PRA Releases the White Paper: “Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, France, Canada and New Zealand”

PRA congratulates Christopher Snowdon (Institute of Economic Affairs, UK), Patrick Coquart (Fiscal Competition and Economic Freedom, France), Louis Houlbrooke (Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand), and Prof. Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada) on the release of “Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, France, Canada, and New Zealand.” This paper illustrates that adopting a harm reduction approach towards electronic cigarettes and vaping led to a decrease in smoking rates twice as fast as the global average. From 2012 to 2018, the Four Country Average for smoking cessation was -3.6% compared to the Global Average of -1.5%.


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Official Presentation of the white paper: “Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada”

Please watch the official presentation of the policy webinar on the PRA YouTube channel:


Although tobacco harm reduction policies are endorsed via “tobacco control” in Article 1(d) of the World Health Organization’s international treaty, the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC), the WHO and its governing body, Conference of Parties (COP) do not recommend these safe and effective quit aids. The success of the reduction of smoking in these four countries was made possible by e-cigarettes and vaping. Moreover, with the World Health Organization’s Ninth Conference of Parties (COP) approaching in November of 2021, PRA supports tobacco harm reduction policies guided by evidence and committed to the protection of intellectual property rights.

The white paper can be found here.

Key Findings:

  • The success of smoking cessation rates in France, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada that is twice as fast as the global average (-3.6% v. -1.5%) can be attributed to the embrace of a harm reduction approach.
  • There is clear and comprehensive evidence indicating that electronic cigarettes are “95 percent safer” than combustible tobacco products and are “twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapies.”
  • Although e-cigarettes and vaping are safe and effective, the WHO’s Conference of Parties does not endorse quit aids, but rather pushes for harsher regulations, and even prohibition.
  • Harm reduction via “tobacco control” is explicitly endorsed in Article 1 (d) of the FCTC.
  • The success in these four countries is linked to questioning and separating from WHO orthodoxy that is based on ideology, not evidence. Although the regulations in these countries can always improve, this approach should be mirrored by the international community.
  • In France, the endorsement of quit aids by the advisory health body, the High Council of Public Health, as well as no specific taxes on these products besides the VAT of 20% led to 80.3% of vape-smokers reducing consumption by an average cut of 10.4 cigarettes per day.
  • France’s daily smoker usage decreased from 29.4% to 24% in 2016 to 2019 while vaping usage gradually increased from 2.5% to 4.4%.
  • The UK’s government embrace of harm reduction by the governmental agency, Public Health England, as well as no taxation and limited prohibition in public usage led to the UK dropping 25% in its smoking rate since 2012.
  • As a result of harm reduction policies, the UK now has a lower smoking rate than any EU country apart from Sweden.
  • In New Zealand, the government’s stalled legislation on quit aids indirectly facilitated a de-regulated market of e-cigarettes and vaping products. The absence of government intervention led to the daily tobacco usage dropped from 14.2% to 11.60% while daily vaping usage augmented from 0.09% to 3.50% from 2016 to 2020.
  • New Zealand used to be the country with the highest tobacco excise in the proportion of income in the OECD. The elimination of the annual excise tax hikes in 2020 led to the smoking rate dropping from 12.0% to 10.5% between 2021 and 2020.
  • Canada’s biggest decline in smoking rates from the past decade can be attributed to the introduction of Juul and Vuse in 2018. As a result, the twelve-month cumulative cigarette shipments decreased 7.5 percent in 2019 compared to 1.5 percent between 2011 and 2018.
  • The strong presence of quit aids led to daily smoker usage decreasing from 15% to 9% while vaping prevalence (past 30-day use) increased from 2% to 5% between 2013 to 2019.
  • The UK, France, New Zealand, and Canada can attribute their successes to harm reduction policies. Although these countries can improve on eliminating taxation, prohibiting restrictions on public usage and marketing, as well as reversing limits on containers for vaping products.
  • The UK, France, New Zealand, and Canada should present their successes in smoking cessation through harm reduction to the WHO’s COP9 during November of 2021.