The WHO are anti-vaping
Leading academics have responded to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report with harsh criticism.
Even in the year 2021, after years of studies, reports and evidence in favour of electronic cigarettes as an effective quitting aid and much safer alternative to smoking, credible scientists are still having to defend it against inaccurate and nonsensical statements. Thankfully leading academics have been quick to defend electronic cigarettes, and we hope that the positive message about vaping gets through to the people who need it most.
The WHO released their inflammatory and biased report on electronic cigarettes on July 27th, and the flawed message received widespread media coverage. However, not only is it completely misleading, it is also potentially damaging, and advocates of vaping have not been slow in coming forward to address those inaccuracies.
The WHO report said:
“For the first time, the 2021 report presents new data on electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes. These products are often marketed to children and adolescents by the tobacco and related industries that manufacture them, using thousands of appealing flavours and misleading claims about the products.”
The above statement is not only incendiary, but it is straight up false. Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are not ‘harmful’, and importantly reverse the harms of smoking when used as intended. Many, many studies prove this point, and millions of people are enjoying the benefits of switching from smoking to vaping. Once again this brings us to the point of how damaging this type of ridiculous rhetoric could be.
Leading academics and pro-vaping experts were quick to react to this news.
Professor John Britton, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham said:
“This report demonstrates that, sadly, the WHO still doesn’t understand the fundamental difference between addiction to tobacco smoking, which kills millions of people every year, and addiction to nicotine, which doesn’t.”
This is the key takeaway. Nicotine addiction doesn’t kill people, the thousands of chemicals in cigarettes do. A quick look at the differences between vaping and smoking highlight the vast difference. Our Technical Director Liam Humberstone has a brilliant write up on the ‘Side effects of vaping’ which you can read here.
Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Senior Research Fellow in Health Behaviours, University of Oxford, said:
“News that the WHO has branded electronic cigarettes as ‘harmful’ will come as a concern to many people who have switched from e-cigarettes to smoking, or are considering doing so. E-cigarettes are not risk free and people who do not smoke should not start vaping. However, for people who do smoke, it’s incredibly important public health messaging is clear – traditional cigarettes are uniquely deadly, and can be very hard to quit. Nicotine is addictive but it’s not what causes the harm from smoking.”
Dr Hartmann-Boyce touches upon one of the most harmful aspects of the WHO’s misleading report. The WHO is trusted around the world as a health leader, and the sentiment of their report is horrifying. Current smokers who are on the verge of making a life changing decision to start vaping, rather than smoking combustible cigarettes, could have their decision swayed by this ‘trusted source’.