The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) has joined an international push for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support regulations which foster smokers’ access to safer alternatives such as vapes.
This will be the first time that international campaigners and leaders of the vaping industry join forces to reform discordant global health policies. Organisations from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia have signed the UK Vaping Industry Association’s call to action.
The WHO’s tobacco control group will be meeting at the 8th session of its Conference of the Parties (COP8) in Geneva (1-6 October) to explore international guidance on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (aka vaping products/e-cigarettes). Despite having recognised vaping’s potential for reducing smoking rates, the WHO tobacco control group has failed to implement this principle in their tobacco control plans.
This paradigm is at odds with member states, in particular those such as the UK and New Zealand, who advocate smokers switching to vaping as part of harm-reduction policy. The UAE and Philipenes are also currently considering lifting their bans on vaping, for instance, and Australia is about to launch an independent inquiry on its nicotine vaping ban.
International vaping bodies have come together out of concern that the WHO’s current tobacco control plan may compromise the progress made by countries who have embraced vaping, by opening the door to potential bans.
Vapers believe the WHO’s failure to support international best practice in tobacco control by supporting access to regulated vape products is not only detrimental to public health, but unaccountable, least of all to the consumers whose taxes fund but do not appear to influence its policies.
ATA Director of Policy, Satya Marar said: “We and our international co-signatories are proud to stand up for vaping as a route for smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. We are keen to work with the WHO to ensure that its policy decisions at the Geneva congress reflect the evidence and good common sense.”
To global call to action urges the WHO tobacco control group to acknowledge vaping as part of an effective harm reduction strategy and to recommend that member states regulate tobacco and vaping products separately.
The signatories include:
ANAFE-Confindustria - Italy
Asian Vape Association (AVA) - Asia
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) - Australia
Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research (AVATAR) - Australia
Canadian Vaping Association - Canada
France Vapotage - France
Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) - USA
Koora Elektronické Kouřeni (KELK) – Czech Republic
Malaysia E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternatives (MEVTA) - Malaysia
Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) - Philippines
Udruga Korisnika Osobnih Isparivača (CROHM) - Croatia
Vape Business Ireland (VBI) – Ireland
Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) – New Zealand
Verband des eZigarettenhandels (VdeH) - Germany