WHO’s Attack on Tobacco Harm Reduction Puts Millions of Lives at Risk

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THE World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest attack on alternative nicotine products is unscientific, dogmatic and an effective death sentence for millions of smokers who are trying to quit cigarettes, the Campaign for Safer Alternatives (CASA) warns tonight.

The WHO’s global tobacco report released earlier this week is a concerted attempt to spread fake news and false myths about life-saving innovations such as e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches, says CASA chair Joseph Magero.

“Besides being riddled with biased anti-vaping, anti-harm reduction scaremongering and false claims, the entire direction of travel set out in this latest WHO report is nonsensical,” says Mr Magero. “W.H.O seems to keep on preferring the miscellany of data that make impossible to see all the positive results they want us to believe” 

“Rather than focus on the all-important goal of beating smoking, the WHO is turning its guns on vaping and tobacco harm reduction. “They clearly find it more important to fall into line with the narrow-minded ‘quit or die’ approach trumpeted by the WHO’s billionaire sponsors, such as Mike Bloomberg.”

CASA and other advocates of tobacco harm reduction (THR) recognize that it’s the burning of tobacco that causes all the main diseases from smoking, not the nicotine.
The evidence-based concept of tobacco harm reduction recognizes that people smoke for the nicotine, but they die from the tar and the 7,000-plus toxic chemicals released when tobacco is burned.

“Innovative products such as e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches are giving desperate smokers the chance to quit and save their own lives,” said Mr Magero. “Evidence-based global research shows that alternative nicotine products are roughly 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

“The WHO has been strongly supportive of harm reduction in other contexts for example, like the use of condoms to reduce HIV transmission. However, it has been less supportive when it comes to the tobacco harm reduction,” says Magero. “And most smokers can’t afford WHO-recommended products such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches which has rendered them somewhat helpless,” he said.

“For the WHO to advocate against these lifesaving products is a betrayal of their duty to improve public health. “Instead of adopting a dogmatic, unscientific stance against tobacco harm reduction, they should be embracing it as an exciting opportunity to reduce the millions of lives lost to cigarettes.”

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