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Parliamentary questions
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8 June 2021
Question for written answer  E-003014/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tomislav Sokol (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Use and effects of e-cigarettes

The use of e-cigarettes as an aid for quitting smoking and preventing a relapse remains controversial. According to some experts, the evidence suggests that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes can be effective in helping smokers quit. However, the health consequences of the long-term use of e-cigarettes are largely unknown. There are also concerns about the risks of young people using nicotine and cigarettes and fears that vaping could ‘renormalise’ smoking.

Many public health experts appear to be divided over the right approach to take on e-cigarettes, but the potential uses of e-cigarettes for people addicted to tobacco on the one hand, and concerns about the use of a substance with unknown long-term health effects on the other, make this an important issue for policymakers.

In line with the WHO’s position, the Commission applies the precautionary principle to tobacco and e-cigarettes.

1. Is the Commission considering setting up a working group to investigate the short- and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes?

2. What data and evidence are needed in order to recognise e-cigarettes as a lower-risk product, or to establish whether the risks are equivalent or at least comparable to those associated with tobacco?

3. Under what circumstances would the Commission lift the precautionary principle applied to e-cigarettes?

Original language of question: HR
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