A self-regulation code for the distribution and production chain of non-combustion products, which favors correct and transparent communication. And the document Eurispes is working on involving the actors of the supply chain and distribution of smoke-free products, such as Anafe-National Association of Electronic Smoke Producers (Confindustria), Fit-Italian Tobacconist Federation, with the contribution of important legal, technical and health personalities. The topic was discussed at the working table “A smoke-free future. Good practices for correct communication”, Organized by Formiche and Philip Morris Italia.
“We present a path that has made use of and will want to make use of many collaborations with the aim of produce a self-regulation code for the distribution and production chain of products without combustion. Our activity is aimed at a greater enhancement of risk reduction within public health policies ”, he explained Alberto Baldazzi, deputy director of Eurispes.
From the research conducted by Eurispes on Italian smokers it is found that almost a third of the sample of respondents (30.5%) say they should quit smoking but don’t want to, while 26.3% say they should stop but don’t believe they can. “The only position of the institutions remains to stop smoking, but concretely the number of smokers in recent years has in fact remained substantially stable. We have a very high number of smokers who, when asked ‘would you like to quit smoking’, answer ‘absolutely not’ “, noted the vice president of Eurispes Raffaella Saso. “The ideal result is not to start or to stop, but it is with this reality that we have to deal with”, concluded Saso.
Several players in the supply chain involved in the Eurispes project, starting with the tobacconists, an essential terminal for the relationship with consumers. “We realize that lifestyles are changing – he said Giovanni Risso, president of the Italian Tobacconist Federation (Fit) – and that Consumers are looking more closely at next-generation harm reduction products, such as heated tobacco and e-cig products. We are also willing to do our part with regard to communication aspects to avoid access to smoking by consumers who are not consenting adults. We therefore adhered to the idea of creating a self-regulation code, we are aware that it is a first step but, as they say, those who get off to a good start are half the battle. We also want neutrality criteria to be respected without there being sponsorships or discrimination between one product and another “.
B echoed himarbara Toxiri, director of trade union policies of Fit, underlining that “in other countries they are aiming for new generation products that reduce harm. However, when we talk about the revision of the directive on tobacco products and it is thought to equate, also at European level, the legislation on new generation products with the legislation on traditional products I believe that the good of the community is not done. Institutions should intervene firmly on this point to avoid damage ”.
Umberto Roccatti, President of Aanafe Confindustria recalled: “We immediately welcomed Eurispes’s work on the observatory because it respects our manifesto, one of whose key principles is that of not to communicate that electronic cigarettes are risk-free and not to implement communication campaigns that are attractive to young peoplecompartments. If you don’t smoke you don’t have to smoke, if you smoke you have to quit. If you can’t stop, evaluate the reduced risk product ”.
“Tobacco addiction has insane social costs, estimated in the order of 24 billion euros and causes 93,000 victims a year – Roccatti added – There is a need for regulation because the market is very fragmented and therefore the concept of observatory is good. However, we note the industry’s need to communicate because the national health authority does not embrace the principle of reduced risk in the name of an excessive precautionary principle, while the British and New Zealand governments send commercials on TV. In the UK, e-cigarettes are even distributed in hospitals. 91% of Italian smokers, 10 million, cannot quit smoking and for this reason we believe the electronic cigarette is complementary to the sacrosanct national health policies. Quitting is welcome, but it is an instrument that is not acceptable to the vast majority of smokers. One in a thousand smokers goes to an anti-smoking center in Italy and one in two thousand smokers stops smoking through anti-smoking centers. ”
“Anafe is in favor of this observatory – he concluded – as long as there is a wide subscription by the various associative and distribution chains. Because since there is a monitoring of the signatories, we cannot be the only ones monitored ”.
At the table also authoritative voices from the scientific and associative world. “Cigarette smoking in the world produces about 8 million deaths, 7 from direct effects and 1 from passive smoking. About a third of all cancers are related to cigarette smoking”He recalled Francesco Cognetti, head of medical oncology of the Regina Elena National Institute in Rome who added: “Every time a patient dies of a cancer traced back to smoking, it is a defeat for the country. Even these new products that are marketed and that have a significantly lower toxic damage, because carcinogenic substances are reduced to a minimum, must be banned in certain areas, for example among young people and non-smokers.. Conversely, they must be aimed at people who smoke and who have not been able to quit ”.
“We want to pursue a new concept which is that of partial prevention – he added Johann Rossi Mason, science journalist and director of Mohre – the Observatory on Risk Reduction Strategies – It would have been nice if the players had all been at the same table. Our perplexity is the desire to put all alternative products under one hat“.
“Helping out of addictions is difficult, so precaution is a necessity especially to protect young people. Adhering to forms of self-discipline is a value and any commitment beyond the norm is a goal ”, he explained Laura Galli of Adiconsum, inviting everyone to adhere to the code “because the others will follow”. “Vaping, electronic cigarettes, at this stage we can accept that they are all under the same hat, because different markets and different products are brought together to start a form of responsibility for the supply chain”, he concluded.
Members of parliament also took part in the debate, including the Forza Italia senator Maria Rizzotti, member of the Hygiene and Health Commission, who highlighted: “We must consider that the protection from tobacco-related diseases can be mitigated by intense efforts aimed at getting people to quit smoking certainly, but increasingly important in recent years is the affirmation of risk reduction.. A third of smokers have tried to quit smoking, but quitting smoking is not easy ”.
“There are methods to stop smoking, but also to reduce the risk, which is the only way to really help those who cannot quit smoking – continued the senator – We had an attitude from the Institute of Health rigid towards the electronic cigarette, but today studies are coming out: it is quite useless to have rigid positions, today we have a system to reduce the risk with the electronic cigarette”Added Rizzotti.
The honorable echoed him Giorgio Lovecchio who noted: “It is not possible overnight to eliminate smoking completely, however desirable. Now there is a different awareness. The state can invest in information campaigns ”. “Yes to information, no to prohibition. Not to favor illicit products, where we don’t know what’s inside”, Concluded the deputy.