In February, the distinguished New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) made significant contributions to the discourse on vaping, by publishing both a study highlighting the harm reduction potential of vapes, as well as an accompanying editorial urging reconsideration of harsh stances on vaping for smoking cessation by US public health agencies and medical societies.

Authored by Harvard Medical School Professor Nancy Rigotti, the editorial referred to the study, while emphasizing that the evidence had brought e-cigarettes to a tipping point in addressing the significant burden of tobacco-related diseases.

WHO: “E-cigarettes as consumer products are not shown to be effective for quitting tobacco use at the population level”… actually they are!

The WHO’s insistence on throwing around untrue statements about the alleged lack of proof of the products’ smoking cessation potential, is greatly contributing to the million of smoking-related deaths that the group says it wants to tackle.
The study, “Electronic Nicotine-Delivery Systems for Smoking Cessation,” an open-label, controlled trial by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland, aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS)/vapes/e-cigarettes, as an aid for cigarette smokers attempting to quit. The study involved 1246 adult participants smoking at least five tobacco cigarettes daily, who expressed the intention to set a quit date.

The participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group (622) or a control group (624). The intervention group received free vapes and e-liquids, standard-of-care smoking-cessation counseling, and optional (non-free) nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT). In contrast, the control group received standard counseling and a voucher that could be used for various purposes, including NRT. The primary outcome was biochemically validated continuous abstinence from smoking at the 6-month mark, with secondary outcomes including participant-reported abstinence from tobacco and any nicotine sources, respiratory symptoms, and serious adverse events.

The results indicated a significant difference in biochemically validated continuous abstinence, with 28.9% in the intervention group compared to 16.3% in the control group. Moreover, the percentage of participants abstaining from smoking in the 7 days leading to the 6-month visit was 59.6% in the intervention group, in comparison to 38.5% in the control group.

To this effect, in line with findings from countless previous studies, the Swiss study concluded that incorporating vapes into standard smoking-cessation counseling resulted in a higher rate of abstinence from tobacco use compared to counseling alone.

The world’s largest health group ignores the scientific principles it is based on

Sadly, ignoring these data, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued an urgent call to governments worlwide, to take immediate action against e-cigarettes to protect youth from the alleged health risks associated with their use. To add insult to injury, the WHO emphasized that vapes are not proven to effectively aid tobacco cessation at a population level. Instead, said the WHO, mounting evidence reveals severe health consequences, particularly among young users.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged governments to take immediate action to regulate the products, emphasizing that vapes are available without age restrictions in 88 countries and marketed with over 16,000 flavours. He said that in many countries, e-cigarette use among children and adolescents exceeded that of adults, with 74 countries lacking any regulations.

The WHO also recommended that countries with e-cigarette bans in place enhance enforcement, monitor compliance, and adopt additional measures such as prohibiting advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, including digital marketing. Dr. Tedros called for strict measures to protect citizens, especially children and young people. Sadly however, science has shown that strict measures actually achieve the exact opposite.

The real-world data are undeniable

Tobacco harm reducion and public health experts worldwide naturally are in full agreement with setting in place measures to prevent uptake by non-smoking members of the public, especialy minors. However the WHO’s insistence on throwing around untrue statements about the alleged lack of proof of the products’ smoking cessation potential is what is considered unforgivable. By spreading such misinformtion, the WHO is greatly contributing to the million of smoking-related deaths that it says it wants to tackle.

Countries where safer nicotine alternative products, such as vapes in the UK, and snus in Sweden, have been endorsed as smoking cessation tools, are known to have acheived the lowest smoking rates worldwide. While countries following the WHO’s recomendations, such as Australia, have experienced a drop in any smoking cessation progress they were previously acheiving, as well as a steep increase in vaping among minors. It’s incredible (to put it nicely) that lawmakers keep ignorning the fact that minors are naturally more drawn to prohibited substances and are happy buying them on the black market where they are unregulated and possibly unsafe, in the same way they have had zero issues buying all their illegal drugs from these sources in all these years.

THR Experts Condemn The WHO’s Proposed Vape Flavour Ban


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