2.6.2023. Today, The World Health Organization (WHO)’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reconfirmed the organisation’s opposition against vaping and harm reduction. As reported by Politico, he stated at a press briefing that “it is not true” that vaping can be used as a public health harm reduction measure and positioning e-cigarettes as harm reduction “is a trap”.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:
“It is shocking that the WHO still fights tobacco harm reduction. To achieve its 5% smoke-free target, we need as many options as possible to help smokers quit. Vaping, nicotine pouches and similar products help people quit smoking and are less harmful. The WHO systematically ignores the wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the benefits, not to mention the first-hand experience of millions of vapers. The WHO’s negative approach to harm reduction will do nothing but continue the unsuccessful ways of the past.”
While according to the WHO, eight million people die yearly from smoking-related illnesses, the WHO seems to be focusing on nicotine consumption in general instead of actual harm.
“Instead of encouraging smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus refuses to listen to science, experts, and consumers. This statement shows that the WHO intends to further crack down on harm reduction while accepting all the negative consequences. On the contrary, harm reduction must become a key element of future anti-smoking policies. Countries such as the United Kingdom or Sweden, which becomes smoke-free this year, show that harm reduction works and saves lives”, added Landl
More information about the potential of harm reduction can be found here.