/21 March, New Zealand/ Vaping advocates in the Asia-Pacific region have launched a petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and end lies against innovative nicotine products.
“Stop lying to us and only provide guidance based on sound scientific facts, methodologies and principles,” the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) and other consumer advocacy groups said in the Right2Switch petition.
The petition was launched during the 2021 Voices4Vape webinar on 21 March. The petition can be viewed and signed at https://change.org/v4v-petition
Leading Kiwi vaping advocate Nancy Loucas, who is Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA, says WHO continues to insist that safer nicotine products, such as vapes or e-cigarettes, are as harmful and dangerous as combustible tobacco and should be banned or heavily restricted.
“This is a lie, as vaping has been life-changing for many smokers in all parts of the world, helping millions of former smokers to quit cigarettes,” says Ms Loucas.
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.
Tobacco Harm Reduction or THR is a public health strategy that involves the use of less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes such as vapes, heated tobacco products and snus which do not produce smoke. Toxicants found in smoke are the ones that cause diseases among smokers, according to scientific studies.
Nancy Loucas says a vast body of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies clearly show that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
“Millions of former smokers have successfully switched to safer nicotine products and are now living better lives, not just for themselves but for their loved ones too. WHO, however, is trying to prohibit or heavily restrict the use of these products,” she says.
She believes WHO’s actions put many lives at risk. Smokers will not be able to choose a safer alternative and it may force the millions who have already successfully switched to less harmful nicotine products, back to the very thing that will cause harm and eventually kill them.
“As adults, we have every right to choose how we live our lives – the right to make informed choices for our health, including the choice to use safer nicotine products as an alternative to combustible tobacco. A solution to the world’s smoking problem is already here. We need to make WHO FCTC hear us,” according to the petition.
Nancy Loucas is also Co-Director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), which is a member CAPHRA.
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates (CAPHRA) is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organisations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.
Contact: Nancy Loucas, Executive Director of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia-Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) – (027) 234-8463.