WHO condemned for vaping stance

WHO condemned for vaping stance

November 15, 2016

A new trade body for the UK vaping industry has condemned the World Health Organization’s stance on vaping regulation as part of its plans for tobacco control.

The biennial gathering of the Conference of the Parties (CoP7) to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, described by one British MP as a “waste of money”, met in India last week to discuss international strategies for tobacco harm reduction.vapor-exhale

‘The COP7 conference’s core mission is to combat tobacco use and promote public health, but this secretive gathering has also begun spreading its influence into the area of vaping – an area for which it has no mandate,’ the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said in a press note.

‘Despite many governments, such as the UK’s, seeing vaping as a powerful tool for smoking cessation and harm reduction, the WHO has said that prohibition of vaping products is a viable option in tobacco reduction strategies.’

The UKVIA said it was dismayed by the tone this set for public health officials who were currently reviewing their own approach to vaping.

“The WHO’s position on vaping is entirely counterproductive,” said Brett Horth, a UKVIA board member and CEO of Guildford-based Vapouriz. “How can we be in a position where respected health agencies, like our own Public Health England, are saying that vaping is up to 95 percent safer than tobacco use but at the same time announce an extra £15 million funding for an international organization like the WHO which says it’s acceptable to ban it?

“If a complete ban was ever brought in, preventing people from using vaping as a highly beneficial route towards smoking cessation, it’s no exaggeration to say it could cost lives in the long term.”

Public Health England, Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK have all recently acknowledged that vaping could play a significant part in reducing tobacco use, and ultimately save lives.

“The UK has so far taken a very enlightened approach to vaping technologies and their potential for tobacco harm reduction,” said John Dunne, a UKVIA board member and MD of Nicopure Labs. “In fact many Stop Smoking Services across the country have started using them as part of their offer to smokers trying to quit. What message does this send to them?

“The tone the WHO are setting by leaving the door open to prohibition could be a public health disaster that would cost lives, and a real missed opportunity for those trying to break the link with tobacco. We urge the UK government to take a stand against this decision.”

Public Health Minister, Nicola Blackwood, was quoted as saying during a recent Westminster debate that it was notable that one of the most significant disruptions to smoking in recent years had had nothing to do with government intervention. “We have seen considerable take-up of e-cigarettes in the UK, and we know that almost half of the 2.8 million current users are no longer smoking tobacco,” she said.

The UKVIA says it was formed in September 2016 as a partnership of the leading producers, distributors and vendors of vaping products. UKVIA had been established to support all parts of the vape industry, and aimed to represent all responsible and ethical vaping businesses in the UK, irrespective of the size of their companies and operations.

UKVIA is made up of 13 founding members, with varying shares of the vaping market both in terms of production and retail. All members have equal voting rights in the future direction of the association, and share the costs of running the association equally.

The founding members are: Vape Club; Vapouriz; Madvapes; British American Tobacco; E cig Wizard; Gamucci, Fontem Ventures (Imperial Brands); Nicopure; Japan Tobacco International; Multicig; Nerudia; Philip Morris International; Vaporized.

Category: Breaking News

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