The World is on Fire… Literally

As we gear up for COP10 happening late this November the internet seems to be flooded with more baseless lies about tobacco harm reduction, attempting to prepare us for the WHO’s unscientific stance on nicotine products.

Gerry Stimson, director of the KAC makes this veracious statement on the messaging coming from the WHO and FCTC Secretariat.

 “The WHO and FCTC Secretariat’s refusal to engage with evidence from multiple countries that have witnessed accelerated declines in smoking rates is unscientific and unjustifiable. Their repeated characterization of safer nicotine products as a threat to tobacco control runs directly counter to what should be the overarching goals of the Convention–to reduce smoking-related deaths and disease as rapidly and effectively as possible.”

In a newly released briefing paper the general direction laid out for the upcoming COP10 event is quite alarming.

These main takeaways stated in the briefing are as follows:

– to treat all SNP the same as combustible tobacco;

– to extend and apply regulations for tobacco products to all forms of nicotine and tobacco products;

– to define all aerosols emitted from “novel and emerging tobacco products” as ‘smoke’;

– to apply the same prohibition and/or regulation to SNP as to conventional cigarettes, including banning use where smoking is prohibited, having large graphic health warnings, plain packaging, and a ban on all advertising, promotion and sponsorship;

– a ban on all ‘open system’ vaping products;

– a ban on all flavours except tobacco for all SNP; and,

– to tax all nicotine-containing products at the same rate as cigarettes.

Meanwhile there is more and more evidence that safer nicotine products are just that. SAFER.

And while most recently we have seen the UK defy the call for recent vaping bans with their minister’s rightly standing up for the groundbreaking “swap to stop” campaign. We are all left wondering how they will handle WHO’s illogical stance.

The UK has done amazing things for people who smoke by promoting and providing harm reduction products for adults. It surely has made people like me wish our country would follow the UK’s approach to THR. In the United States we all fear the demise of this life saving technology as we are constantly fighting bans, disinformation and government overreach.

Personally I am hopeful that the UK will do as they have in the past; fight to protect this life saving technology and defend it at all costs.

Now is not the time to back down. People’s lives truly depend on it.


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Vaping can save 200 million lives and flavours play a key role in helping smokers quit. However, policymakers want to limit or ban flavours, putting our effort to end smoking-related deaths in jeopardy.

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