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International scientists group accuse WHO of ‘dogmatic hostility’ towards vaping

The World Health Organization (WHO) is facing harsh criticism lately for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.  However, it is also no stranger to public attacks from government health officials and world-renowned scientists for its consistent admonishment of vaping products. 

In May 2020, President Donald Trump even became so exacerbated with WHO’s performance surrounding the COVIOD-19 outbreak that he promised to withdraw all federal funding to the organization for the foreseeable future.  Now, an international group of highly regarded health experts are banding together to denounce the organization’s mishandling of the so-called vaping epidemic.

Now that the entire planet – regardless of their scientific background or lack thereof – knows precisely  what the terms “pandemic” and “epidemic” mean, the following group of eight research specialists believe that now is the perfect time to rebuke WHO while the general population is still paying attention.  The intercontinental consortium includes:

      • Professor David Abrams of the School of Global Public Health, New York University, United States
      • Clive Bates, Former Director General of Wales, Former Director of the Action on Smoking and Health, United Kingdom
      • Professor Robert Beaglehole of the University of Aukland, New Zealand
      • Professor John Britton, Director of the Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, United Kingdom
      • Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa, United States
      • Professor Tikki Pangestu of the University of Singapore
      • Adjunct Professor David Sweanor of the University of Ottawa, Canada
      • Professor Rajesh Sharan of the University of North-Eastern Hill, India

In a recent interview published in The Guardian – Nigeria, Dr. Abrams said that the scientific team is angered by the WHO’s “dogmatic hostility” towards vaping technology.  They also firmly believe that vaping saves lives and that WHO may be squandering a magnificent opportunity to rid the world of highly carcinogenic combustible tobacco.

“We know beyond reasonable doubt that vaping and other smoke-free nicotine products are very much less risky than smoking, and that those who switch completely see rapid improvements in their health. Yet WHO continues to promote the outright prohibition or extreme regulation of these products. How can it make sense to ban the much safer product when cigarettes are available everywhere?”

Related Article:  David Sweanor blasts LA Times editorial on vaping as “prohibitionist’

The last straw for the scientists’ public smackdown of the World Health Organization may have stemmed from its issuance of an official global warning in late January, 2020.  The coronavirus was already escalating in China and parts of Europe, but WHO decided to warn the global population about the alleged dangers of vaping instead. 

World Health Organization is ‘damaging their reputation’

Unfortunately, the WHO press release was chock full of misinformation.  Specifically, WHO said that e-cigs “are not safe,” can lead to the smoking of “conventional tobacco cigarettes later in life,” and “increases the risk of heart disease and lung disorders.”

“Evidence reveals that these products are harmful to health and are not safe. However, it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.
 
"They are particularly risky when used by children and adolescents. Nicotine is highly addictive and young people’s brains develop up to their mid-twenties. Exposure to nicotine of children and adolescents can have long-lasting, damaging effects on brain development and there is risk of nicotine addiction.
 
"Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence in some settings that never-smoker minors who use ENDS at least double their chance of starting to smoke conventional tobacco cigarettes later in life.
 
"ENDS use increases the risk of heart disease and lung disorders.  They also pose significant risks to pregnant women who use them, as they can damage the growing fetus.”
 
Each of these statements is proven untrue by Public Health England (PHE) of the United Kingdom, which led the British to issue an official reprimand of the World Health Organization.  In an article published in Science Magazine, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, Dr. Peter Hajek, stated the following.
 

“The WHO has a history of anti-vaping activism that is damaging their reputation. This document is particularly malign… There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’…. 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. … And there is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit,”

Regarding the WHO allegations that vaping causes heart and lung disease, these conspiracy theories were already disproven by Public Health England way back in August, 2015.  In a published, peer-reviewed scientific study that was also endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians, PHE determined that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking. 

Related Article:  Vaping News: Clive Bates calls FDA proposed NNN rule ‘reckless and pointless’

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