Coming as no surprise to members of the Planet of the Vapes forum, the petition’s organisers say that vaping “has been life-changing for many smokers in all parts of the world. It is considered by millions of former smokers, who have used it to successfully stop smoking cigarettes, to be one of the most effective cessation methods available compared to other methods.”
Improving the quality of life for all smokers isn’t a priority for the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) is hosting a meeting in November to propose new guidelines on combating smoking, the Conference of Parties (COP9). COP9 will be taking an even more aggressive anti-vaping stance.
The petition’s organisers state: “The WHO continues to insist that safer nicotine products, such as vapes or e-cigarettes are as harmful and dangerous as combustible tobacco and should be banned or heavily restricted. This position is based on deliberate falsehoods, not facts, as they refuse to acknowledge the vast body of independent peer reviewed scientific evidence that clearly shows vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking.”
They believe the WHO’s stance will place smokers “at risk of not being able to choose a safer alternative and may force the millions who have already successfully switched to less harmful nicotine products”.
The petition makes seven demands:
- Stop lying to us and only provide guidance based on sound scientific facts, methodologies and principles.
- Regulate based on sound scientific facts that include stakeholder (consumer) participation as part of the decision-making process.
- Don’t ignore the basic human right to harm reduction that is one of the WHO's founding principles. "To serve public health at all times - to put people’s health interests first".
- Stop interfering with the rights of adults to make informed choices regarding their health and well-being.
- Don’t discriminate against smokers, or users of safer nicotine products, because they aren't doing what you want them to do “We strive to make people feel safe, respected, empowered, fairly treated and duly recognised”
- Follow your own mandate of “We communicate openly with everyone and learn from one another”
- Don’t use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to disregard our rights to choose alternatives. - “We are guided by the best available science, evidence and technical expertise, we continuously develop ourselves and innovate to respond to a changing world.”
The organisers conclude: “All of us need to unite, as one, globally, for our voices to be heard loudly and clearly by those who would rather not listen. As adults, we have every right to choose how we live our lives - the right to make informed choices for our health, including the choice to use safer nicotine products as an alternative to combustible tobacco. A solution to the world's smoking problem is already here, we need to make WHO FCTC HEAR US.”
- Right 2 Switch Petition - www.change.org/v4v-petition