WHO Should Heed Calls For Reform To Global Vaping Policy
Financial Times: WHO is refusing to listen to the evidence on vaping and harm reduction
Lizi Jenkins, board member at the U.K. Vaping Industry Association, and colleagues
“Calls for reform to global vaping policy have fallen on deaf ears. Following the Eighth Session of the Conference of Parties (COP8) in Geneva this month, the World Health Organization’s tobacco control group has once again refused to acknowledge the need to treat vaping distinctly from smoking. At COP7 two years ago, the WHO invited member states to ban vaping products outright despite recognizing their potential to help reduce global smoking rates — a position as confusing for consumers as it was for public health officials and regulators. International vaping bodies and campaigners … have issued a call to action to the WHO to remedy this contradiction. … Yet it appears that the WHO’s tobacco control group is sticking its fingers in its ears. Not content with expelling journalists and industry from the proceedings, it has gone as far as to claim that ‘there is no independent research to confirm’ that vaping is less harmful than smoking. … Discouraging policymakers from embracing harm reduction could not only be costing lives … but prevent us from alleviating a substantial public burden” (10/25).