The European Commission should consider harm reduction policies to reduce the negative effects of tobacco.
Author: Prof Dr Frank-Ulrich Fricke, Professor of Health Economics at the Nuremberg University of Applied Sciences Georg Simon Ohm
The Council Directive 2011/64/EU on the structure and rates of excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco (TTD) is currently under review. This reintroduces the question of how to proceed with the tobacco ‘blind spot’. Against this background, two main challenges arise for the revision of the TTD. First, tackling the lack of integration of non-combusted alternatives (NCAs) into the current legal framework. Second, improving the alignment of the tax policy outlined in the TTD
with the main public health objective – to curb smoking. Policymakers should take the harm produced by combusted products seriously. This means applying the principle of harm reduction and treating NCAs differently from traditional combusted cigarettes (CCs) in respect to both regulation and taxation.