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Israel Plan Threatens Public Health

Israel's smoking action plan raises concerns over public health impact, according to The World Vapers' Alliance

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The World Vapers' Alliance (WVA) is actively voicing concerns regarding Israel's recently announced Smoking Action Plan. While applauding efforts to curb smoking rates, the WVA emphasises the need for a balanced and evidence-based approach that distinguishes vaping from traditional smoking.

The plan includes raising the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21 and introducing graphic warning images on cigarette packs. However, the approach towards vaping within the plan has raised eyebrows among harm reduction advocates, because it includes measures such as flavour bans, nicotine limits, disposable vape bans, and equalised taxation.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, expressed his concerns: "While we appreciate the government's commitment to reducing smoking rates in Israel, the current plan will inadvertently have the opposite effect on public health. The fight against smoking deserves focused strategies that acknowledge the substantial differences between vaping and traditional tobacco consumption. To truly combat smoking, embracing less harmful alternatives like vaping is crucial. Vaping has been proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking and is among the most effective tools for smoking cessation."

A recent prominent study from the United States lends support to vaping as a valuable smoking cessation aid. Researchers at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Centre concluded that individuals using e-cigarette products demonstrated greater abstinence rates compared to those who did not.

Matthew Carpenter, lead author of the study, stated, “No matter how we looked at it, those who got the e-cigarette product demonstrated greater abstinence and reduced harm as compared to those who didn't get it."

In light of these findings, the World Vapers' Alliance calls upon Israeli authorities to carefully assess the unintended consequences of equating vaping with smoking. Landl highlighted the successful examples set by countries like Sweden and the United Kingdom, which have embraced harm reduction through sensible vaping regulations.

Michael Landl added: "To achieve the desired smoke-free future, it's imperative that we foster a comprehensive harm reduction strategy that acknowledges vaping's potential to save lives. A tailored approach to vaping regulation can ensure smokers have effective alternatives and encourage them to transition towards those less harmful alternatives."

The World Vapers' Alliance says, it “remains dedicated to supporting policies that prioritise public health while recognizing the unique attributes of vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking. As the Israeli Smoking Action Plan moves forward, the WVA hopes to contribute to a more balanced and pragmatic framework that ultimately benefits the health and wellbeing of the nation.”

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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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