Consumer groups call WHO to face reality – Harm reduction saves lives

Brussels, 6.9.2021.

31 consumer organisations representing millions of vapers worldwide are joining forces to demand that the WHO ends its war on vaping and other alternatives to smoking. The groups insist that the WHO should instead focus on delivering on its commitment to reduce the harm of smoking. 

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, one of the organisations behind the call, said: 

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. ”

2021 is a critical year for public health policies globally. The global ‘COP 9’ conference, taking place this November, will set the direction for anti-smoking and vaping policies worldwide. One of the major issues in regards to COP9 is that the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) protocol lost sight of its core objective of reducing smoking, and instead seems to focus on fighting access to less harmful alternatives.

“200 million lives worldwide could be saved, but as it stands it looks like COP9 will be another anti-science and anti-consumer WHO charade. It is time to actually deliver on the FCTC commitment to tobacco harm reduction by endorsing harm reduction products,” concludes Michael Landl.

The 31 consumer organisations from Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia are calling on the WHO to: 

  • Deliver on their commitment to tobacco harm reduction by endorsing harm reduction products
  • Ensure affordability for consumers to harm reduction products and safeguard right to access
  • Allow participation by consumers and independent experts who have first-hand knowledge of the success of these harm reduction products