Members of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) have written a joint letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on it to “face reality”, pointing out that tobacco harm reduction products save lives. The 31 consumer organisations which represent 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 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 Conference of Parties (COP 9) conference is taking place this November. It will set the direction for anti-smoking and vaping policies worldwide.
The WVA says that one of the major issues regarding 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 joint letter states: “we demand the right to equality and the right to participate in assemblies, meetings and public policies in a manner analogous to that of various anti-smoking organizations, representatives of pharmaceutical companies, or non-governmental institutions of different kinds (such as those that belong to billionaire philanthropists or those that obey their ideology at the stroke of a checkbook), which in the Currently and exclusively, they have already been represented in your institution.”
It goes on to make three other demands:
- We demand that they stop the persecution and discrediting of organizations that defend the Reduction of Damages by Smoking
- We demand that the World Health Organization create a direct multi-stakeholder dialogue and promote the generation of alliances within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda
- We demand that the WHO stop the measures that it has been imposing de facto to prohibit the opening of the debate on new strategies, supported by scientific evidence, to address tobacco use in adults worldwide