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Parliamentary questions
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2 July 2020
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-002346/2020

Established since 1974, the Eurobarometer is a well-established data source, consisting of approximately 1000 face-to-face interviews per country. E-cigarettes have been included since 2012, with a dedicated section as of 2014. The most recent report(1) provided a comprehensive analysis of reasons for switching to e-cigarettes. It showed that young people aged 15-24 were more likely to start using e-cigarettes for reasons other than curbing tobacco intake. The majority of respondents said e-cigarettes did not help them reduce their tobacco consumption.

The upcoming Eurobarometer on attitudes towards tobacco and related products will also address e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the fieldwork will be delayed and the results will not be available for presentation at the 2020 World No Tobacco Day.

Article 28 of the Tobacco Products Directive(2) specifies that, when drafting its report on the application of the directive, the Commission shall be assisted by scientific and technical experts. Currently in its preparatory phase, the report will draw on a range of information and reports(3), including the upcoming Eurobarometer. Member States and the Commission regularly discuss e-cigarette issues at relevant expert(4) and sub-group(5) meetings. The Commission monitors market and scientific developments related to e-cigarettes and has already requested a scientific opinion(6) from the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), which will also address initiation and cessation.

(1)Special Eurobarometer 458 ‘Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes’
https://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/instruments/SPECIAL/surveyKy/2146, page 118
(2)Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products and repealing Directive 2001/37/EC (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p.1).
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