The study by ETHRA (European Harm Reduction Advocates) shows the importance of vaping in smoking cessation among Europeans. The numbers also express the effects of TPD 2016 on their fluid intake.
94% of vapers, 85% of whom successfully quit.
Launched at the end of 2020, the ETHRA survey aims to obtain critical figures on reducing tobacco risks in Europe. In total, more than 35,000 EU residents, including the UK, participated in the survey. The 44 questions relate to nicotine consumption by addressing, in particular, the use of snus, the desire to quit smoking or the possible obstacles to quitting smoking caused by national regulations and the European TPD directive.
The survey reveals harm reduction as an aid to smoking cessation:
73.7% of snus users and 83.5% of vapers quit smoking. 80.6% of them no longer smoke at all.
75% have adopted snus and 93% vaping, primarily to reduce the risks of smoking and improve their health. The desire to quit or reduce tobacco embodies a second reason for adopting the vape: the possibility of adjusting the device and the e-liquids. Aromas also occupy a prominent place with a percentage amounting to 78%.
The motivation of ex-smoker vapers to improve their health with the use of the vape risks being compromised by the upcoming restrictions linked to the European directive on tobacco products, the TPD.
The consequences of the restrictions imposed by the TPD
The 2016 TPD had limited the concentration to 20mg/mg and a 10ml bottle for nicotine e-liquids. Have these restrictions had consequences on the consumption behaviour of each vaper? Yes, the survey shows it:
vapers participating in the survey consume 10.2 ml to 4.94 mg/ml of nicotine per day, on average
carried out in 2013 with the participation of 19,000 people, including 74% of Europeans, an online survey showed an average consumption of 3ml/day at 12mg/ml of nicotine.
the taxation of vaping products?
The introduction of a tax on vaping products could automatically lead to an increase in their price. The survey sought to know at what level of price increase they would change their behaviour.
29.1% of European vapers surveyed would consider changing their behaviour as soon as the price of vaping increases by 15%.
However, if the tax were high, 60.7% of vapers think they would probably (12.9%) or very likely (47.8%) consider looking for a parallel source to find vape products not subject to tax. 27.9% fear starting to smoke again!
the ban on flavourings?
According to the survey, 95% of participants vape at least one flavour other than the “tobacco” taste.
If the sale of aromas other than the “tobacco” flavour were prohibited, more than 71% of vapers would consider alternative sources.
To conclude, by providing for the taxation of vaping products and banning flavourings, the European Commission will discourage smokers from starting a process of smoking cessation due to the increase in prices and favour the appearance of the black market. Vapers will turn to uncontrolled illegal products, a risk to their health.