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WHO Attacks Vaping

The World Health Organization has released a deeply flawed and bias document attacking vaping and tobacco harm reduction

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Yesterday, 27 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a deeply flawed and bias document attacking vaping and tobacco harm reduction. It received blanket media coverage pushing the negative, shameful Bloomberg funded message firmly into the public domain. Advocates and consumer organisations were swift to attack it.

For the first time, the 2021 report presents new data on electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes”, the WHO said. “These products are often marketed to children and adolescents by the tobacco and related industries that manufacture them, using thousands of appealing flavours and misleading claims about the products.”

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added to the deluge of nonsense by commenting: “Nicotine is highly addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems are harmful, [sic] and must be better regulated. Where they are not banned, governments should adopt appropriate policies to protect their populations from the harms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and to prevent their uptake by children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups.”

The WHO also released a quote from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries and rabid opponent of the most successful quit smoking method since tobacco was invented, who said “More than 1 billion people around the world still smoke. And as cigarette sales have fallen, tobacco companies have been aggressively marketing new products – like e-cigarettes and heated-tobacco products – and lobbied governments to limit their regulation. Their goal is simple: to hook another generation on nicotine. We can’t let that happen.”

Expert and harm reduction advocate Clive Bates responded to the release: “Does the report point out that as a neutral international organisation, WHO is improperly conflicted by Michael Bloomberg support for extreme anti-vaping measures like prohibition and flavour bans? Bloomberg.Org is doing more harm than good and appears completely unaccountable.”

The WHO is also evidently still content with the hypocrisy of adopting a position which recommends the use of medicinal nicotine products to treat addiction to smoking, but advocates prohibition of consumer nicotine products which do the same thing, but better” - Prof John Britton

Professor John Britton, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, added: “This report demonstrates that, sadly, the WHO still doesn’t understand the fundamental difference between addiction to tobacco smoking, which kills millions of people every year, and addiction to nicotine, which doesn’t. The WHO is also evidently still content with the hypocrisy of adopting a position which recommends the use of medicinal nicotine products to treat addiction to smoking, but advocates prohibition of consumer nicotine products which do the same thing, but better. The WHO is right that non-smokers, especially children, should be discouraged from using any nicotine product. But for the more than one billion tobacco smokers in the world, electronic nicotine delivery systems are part of the solution, not the problem.”

Those responsible for the section on alternative nicotine products includes disgraced Stanton Glantz, purveyor of junk science Jessica Barrington-Trimis, and Michael Myers, the Bloomberg funded lying mouthpiece from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) called the report “fake news” and said it contained “false myths about vaping.”

Bloomberg’s puppets peddle the gateway theory, to which the WVA said: “This dangerous and misleading theory has long since been disproved by numerous studies, as well as through nationwide case studies, such as in England where upwards of 50,000 smokers are using vapes as a gateway out of (not into) smoking every year.”

Michael Landl, Director of the WVA, said: “Besides being riddled with biased anti-vaping scaremongering and false claims, the entire direction of travel set out in the latest WHO report is nonsensical. Rather than focus on the all-important goal of beating smoking, the WHO is turning its guns on vaping, the most powerful smoking cessation tool on the planet. They clearly find it more important to fall into line with the narrow-minded ‘quit or die’ approach trumpeted by the WHO’s billionaire sponsors, like Mike Bloomberg. The reality is that if the world follows the WHO’s lead, fewer smokers will quit and more will die as a consequence.”

In light of the actively hostile attitude to vaping promoted by the WHO and its backers, the WVA has launched its #BackVapingBeatSmoking campaign. It aims to educate politicians about the 200 million lives that can be saved globally through better pro-vaping regulations, 19 million of them in Europe.

“The reality is that the WHO systematically ignores the wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the benefits of vaping, not to mention the first-hand experience of millions of vapers. Public Health England research has found that vaping is 95% less harmful compared to smoking and a more effective method to quit smoking than traditional therapies such as gum and patches. Restricting or banning access to vaping will do nothing but cost lives.”, added Michael Landl.



Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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