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EU’s Smoke-Free Goal Fails by 60 Years: Urgent Reassessment Needed




The latest Eurobarometer 2024 reveals a startling failure in the EU’s approach to achieving its smoke-free target of a 5% smoking rate. At the current trend, the smoking rate will only fall below 5% by the year 2100 —60 years past the goal of 2040.

“By stubbornly targeting harm reduction products instead of focusing on the real issue, the EU is not just failing but actively sabotaging public health efforts,” said Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers Alliance. “This disastrous approach must end now. Instead of fighting products such as vaping or nicotine pouches, they must become a cornerstone of future public health strategies. Otherwise, the fight against smoking will be lost.”

Key Findings of the Eurobarometer 2024:

·       Heated Tobacco Products: Used by 2% of Europeans.

·       Vaping: 3% of Europeans are vapers.

·       Nicotine Pouches: Tried by 4% of Europeans.


The EU’s focus on these products is misplaced. With an average smoking rate of 24% in the EU, the priority should be on helping smokers switch to less harmful alternatives.

·       Sweden’s smoking rate is three times lower than the EU average (while 26% of people use snus & 20% have tried nicotine pouches)

·       Vaping products, heated tobacco products, and nicotine pouches are not generally appealing to non-users but are essential tools for smokers looking to quit or reduce cigarette consumption.

·       Vaping is 2.5 times more effective for smoking cessation compared to traditional nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

The report clearly indicates that the EU’s current strategy is failing. It’s time to prioritise harm reduction and make effective changes to save lives.

·       The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voices of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. Our members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world. More information on 

·       Michael Landl is the director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. He is from Austria and is based in Vienna. He is an experienced policy professional and a passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and the German Parliament. 

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