This year’s Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) has attracted 500 delegates from 60 countries. Members of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations in attendance, were each allowed to nominate up to five countries in the worst category and five in the best, from a list of the world’s 100 most populated countries.
“Thailand has a draconian approach with tourists as well as local people regularly getting arrested for vaping. Police often search vehicles at roadblocks for e-cigarettes and then use them to extract fines. This is not just terrible for Thai smokers who want to quit but also makes it a country to avoid for the tens of millions of tourists and business people around the world who vape,” said Asa Ace Saligupta who runs the End Cigarette Smoke Thailand consumer group.
The UK is the most progressive in vaping regulations
On the otherhand, the countries considered having the best conditions for vapers were the UK with 32 nominations, Germany with 25 and France with 23. “The United Kingdom government has had the most remarkable change of heart on vaping. Four years ago, it was trying to ban all e-cigarettes on the market. Today, the UK has three million vapers – and this is accelerating the decline in smoking among the British,” said Prof. Gerry Stimson of the UK charity New Nicotine Alliance.
In line with this, last month, the UK’s pharmacy minister Steve Brine, had said that he would consider a proposal to use cigarette packets to promote e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tools. Thanks to such attitudes, in the UK there are now more than half a million fewer smokers than in 2015, which also equates to the country now boasting the second-lowest smoking rates in Europe after Sweden.
“It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked. But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking,” stated CEO of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie last Summer.
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