While the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to wage a war on vaping and other safer nicotine alternatives through campaigns and such initiatives, the UK has been a leader at reducing tobacco harm and local smoking rates via progressive vape policies. To this effect, whilst commending the UK’s approach, the groups are calling on UK authorities urging them to strive to influence the WHO’s stance.
“The UK is the world leader in harm reduction and provides an excellent example for the rest of the world on efficient smoking cessation through vaping. Our government has chosen a path that has proven to be fruitful, with science to back that up. In the lead up to WHO’s conference in November, the UK needs to reinforce its commitment to vaping, and encourage other countries to do the same,” said Mark Oates, Director of WeVape.
Sadly ignoring all this data, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), has become synonymous with a forbidding stance which completely disregards the concept of tobacco harm reduction. To add insult to injury, the WHO commends countries which have endorsed their framework and ideology, despite failing to obtain their smoke-free objectives as a result (such as India), and criticizes countries which have not, despite having achieved record low smoking rates.
What does real life evidence indicate?
Echoing this sentiment, a recent 59-page white paper discussing case studies in several countries aiming to measure smoking cessation-related progress, has clearly indicated that countries following the World Health Organization’s guidance keep struggling with higher smoking rates.
Titled ‘Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada,’ the publication was released by the Property Rights Alliance. It consisted of four respective case studies by Christopher Snowdon (Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK), Louis Houlbrooke (New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand), Patrick Coquart (IREF, France), and Prof Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada), and confirmed what public health experts have been pointing out all along.
“Countries applying progressive Tobacco Harm Reduction policies are enjoying a significant fall in smoking rates. Whereas those following the World Health Organization’s guidance continue to experience excessive smoking-related illnesses and deaths,” said the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).