If the WHO really want to reduce the number of smokers globally, they should look at those places in the world where smoking rates are now at record low levels
Between the 7th and 12th of November, the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) will meet in Delhi, India to discuss a range of issues relating to tobacco control, including vaping.
In advance of this meeting the WHO produced a report setting out their concerns with regard to vaping and making a number of policy recommendations.
At the request of the Department of Health, the Independent British Vape Trade Association has produced a report setting out their position on the WHO’s vaping report. IBVTA’s report is critical of the WHO and highlights the fact that far from being a cause for concern, vaping is regarded by Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Physicians as being at least 95 per cent less harmful than smoking and is now recognised as being the number one tool used by smokers to help them quit .
The WHO states that one billion people will die in this century as a direct result of smoking related illnesses. To try and reduce this figure, the WHO has for many years proposed ever more draconian tobacco control measures. Despite this, in many parts of the world smoking rates are on the rise. If the WHO really want to reduce the number of smokers globally, they should look at those places in the world where smoking rates are now at record low levels.
In the UK, and in England in particular, academia, many health charities, and many in the wider public health community have for many years undertaken research into vaping. They have surveyed users and produced reams of data as to who actually vapes and why. This wealth of credible independent data has given the Government and others the confidence to take a more positive position towards vaping and the regulation of vaping.
As a result of this there are now nearly three million vapers in the UK. There is a thriving and responsible independent vape industry serving these consumers, and smoking rates are at a record low level .
Speaking ahead of the COP7 meeting, Fraser Cropper, Chairman of the IBVTA said:
“It is encouraging that the WHO has finally accepted that vaping is less harmful than smoking and that smokers should make the switch.
This is a significant step forward considering the WHO’s previous positions on vaping. We do not believe this would have happened were it not for the independent research and data gathering, undertaken by many in the UK public health community and academia. Furthermore, it is right to thank those officials within the Department of Health, the MHRA, PHE, and the wider public health community who have spoken out and called on the WHO to take a more proportionate attitude towards vaping based on credible evidence.”
Fellow IBVTA board member Ian Green concluded:
“However, that is where the good news ends. We remain concerned that despite acknowledging that vaping is less harmful than smoking, the WHO still takes a disproportionate and unjustifiably negative stance on the subject of vaping.
The WHO speaks with a perceived authority which means that many governments around the world follow its lead. Consequently, many countries, including India, where this year’s COP7 meeting will take place, have heavily restricted or banned vaping. In India, 25-year-old Parvesh Kumar was jailed for three years for the crime of selling vaping products .
If the WHO followed the lead of countries like the UK and France, smoking rates globally really could start to fall.”
 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review and https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37406105 and http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/09/4029/1