Self-regulatory code for the communication and sale of combustion-free products


The Eurispes Institute presents today, 28 June 2022, with a press conference in Rome at the ‘Gianfranco Imperatori’ conference room of the Civita Association, the Code of self-regulation on the communication and sale of combustion-free products (smokeless inhalation liquids, with or without nicotine, and tobacco for inhalation without combustion as well as electronic devices for their use) to ensure the maximum protection of minors and non-smokers and to identify formulas and ways of correctly informing adult smokers about a conscious choice towards behaviour and habits that are potentially less harmful to health.


The Code was drawn up by a Working Group on smokeless products coordinated by Eurispes, in the shared vision that their introduction to the market represents an alternative to smoking with potentially reduced risk for adult smokers, as compared to the consumption of traditional combusted tobacco, while recalling that the primary recommendation is to stop using all tobacco products and nicotine altogether. This position, which Eurispes has been advancing for years in the public debate supported by several studies. In fact, the Group believes that the evidence of damage to health from the consumption of burnt tobacco requires that tobacco control should use alongside traditional instruments, also alternatives to smoking with potentially reduced risk to be made available to adult smokers, such as Smokeless Products.


In the face of data showing the difficulties that the fight against smoking continues to encounter the only recipe promoted in our country remains that of a call to quit. It is worth comparing this with the sample surveys regularly carried out by Eurispes, from which it emerges that the vast majority of the approximately 11.5 million smokers are unable or unwilling to even try to ‘quit’.


As shown by the Eurispes surveys, 62% of smokers have never tried to quit smoking and only 0.16% of smokers turn to Smoke-free Centres, the main service offered for cessation, the number of which has also decreased by 20% in the past two-year period (2021).


A comparison of the results with those obtained in the past shows a steady increase in smokers who state that they are not willing to quitting smoking, and at the same time the intertwining of consumption of the new products and the decrease in cigarette smoking or even, in appreciable percentages, the cessation of traditional smoking. The evidence emerging from the Institute’s surveys confirms the potential in terms of risk reduction, linked to smokeless products. From here the need, with a view to wider dissemination, to give indications on how to regulate certain aspects of the communication and sale of these products so as to combine the protection of minors and non-smokers and the right to information according to a realistic public health vision.

The working group, launched in the spring of 2020, was attended by various realities of the distribution sector (Federazione Italiana Tabaccai, Anafe-Confindustria, Union of Specialised Retailers Unie-cig) supported by experts in communication and consumer law, Professor Alberto Mattiacci, Professor of Economics and Management and Management at the Sapienza University of Rome and President of the Scientific Committee of Eurispes, Professor Gianni Riotta and a number of clinicians particularly committed to the tobacco-related diseases, Professors Francesco Cognetti Director of the Department of Medical Oncology of the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute and Fabio Beatrice former Director of the Anti-Smoking Centre in Turin, Dr. Damiano Parretti of the Italian Society of General Medicine. In addition to these, Adiconsum consumer association and in particular President Carlo De Masi and Dr. Laura Galli took part in the working group.


On this occasion, we would like to mention, the valuable contribution made to the conception of the Code and to the work of the Group of Experts by the late lamented Professor Antonio Catricalà.


Through several meetings, the Group advanced in the drafting of a Text that, as of Mid-2021, was also open to the participation and contribution of the companies in the sector who, in an atmosphere of collaboration and sharing, have offered various contributions to finalise the text. As this is a voluntary Code voluntary (at the moment it has been signed by the Italian Tobacconists Federation – FIT, Anafe-Confindustria, Logista, Philip Morris Italy, UNIEcig – Unione Esercenti Italiani E-cigs).


As required by the Code itself, the subjects participating in the Round Table created a Coordination, which appointed the members of an Evaluation Committee, coordinated by Eurispes, with the presence of distinguished jurists: Prof. Angelo Piazza, Prof. Alfonso Celotto, Councillor Stefano Toschei, and the Adiconsum Association (Dr. Laura Galli).


For the sake of completeness, please refer to the full reading of the attached Code.




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