The Incredible Reason Public Health Experts Are Pushing Back Against WHO
A New Statement By The World Health Organization Is Drawing Harsh Criticism From Researchers.
While the United States vaping industry has remained in a state of constant turmoil for the last several months, the landscape for the vaping industry worldwide has stayed fairly stable by comparison. However, recent warnings issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) may threaten that stability.
In a document released earlier in the week, the WHO warned against supposed potential risks of vaping while also downplaying the promise they provide. The report has drawn strong pushback from public health researchers in the UK, who have criticized the WHO for spreading misinformation.
Public health experts have debunked claims of supposed risks brought up by the WHO, and point to the host of potential benefits they may offer current and former smokers. In addition, they warn that WHO’s anti-vaping activism may be negatively impacting its reputation.
The dispute comes at a time of heightened controversy surrounding vaping, particularly following a series of lung injuries in the United States misattributed to nicotine vapor products. Furthermore, concerns over teenage access have also prompted a wave of proposed flavor bans and other prohibitions against vaping.
In a recently released document, the World Health Organization expressed concerns over the supposed risks of vaping, while simultaneously attempting to downplay it’s proven benefits. This led to public health experts decrying the document, stating that the organization is spreading “blatant misinformation” and harming its reputation through its anti-vaping activism.
The document stated, “there is no doubt” that e-cigarettes “are harmful to health and are not safe, but it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.” The organization also suggested there isn’t yet enough evidence to support them. Additionally, it urged smokers looking to quit to try nicotine patches or gum, despite evidence showing vaping to be more effective in aiding smoking cessation than either.
“The WHO has a history of anti-vaping activism that is damaging their reputation. This document is particularly malign,” said Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependance Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London. “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,” Hajek added.
Truth About Vaping
While we face a sustained war against vaping brought on by lawmakers, we also must deal with the very real threat of the worldwide smoking epidemic responsible for taking millions of lives each year. According to data from the CDC, there are an estimated 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of whom currently live with some form of smoking-related illness.
One of the greatest assets at our disposal to help win the war on smoking may be vaping. A study from the University of Louisville found that vaping was the most effective form of smoking cessation, even more than quitting cold-turkey.
Current data indicates vaping has already helped and continues to help thousands of adult smokers quit each year. Research from University College London found that vaping helped up to 70,000 British smokers quit in 2017 alone.
Vaping is not only remarkably effective in aiding smoking cessation, but there is an extensive body of research establishing vaping as a reduced-harm alternative to tobacco. A study from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center even found vaping was 93% safer than smoking.
This latest push by the WHO could spoil what has otherwise been a relatively stable time for the vaping industry abroad. While we’ve made a lot of progress over the last several years, misinformation spread by an organization such as the WHO highlights how far we still have to go.
If the vaping community doesn’t stand together and fight back against this blatant issue, we could lose one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against tobacco.
It’s up to each of us to spread the word to smokers in our lives about positive things vaping has done for us. If we ever want to rid the world of tobacco once and for all, we must be supporting e-cigarettes, not condemning them.
Do you think it’s important for the WHO to support vaping? How much trouble do you think misinformation like this makes? What do you think we should do to protect our rights moving forward? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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