The industry needs to focus specifically on dialogue with individual governments, rather than continuing to unsuccessfully attempt to dialogue with the WHO.
“Should we have policy driven by science and fact that encourages smokers to switch to less harmful products, or do we go down the road of prohibition and high tax that will hamper this change?,” asked Joe Murillo, chief regulatory officer for Juul Labs and chair of the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF 2021) in London. Murillo was quoted by ECigIntelligence as saying that the industry finds itself at “a fork in the road.”

Other experts at GTNF 2021, called for a change of heart within the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), with the aim of improving the trajectory and evolution of the global tobacco industry. Others highlighted the need that member states take a greater interest in the upcoming COP9 to the WHO FCTC, and ensure that those in charge really stick to what the treaty dictates.

In a panel discussing the FCTC, renowned anti-smoking expert and former president of the infamous Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Derek Yach, said that the industry needs to focus specifically on dialogue with individual governments, rather than continuing to unsuccessfully attempt to dialogue with the WHO.

The WHO insists on not endorsing tobacco harm reduction

Only last September, 31 consumer organisations representing millions of vapers worldwide, joined forces in writing a letter to the WHO, urging the organization to focus on saving lives by endorsing tobacco harm reduction (THR). The letter urged the agency to end its war on vaping and other alternatives to smoking, which have been identified by science as effective smoking cessation tools. Discussing the letter, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl, explained that millions of lives could be saved if the WHO would change its stance.

“The WHO has an opportunity to beat smoking for good but instead they choose to turn their guns on vaping and other tools that can reduce the harm of tobacco. The WHO routinely ignores the wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the benefits of these products and the first-hand experience of millions of citizens who have quit smoking for good. Restricting or banning access to vaping, nicotine pouches, snus, and other products will do nothing but cost lives. Millions of lives could be saved if the WHO was really serious about beating smoking.”

Experts Warn Asian Leaders Against WHO’s Misguided Vaping Guidance

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.