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Antz Attempt To Influence COP9

A collection of cranks, opportunists, liars and well-meaning dunces have written an open letter to the delegates to COP9

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A collection of cranks, opportunists, liars and well-meaning dunces have written an open letter to the delegates attending the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) virtual Conference of Parties (COP9). It contains all of the familiar debunked lies about vaping and implores governments to take an extreme position on tobacco harm reduction products.

The letter is signed by 44 people who are all strongly opposed to electronic cigarettes, snus, and heated tobacco products. What they fail to mention is how many of them receive funding directly or indirectly from billionaire Michael Bloomberg. People like Maurice Swanson, the Chief Executive of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health.

The opening of their ridiculous missive to the delegates, Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus begins with an absurd statement about reduced harm items: “These products are falsely marketed as safer”.

The signatories “urge delegates and policymakers to acknowledge nicotine addiction – in all forms – as a threat to global sustainable development, and to protect the future of the world´s young generation.”

Rather than acknowledging the role vaping plays in reducing tobacco-related harm, they say e-cigs are the “lifeline” of the tobacco industry.

The cigarette business is threatened and the tobacco industry´s response is to develop new tobacco and nicotine products, which can appeal to new customers. Reports from all over the world reveal the increasing use of e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches among young people. In some contexts this alarming trend has been described as an epidemic.

These new products are portrayed as modern, innovative and “fresher” versions of traditional cigarettes and oral tobacco. Also, they are broadly marketed as “tobacco-free” – even though they contain high amounts of nicotine that is extracted from tobacco. There is an urgent need to reveal the lies of the tobacco industry before the global community is facing an epidemic of nicotine addiction on an even larger scale.”

The deluded portrayal of vaping as a tobacco industry evil rather than a disruptive consumer product driven by demand and efficacy continues with an attack on the harm reduction potential.

The new products are portrayed as better alternatives to cigarettes, and effective tools for smoking cessation, in hope to improve the image of the tobacco industry and to convince consumers, investors and policymakers about their societal contribution. This is simply a cover to hide and at the same time promote their true agenda – to lure youth into a lifetime of nicotine addiction.”

The statements are firmly camped in swivel-eyed loon territory.

Independent studies show that new nicotine products do not help current smokers quit, but instead risk becoming a gateway to nicotine addiction and smoking among youth.”

Corrupt arguments relying on pseudoscience and absurd data manipulation combined with illogical emotive pleas – redolent of the flawed and ultimately failed war on drugs.

They lie about “severe health effects of nicotine”, that ecigs are somehow related to “child labour” and conclude that “there is no time or room for a more tolerant stance towards any types of tobacco and nicotine products”.

The sad truth is that this letter will be welcomed by many of COP9’s delegates.

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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