A cross-party committee is furious as the WHO’s inaccurate insistence that vaping is as dangerous as smoking, despite the scientific data indicating the contrary. In fact, to date there are countless peer reviewed scientific studies indicating the effectiveness of safer nicotine alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus, as harm reduction and/or smoking cessation tools.
In a 2018 press release, Public Health England (PHE) had released findings from a major e-cigarette review conducted by leading independent tobacco experts. This release had updated the organization’s original 2015 vaping report, confirming that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
And once again, the PHE’s seventh and latest independent report on vaping, has reiterated that vaping is the most commonly used method to quit smoking. By endorsing the use of vaping products, the UK has in recent years achieved the lowest smoking rates ever recorded since cigarettes came into existence.
The WHO keeps ignoring the concept of tobacco harm reduction
A recent WHO report fails to link the use of safer alternatives to the positive strives forward in reducing smoking rates. On the contrary, it declares the products as the new enemy.
“E-cigarettes and other novel and emerging nicotine- and tobacco-containing products, such as heated tobacco products (HTPs), are the next frontier in the global tobacco epidemic. While the latter is a tobacco product, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, and may or may not contain nicotine. Nonetheless, there is clear evidence that these products are addictive and harmful to health. HTPs expose users to toxic substances and chemicals, similar to those found in cigarette smoke, many of which can cause cancer, while e-cigarette use increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and lung disorders.”
Britain can use its new-found Brexit freedom to dissociate from the WHO
Meanwhile, given that Britain is no longer bound by EU laws and can therefore carve out its own regulatory path, a report by local MPs is urging the Government to use its new-found Brexit freedom to do precisely that. Moreover, it calls on the Government to quit funding the WHO “drastically” due to its irresponsible anti-science stance on vaping which could cost lives.
“There is no doubt that the WHO has developed a negative stance in relation to vaping over recent years. We wanted to evaluate whether it remained fit for purpose in an evolved landscape where new technology has enabled new harm reduction strategies,” said MP Mark Pawsey, the chairman of the APPG for Vaping.
“One of the founding pillars of the Treaty the UK signed up to nearly 20 years ago was that of harm reduction. If the WHO is opposed to adhering to this and continues to pursue an agenda-driven approach to ban less harmful alternatives to smoking, then the UK should consider dramatically scaling back our funding,” he added.
“The UK has a unique opportunity to champion its progressive, successful and evidence-based, domestic policies on the Global Stage. We are a world leader in tobacco harm reduction, and we call on the Government to defend the UK approach, challenge the WHO to stub out their ban on vaping, and help return the FCTC to its founding pillar of harm reduction.”
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