Dear Honorable MEP Ouzky,
My name is Atakan Befrits and I am a Swedish European as well as a Harm Reduction entrepreneur and activist based entirely outside the EU.
I am writing to you for information purposes only. I am intensely curious as to why the Czech republic had such a diametrically opposed total voting behaviour on the TPD compared to other countries.
As you know, Sweden is the only country in the EU where snus is freely sold and used as an alternative to cigarette smoking. Sweden is also an EU country that already has a blanket ban on e-cigarettes. (Very curious in itself)
I also know for a fact that Swedish snus “derivative” products are sold in the Czech Republic. (By derivative I mean in a format designed to “avoid” the EU snus ban)
Can you give me any insight as to why so extremely many Czech MEP’s didn’t vote at all, abstained or voted NO to the TPD?
Is the general feeling in the Czech Republic that Harm Reduction products are a good thing or is the voting behaviour from your fellow MEP’s and yourself based on some other “important” consideration for your country? Such as a large internal tobacco production industry or something like that?
For your information the Swedish MEP’s voted 1 abstain, 1 NO, and 19 yes to the TPD. That means that approximately 90% of Swedish MEP’s actually voted to DENY the rest of Europe the free choice to use a 99% less harmful form of tobacco.
Isn’t that very very strange coming from a country that has 13% smokers compared to Europe’s 28%, but the same percentage of tobacco users. At the same time Sweden’s tobacco related disease levels are approximately 50% lower than the rest of Europe.
I thank you very much in advance for your insight and input on this highly controversial issue on tobacco, ethics and morals.
I salute you for your vote!