations who responded to the Commission’s public consultations in 2016 and 2018 had rejected the principle.
In a press release, ETHRA stated that if the survey is able to generate enough responses, it “will shed light on the issues of possible revisions and provide useful information for public, harm reduction advocates and, of course, decision-makers, particularly MEPs.”
ETHRA went on to say:
“These issues concern tens of millions of Europeans: people who use safer nicotine products, people who smoke and who might switch to safer products, their relatives, and also social and health professionals in the field.
“Building reliable knowledge organically from users is an essential part of harm reduction approaches. This initiative is part of this successful strategy, being both about and with users.”