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EU proposes ban on sale of flavoured heated tobacco products

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By AP  with Euronews
The European Commission said its proposal comes in response to a significant increase in the volume of such products sold across the bloc.
The European Commission said its proposal comes in response to a significant increase in the volume of such products sold across the bloc.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

The European Commission has proposed banning the sale of flavoured heated tobacco products in its efforts to fight cancer.

The ban would only cover items that deliver heated tobacco, also known as heated cigarettes, and will not affect e-cigarettes or other vaping products which only contain nicotine and produce vapour.

Heated cigarettes are often seen as an alternative to other tobacco products as the lower temperature at which the pen-like devices operate allows them to not burn the tobacco or produce smoke when used. 

However, they do not come without the serious health risks associated with tobacco use.

A recent Commission study showed a 10% increase in sales of heated tobacco products in more than five member nations, while heated tobacco products exceeded 2.5 % of total sales of tobacco products overall across the region.

“With 9 out of 10 lung cancers caused by tobacco, we want to make smoking as unattractive as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives,” said EU Health & Food Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

According to EU figures, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the bloc, with around 1.3 million cancer fatalities and 3.5 million new cases each year.

An estimated 40% of EU citizens will face cancer at some point in their lives, with an annual economic impact estimated at around €100 billion.

The European Commission previously said it wanted to ensure that less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040.

The ban’s proposal now goes to member nations and European Parliament lawmakers for review.