The #BackVapingBeatSmoking campaign reaches Prague

First launched in the summer of 2021 when the WVA unveiled a new graffiti mural in front of the European Parliament in Europe with a clear message: “19 million lives could be saved in Europe by approving vaping”.

This time around, launching the campaign in Strasbourg, WVA representatives met with several Members of the European Parliament to present their “Vaping Products Directive” showing how vaping can be used as a tool to realize its full potential for public health. This was accompanied by an art installation called “Don’t Let 19 Million Lives Fall”, a message that will spread to ten cities in six countries between October and November 2022.

WVA campaign reaches Eastern Europe

Subsequently, the WVA kicked off the campaign in Prague, where the group’s vaping product guideline was presented to the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health. Additionally, the WVA organized a protest art installation in downtown Prague that featured a set of falling dominoes representing dead lives from smoke-induced illnesses.

WVA Director Michael Landl explained why adopting safer alternatives can save thousands of lives. “Every year more than 700,000 people in Europe and 17,000 in the Czech Republic die from smoking-related diseases. These are catastrophic numbers considering the number of lives that could be saved by consumer-friendly vaping regulations. Therefore, we hope that the Czech government will further strengthen its commitment to risk reduction. The Czech government must also push back against attacks on vaping and other less harmful alternatives at the EU level. Our #BackVapingBeatSmoking campaign serves to raise awareness that 19 million lives in Europe could be saved if we embrace vaping as a powerful tool to quit smoking in the Czech Republic and at EU level.

Similarly, earlier this month, the campaign traveled to Warsaw where it urged Polish policymakers to embrace tobacco harm reduction and vaping as part of this approach. The WVA told representatives from PIS and Platforma Obywatelska that if approved, vaping could save a million lives in Poland and 19 million lives in Europe.

In presenting its guideline, the WVA outlined how vaping should be addressed and integrated so that its full public health potential is achieved. “In Poland alone, over a million smokers could potentially switch to vaping if the government embraces harm reduction. This means a million lives could be saved from tobacco-related disease if politicians stop banning flavors, raise taxes and reduce nicotine levels in e-liquids. In Poland, more than 70,000 people die each year from smoking, and if politicians do not change their approach to harm reduction, this number will continue to increase,” said Michael Landl, director of the WVA.

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