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Leading international experts have compiled and published extensive research which slams the World Health Organisation’s official health claims about vaping

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Several leading international Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) experts have compiled and published extensive research which slams the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) official health claims about vaping. Titled ‘The Subversion of Public Health: Consumer Perspectives’, the paper hits back at the WHO’s claim that ‘never-smoker minors who use ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) can double their chance of starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes later in life.’

The use of ENDS does not cause cigarette smoking. Far more likely, is that those same influences that incline young people to smoke also incline them to use ENDS. These factors might include genetics, family circumstances, mental health, school environment, delinquency, risk-taking etc. This is known as ‘common liability’,” says the paper.

The ‘gateway effect’ has been disproven time and time again. Vaping is an offramp to smoking, not an onramp. Rest assured, most young people vaping will have smoked or would be smokers if vaping wasn’t around,” said Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates).

We are dead against minors vaping, but let’s also remember smoking behind the bike sheds in the old days had much worse health consequences,” she added.

The authors also took exception to the WHO’s claim that both tobacco products and ENDS pose risks to health and that the risks associated with both are likely to depend on a range of factors, some relating to the products used and some to the individual user.

No respectable scientist believes that ENDS are even close to the risk of smoking. The question: ‘Are e-cigarettes more dangerous than combustible smoking’ is itself an absolute scandal, designed to introduce an anchoring bias”, says the white paper.

What really annoys us THR advocates is that the WHO constantly compares deadly smoking with considerably less harmful products, making it seem they are equally dangerous. It’s a deliberate comparison which only leads to serious health consequences as people abandon vaping and go back to cigarettes or don’t switch to safer nicotine products in the first place,” continued Ms Loucas.

On the WHO’s claims that there is growing evidence that e-cigarettes cause lung injuries, the white paper concludes it’s a “shameful and outright falsehood”.

There is no ‘growing evidence’ that ENDS could cause lung damage of the type seen in the United States between June and December 2019. On the contrary, since July 2019, there has been growing and now conclusive evidence that this outbreak has nothing at all to do with ENDS,” the authors hit back.

We will continue to publish key parts of our review into the WHO’s guidance which they alarmingly provide to signatories and delegates of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

“All we’re asking for is evidence-based and objective policy discussions, decisions, and risk proportionate regulations. That’s how the FCTC will reduce the harms of combustible and unsafe tobacco products globally,” says Nancy Loucas.


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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