The WHO’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which seems like exactly the sort of thing the World Health Organisation was built to deal with, left a lot of people rightfully questioning whether or not this bureaucratic behemoth is fit for purpose. Now, this meltdown of a multilateral appears set on driving the last few nails into its own coffin by… *checks notes* trying to globally outlaw reduced risk alternatives to smoking?
Yes, you did indeed read that right. The WHO, which ostensibly believes all people should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health, has opted to embark on a doomed crusade against the technology developed specifically to provide a less harmful option for smokers who want to quit traditional cigarettes.
Let us be clear. By waging a war against vaping, heated tobacco and nicotine pouches, the WHO is not harming tobacco companies, tobacco growers or even the global cigarette market. They’re attacking smokers. The very people who they claim deserve ‘to realise their right to the highest possible level of health.’ By spreading misinformation, half-truths, and long debunked theories, the WHO is failing in their duty to help those who most need help.
The longer reduced risk alternatives to smoking are unfairly demonised by the woeful wonks of the WHO, the more people who will die of easily preventable smoking related illnesses and disease.
But don’t take our word for it. Why not do what the WHO apparently refuses to do and listen to the experts instead? Responding to the World Health Organisation’s mind-boggling anti-vaping stance, leading scientists have had this to say on the matter:
Peter Hajek, Director of the QMUL Tobacco Dependence Research Unit
‘There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’. Less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers. Vaping does not lead young people to smoking - smoking among young people is at [an] all-time low. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.’
Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
‘[E-cigarettes are] clearly less harmful [than tobacco]… [The] WHO misrepresents the available scientific evidence.’
Not to mention, our world-leading National Health Service is clear where it stands on the issue. ‘In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality. They're not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.’
Needless to say, it’s no small wonder that many of the world’s leading medical professionals have been left gobsmacked by the WHO’s stance on reduced risk products. Maybe they need someone to tell them, that when it comes to the supposed dangers of vaping, it’s all just smoke and mirrors.