ELF and ERS urge the EU to better regulate novel tobacco products

In May 2023, ELF and ERS provided feedback to the EU consultation on tobacco control.

Last month, ELF and ERS answered the European Commission’s public consultation on the evaluation of legislative framework for tobacco control. Based on scientific research findings, ELF and ERS got the opportunity to once more voice their viewpoint on the risks of novel and emerging tobacco and nicotine products, as well as to propose a direction for future EU and national regulations.

When it comes to novel and emerging tobacco and nicotine products, ELF and ERS provided 7 reasons why they are not risk-free:

  • E-cigarettes cause airway reactivity and they could even lead to lung injury and acute respiratory failure.
  • The long-term health risks of exposure to e-cigarette constituent chemicals are still unknown, while heated tobacco devices have been shown to release cancer-causing chemicals.
  • New nicotine products provide a gateway to smoking and could lead to renormalising tobacco use.
  • Long-term effects of novel products are still unclear and users are exposed to other harmful substances that are different from conventional tobacco.
  • Studies funded by the tobacco industry that support the notion that novel products are less harmful could be biased.
  • E-cigarettes are not approved for the treatment of tobacco dependence in the EU.
  • Novel products could increase dual use.

ELF and ERS proposed the following guidelines for future regulation:

  • Having as the ultimate goal a tobacco-free generation in Europe.
  • Regulating all conventional and novel tobacco and nicotine products in the same way.
  • Posing strict regulation to novel nicotine-containing products.
  • Implementing high universal minimum taxes for cigarettes and all other tobacco and novel products to decrease their affordability.
  • Ending the promotion of such products on social media.
  • Defining an age ban on sales of such products.
  • Facilitating Member States to apply new tobacco control measures beyond the EU Directives.
  • Introducing stronger regulations on tobacco industry activities.
  • Addressing loopholes that favour tobacco industry promotion and activities.
  • Banning online sales of nicotine products.
  • Introducing the Tobacco 21 initiative.

Read the full ELF and ERS answer to this consultation.