‘We need food, not tobacco’ is the focus of the 2023 World No Tobacco Day.
Inspired by the growing food crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) hope to grow sustainable food crops over tobacco.
A lovely sentiment, if not for the fact that the WHO are seemingly anticipating that current smokers will be able to quit completely cold turkey.
It comes as no surprise that they’ve overlooked the glaringly obvious solution of vaping as a quitting aid when their sentiments on e-cigarettes have been made very public in the past.
In a Framework Convention late last year, the WHO implemented ideas of a global assault on vaping that would essentially ban open systems, flavours and nicotine salts.
The New Nicotine Alliance came forward in March 2023 urging supporters and consumers of reduced risk nicotine products to act now in hopes of preventing the WHO from attaining this ban.
However, annoying as this might be, the main issue with WHO is the refusal to acknowledge vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking, especially on World No Tobacco Day.
Every year we reach a point where the public health champions preach the importance of quitting tobacco without ever providing incentive or support to help people do it.
Advocating vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking is a solution being dangled on a stick with flashing lights and a sign reading ‘Do This’, but once again, the WHO missed it.
Instead, the WHO is entirely focused on enabling market conditions for tobacco farmers to shift to growing alternative food crops, without any consideration as to how current smokers might quit.
In their recent campaign for World No Tobacco Day, a spokesperson for the WHO said: “There is an urgent need to take legal measures to reduce tobacco growing. ”
Again, not a single mention of the repercussions or correct quitting tools when the evidence for vapes being effective in quitting cigarettes is there if they choose to recognise it.
Cochrane, a British organisation advocating for choices surrounding well-being to be made once evidence is available through medical research, with the organisation recently conducting a review containing 78 included studies.
After gathering evidence across the US and the UK, they said: “There is high-certainty evidence that electronic cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared with nicotine replacement therapy. ”
Even Cancer Research UK have concluded as of March 2023 that e-cigarettes are not only far less harmful than smoking, but also a viable option to help smokers quit.
This all begs two unanswered questions, the first being how much evidence is necessary for the WHO to recognise vaping as the best quitting tool for smoking?
And additionally, why do they ignore it? People blame prohibition-inducing philanthropists like Michael Bloomberg, who pump money into the World Health Organization to support tobacco control measures and champion false information.
The WHO dismissing vaping won’t discourage those in favour of medical-based facts from pushing the truth, but the fact remains that this behaviour from a renowned healthcare organisation is disheartening.
John Dunne, Director General for the UK Vaping Industry Association said: “It’s disappointing that their failure to recognise vaping as one of the most effective means for people to stop smoking continues.”
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