Despite complications and delays brought about by the current Covid-19 crises, the European Commission (EC) is continuing work on the EU Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) revision as planned.
ECigIntelligence has just reported that while some of the research work may be delayed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the EC is continuing work on the revision of the current EU TPD as planned.
“The Scientific Committees on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) is preparing an evidence report on the risks associated with the existing regulatory framework for vaping products in terms of nicotine concentration and limits,” read an article by ECigIntelligence.
“The research conclusions should be delivered to the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG-SANTE) by October, but officials in Brussels have admitted to ECigIntelligence that “delays may occur in view of COVID-19 limitations.”
EU health commissioner wants harsher tobacco rules
While public health experts point out that the TPD makes it harder for smokers to quit, the EU health commissioner says he wants to strengthen tobacco regulations, based on a report showing how the TPD works in practice. Meanwhile, despite numerous reports indicating that the TPD is counterproductive to smoking cessation, last year, Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, said that the next European Commission will propose strengthening tobacco regulations, based on a report showing how the TPD works in practice.
“I can organise a guide to an oncological department to see what they are doing because they’ve never been there. The industry never understood the suffering of people. Especially, if you have cancer patients in front of you,” said Andriukaitis in explaining why he believes tobacco regulations should be harsher. The problem with this statement is that the commissioner insists on viewing smoking and vaping and their respective industries as one and the same.
“We have two issues: one is to collect information about electronic cigarettes but also different novel tobacco products. They will have a lot of work to do. They need to show how the TPD works in reality and explore possibilities to improve it,” said Andriukaitis about compiling the report which would support the TPD.
Failure to differentiate between smoking and vaping
The head of Andriukaitis’s cabinet, Arūnas Vinčiūnas, had come under fire for comparing electronic cigarettes to “poison” but Andriukaitis dismissed those criticisms. “It would be strange if the industry did not accuse the head of my cabinet. I’d be surprised,” he said, adding “My question to the industry is the following: is it harmful or not to smoke? Does it cause cancer or not? Harm is harm. No matter if it’s less or more,” he added at the time.