According to the latest Eurobarometer, tobacco consumption is responsible for 700,000 deaths each year, remaining the largest avoidable health risk in the European Union (EU). The survey also shows that over six in ten respondents took up electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to try to curb their tobacco consumption.

Data shows e-cigarettes are usually used as a tool for smoking cessation, but they might pose risks to users and consumers, as the European Commission has already warned. The EU has recently revised the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which new changes became applicable in the Member States on 20 May 2016. It introduced health warnings on packets of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, a measure that has progressively been applied among member states. However, the directive does not specify how to regulate electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

At EFA we have published guidelines to implement Europe regulation on e-cigarettes to Member States regulators, as this e-cigarettes gap can have negative health effects for patients and consumers. Smokers are more likely to suffer a range of illnesses because of their tobacco use, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Indeed, smoking is a major source of nuisance and exacerbation for people with asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is mainly caused by smoking.

In EFA we support smoking cessation initiatives and activities and we advocate for EU Tobacco prevention policies in collaboration with the 

All in all, smoking cessation activities are key to reduce health alarming data related to Tobacco consumption, thus EFA welcomed the recently European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), of which we are an associated member, European Tobacco Cessation Guidelines containing strategies and recommendations to assist health professionals in delivering effective treatment of tobacco dependence.

Access the full Eurobarometer study here: Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

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