British American Tobacco (BAT) has called on a European Commission scientific committee to enhance the quality of its ongoing review into e-cigarettes.
As part of the European Commission’s forthcoming review of the Tobacco Products Directive, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) Committee was tasked with producing a scientific review of the health effects of e-cigarettes. On Sept. 23, SHEER adopted its preliminary opinion. The public consultation on the preliminary opinion closed on Oct. 26.
In its response, BAT pointed out “major flaws with the methodology and conclusions.” The report, says BAT:
- Fails to contextualize the risks of e-cigarettes relative to those associated with continued smoking.
- Makes inaccurate claims regarding e-cigarettes many of which have been widely debunked by the scientific and public health communities.
- Contains false assumptions that e-cigarette aerosol is the same as tobacco smoke.
- Neglects landmark independent studies showing that many smokers view e-cigarettes as an acceptable alternative to smoking.
- Relies on data from non-EU markets and studies on products pre-dating the current Tobacco Products Directive that are not relevant to the current EU context.
“If future regulations on vaping were to be based on the review as it stands now, they would be based on flawed evidence,” said Eric Sensi-Minautier, Vice President EU Affairs at BAT, in a statement. “We call on the SCHEER Committee to address the serious gaps in the review and reflect the weight of evidence supporting the harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes relative to continued smoking.”