The Spanish Ministry of Health has been slammed by Spain’s ANESVAP and the European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates consumer groups for releasing a report on vaping that is “horrifyingly biased”. The Ministry appears to be lining itself up to support much harsher EU legislation restricting vaping flavours and making it prescription-only.
The Spanish Ministry of Health’s report warns the public of “the risks of smoking electronic cigarettes”. Losing all sense of evidence, it camps in an alternate reality where scientific evidence is apparently growing daily about the “short-term risks” of vaping. It takes a ridiculous stance in stating vaping is acting as a gateway into tobacco use for youth and that “there is no solid evidence that they are useful as tools to quit smoking”.
Shamefully, the Ministry also says: “Scientific evidence from recent years discredits the idea based on a 2014 article that suggested that e-cigarettes have an 80% lower risk than traditional tobacco.”
Then, in an act that ought to be criminal, they advertised the report’s release on social media with an image showing a man vaping with a stick of dynamite.
In the document seen by Planet of the Vapes, the Ministry relies on a selection of negative cherry-picked mouse studies, petri dish experiments, work produced by Stanton Glantz, and refers to the universally discredited SCHEER report.
The final two conclusions state: “The notion of risk reduction compared to traditional tobacco is a response to commercial strategies. The consumption of a harmful product is not plausible from a health point of view, regardless of its comparison with other products. The use of electronic cigarettes as a replacement therapy should be approached with caution, especially in light of new scientific evidence. If necessary, the use of these devices as a replacement therapy should be performed and prescribed by a physician.”
Consumer group ANESVAP responded that the report “ignores huge volume of studies which show that vaping helps smokers to quit”, and “attempts to show that restrictive regulations are needed to avoid youth uptake, when there is no evidence of the so-called ‘gateway effect’ in Europe”.
Anesvap’s Ángeles Muntadas-Prim Lafita said: “The Spanish Ministry of Health, facing the scandal of having its smoking rates escalating to reach those of 2005, diverts its responsibility with a biased and unscientific report that requires the immediate resignation of its General Director of Public Health, Pilar Aparicio.
“A position statement in which PHE is slandered, where a Machiavellian use of the Estudes data is made and almost completely based on the SCHEER draft which has not even reached its final conclusion by the EU, is simply a report that lacks a scientific basis and denies the real experiences of hundreds of thousands of people who have managed to give up smoking thanks to these products
“It is from the successful experiences of the consumers that we know of the effectiveness of vaping as a mechanism for smoking cessation, just as it is from a scientific point of view that we know of its merits as a harm reduction tool to fight smoking. The Ministry of Health will find us users in the front line, armed with the scientific evidence and our successful experiences.”