A petition urging the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and end its lies against vaping has been signed by over 10,000 people. Organisers now want to hit 20,000 signatures by COP10.
Launched during the 2021 Voices4Vape webinar, the Right2Switch petition calls for WHO to ‘stop lying to us and only provide guidance based on sound scientific facts, methodologies and principles.’
Leading Asia Pacific vape advocate, Nancy Loucas, says WHO’s continual insistence that safer nicotine products are as harmful as combustible tobacco and should be banned or heavily restricted is costly millions of smokers’ lives globally.
The petition implores WHO and health authorities around the world to regulate based on sound scientific facts that include consumer participation as part of the decision-making process.
It calls on WHO to stop interfering with the rights of adults to make informed choices regarding their health and wellbeing. It also demands WHO follows its own mandate of ‘we communicate openly with everyone and learn from one another.’
Nancy Loucas, who is Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), says while WHO continues to dig in on its unjustifiable anti-vaping position, next year presents an opportunity for change.
In November 2023, Panama will host WHO’s 10th FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) Conference of Parties (COP10). The key global meeting will see delegates discuss and make recommendations on safer nicotine products.
“In just over 12 months, international delegates will have their best opportunity to ensure global public health guidance on vaping finally reflects the reality: It’s saving smokers’ lives as an effective and harm reduced smoking cessation tool,” she says.
CAPHRA says about 70 countries have so far ignored WHO’s anti-vaping crusade and regulated vaping, with those countries’ respective smoking rates falling significantly.
“Petitions like this are adding to the growing pressure WHO is now under. It’s well overdue for WHO to follow the evidence, rather than winding up constant, yet often baseless, hysteria,” she says.
The Right2Switch petition can be viewed and signed at https://change.org/v4v-petition
Petitioners say adults have every right to choose how they live their lives – the right to make informed choices for their health, including the choice to use safer nicotine products as an alternative to deadly combustible tobacco.
“A solution to the world’s smoking problem is already here. WHO FCTC needs to act and so let’s aim for 20,000 signatures by COP10 in 2023. Millions of smokers’ lives depend on Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates doing all we can to ensure COP10 delivers evidence-based decisions, not emotional ones,” says Nancy Loucas.
Boasting nearly 15,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org