Open Letter to the Director of WHO
So far WHO has advised strict regulations on e-cigarettes, similar to those of normal combustible cigarettes. They have yet to provide any acknowledgment of e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
FCTC is an international treaty which outlines tobacco regulations in 181 participating countries. Every two years the parties that form the FCTC meet to propose new methods to shape the treaty.
The most recent meeting was in Geneva on October 1-6th, this year. Before this years meeting, more than 70 public health experts, with no links to the tobacco industry, sent an open letter to the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Embrace Harm Reduction
The letter was simply asking WHO to embrace harm reduction and engage in more positive communication on the topic of e-cigarettes. The public health experts suggest in the letter, that WHO continues to dismiss Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems (ANDS); not just e-cigarettes, but the very purpose of nicotine harm reduction should do just that, and consider all available aids to reduce damage to public health.
Experts on the topic of vaping say that advances in technology, and the emergence of new alternatives such as e-cigarettes, offer the genuine prospect of major gains in public health through a decline in the number of tobacco smokers.
In the letter, they state: “Users who cannot or choose not to quit using nicotine have the option to switch from the highest risk products (primarily cigarettes) to products that are, beyond a reasonable doubt, much lower risk than smoking products.”
The letter goes on to acknowledge the lack of research that can only be gained after several decades of heavy use. Equally, they spoke of the scientific evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes are less harmful and they simply ask for a more sympathetic attitude to e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.
As the industry becomes more and more established, so too does the sophistication of information on best practice for first-time vapers. There are many misconceptions about vaping, but for vapers, there are many reliable resources available to become more informed about how to vape, such as, learning exactly what is in your vape juice.
The Future of Vaping Regulations
The number of people vaping is now estimated to reach 55 million by 2021, according to research conducted by Eurometrics. Alongside these statistics are many stories of long-term smokers who quit with vaping.
What the future holds for vaping regulations around the world remains unclear, but the stance from regulating bodies such as the WHO & FCTC will likely continue to be unsympathetic to vapers.