The Tobacco Harm Reduction narrative does not hold scientific evidence

Wednesday, 10 July 2024

The newly released Eurobarometer on Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tobacco and Related Products1 paints a concerning picture, to say the least. Nearly one in four Europeans (24%) currently smoke, reflecting only a 1 percentage point decrease from 2020. Meanwhile, e-cigarette use is now up to 6% among the 15-24 age group. This proves that the complete lack of tobacco control measures at the EU level resulted in smoking prevalence dropping only 1 percentage point over 2020-2023. 

The previous Eurobarometer showed that smoking prevalence decreased by 3 percentage points over 2017-2020. This reduction in smoking prevalence was achieved thanks to the revision of the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU that went into effect in 2016.

Contrary to common belief, tobacco control policies have great public support. The Eurobarometer clearly indicates that “a substantial majority also supports banning the use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products in areas where traditional smoking is already prohibited”.

Belgian Minister of Health and Social Affairs Frank Vandenbroucke commented: “The Eurobarometer underlines the need to act. It shows that people support additional tobacco control measures rather than linking them to the image of a « nanny-state » as some lobbies like to suggest. I sincerely hope that the next commission will quickly pick up the delayed work on the revision of the tobacco directives.” 

Download the full press release below: 

Contact us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Chaussée de Louvain 479
  • 1030 Brussels, Belgium

Support SFP

The Smoke Free Partnership receives operating funding from the European Commission. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.