European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) is launching a major survey. Published in the run up to the revision of the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), this is the only questionnaire to survey nicotine consumers, the people most affected by possible regulatory changes to nicotine products.
ETHRA, which brings together 22 European groups representing consumers of safer nicotine products, is launching a questionnaire on October 12 to examine nicotine in Europe. ETHRA is calling for maximum consumer participation and is asking for consumers to do the survey and also to help with its distribution, by sharing it on social media. The questionnaire is open to adults only and has been translated into 10 languages. The development of the survey is the result of collective voluntary work of ETHRA with the support of its scientific advisors. ETHRA is independent from the nicotine and pharmaceutical industries
What is it about?
The survey asks questions about the use of different nicotine products in order to discern conditions for users across Europe. The practical consequences of possible regulatory changes are also examined. How would users react to increased taxes, vape flavour bans or to the legalisation of snus? Is there a need for greater access to product information? Would lifting the container restriction on e-liquids have any impact? What is missing for people who want to quit smoking? These are some of the themes of the survey launched by ETHRA and its 22 member associations.
The questionnaire is available in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. It takes only a few minutes to complete and is open until December 31, 2020. Access is restricted to adults only. Only one response is possible per IP address, to preserve the integrity of the survey. Please see the notes below for the survey link and QR code.
Data to shed light on European debates
The results of the survey will allow advocates of safer products to collect data on nicotine use in Europe, ahead of some key European Union (EU) regulatory deadlines. 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 harmonize 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.
The proposed changes will be debated, by the Parliament in May 2021 for TPD, and by the European Council for taxes. Drawing up a concrete map of uses and needs based on the responses to the ETHRA survey 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.
Tens of millions of Europeans affected
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.
ETHRA thanks you for your participation and support. Nothing about us without us.
Note for transparency: SOVAPE, a not for profit association, has donated to ETHRA its subscription to the French EVALANDGO platform for this survey. EVALANDGO subscribes to the European regulation on data protection (GDPR) and data are stored in France.
ETHRA (European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) promotes discussion and the exchange of information and potential actions to reduce exposure to tobacco-related harm. ETHRA complements existing organisations by offering European advocates a platform for exchanging information (particularly at European policy level) and for sharing experiences and local initiatives, in support of tobacco harm reduction. ETHRA is registered on the EU Transparency Register, registration number 354946837243-73.