This week, the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) electric pink ‘Vape Bus’, drove through the streets of Geneva, broadcasting the voices of vapers relaying personal stories on how vaping helped them quit smoking and change their lives.
The WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) COP9 is being currently held in Geneva. Its provisional agenda released on August 5th, had indicated that the health agency’s report on emerging nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, had been postponed to the next convention taking place in 2 years’ time.
The WHO excludes vapers from COP9 discussions
In response to this, countless tobacco control experts have underlined the fact that the WHO seems disgracefully happy to keep brushing aside the scientific evidence in favour of vaping as tobacco harm reduction tool. Moreover, Executive Coordinator the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) Nancy Loucas had explained she believes that that discussions and decisions on safer nicotine alternatives will actually still be taking place at COP9, behind closed doors. “It’s now clear, however, that was a complete pretence aimed at minimizing a growing backlash against the WHO’s anti-vaping agenda,” said Loucas.
To this effect, a global broadcast hosting THR experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products, had been announced. The event is being held currently, in parallel with COP9. sCOPe is being currently simulcast on YouTube at https://bit.ly/3aWBPxi and on Facebook as of 12.00pm Hong Kong Time on Monday, 8 November.
Counter events giving vapers a voice
The WVA is also doing its part. A press release by the group said that that not only has the WHO FCTC excluded vapers from participating in the COP 9 discussions, but the WVA’s demonstration was also quickly ejected from outside the WHO building.
‘Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:
“We came here today to make sure that vapers’ voices are heard, and that vaping is at the forefront of smoking cessation policies worldwide. Vaping can save 200 million lives globally, and it is imperative that COP9 delegates understand the real-life stories of people who have been able to quit smoking thanks to vaping.
We have brought our message to the WHO’s front door and asked them to listen to our voice. COP9 delegates have the opportunity to make history and save lives IF they back vaping as a tool to beat smoking. Our message to them is clear: choose science and save lives,” he added.
Nearly 200 million smokers worldwide could switch to vaping, an alternative that is 95% less harmful, if governments adopted regulations that facilitate and encourage vaping as a means to quit smoking. The governments and health authorities of the UK, France, Canada and New Zealand have already done this. Yet the WHO has waged a “war on vaping”, refusing to listen to the science. The World Vapers’ Alliance is calling this week for the WHO and global leaders to start taking tobacco harm reduction seriously.
“There is a risk that global leaders at COP 9 – under pressure from anti-vaping activists – will push for the introduction of laws that would treat vaping the exact same as smoking. This would spell disaster for vapers, for smokers and for global public health. The best way we can beat smoking is to promote vaping as part of public health policies,” Michael Landl concluded.’
Originally published här.