Data Shared at GFN22: The WHO’s Tobacco Control Strategy is a Failure


The ninth edition of Global Forum on Nicotine (#GFN22) was held in Warsaw between June 16th and 18th and was themed “Tobacco harm reduction: here for good.” “GFN, which has taken place in June every year since 2014, and is the only international conference to focus on the role of safer nicotine products in helping people switch away from smoking. Hosting world-leading experts, nicotine consumers and advocates, GFN addresses the scientific, regulatory and policy issues related to safer nicotine products and their crucial role in tobacco harm reduction,” explained the event organisers.

A new study launched at the conference highlighted once again that the implementation of the WHO’s tobacco control measures known as MPOWER, was not in any way associated with lower levels of tobacco-related mortality rates in Europe. On the other hand, independent research also shared at the event, revealed that switching from smoking to Swedish-style snus, is proving to be an effective strategy to reduce the harms caused by tobacco.

Paper discusses smoking cessation-related progress per country

Similarly, a recent 59-page white paper discussing case studies conducted in several countries to measure smoking cessation-related progress, has shown that those following the WHO’s guidance, keep struggling with higher smoking rates.

Titled “Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada,” the publication was released by the Property Rights Alliance. It consisted of four respective case studies by Christopher Snowdon (Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK), Louis Houlbrooke (New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand), Patrick Coquart (IREF, France), and Prof Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada), and confirmed what public health experts have been pointing out all along.

“Countries applying progressive Tobacco Harm Reduction policies are enjoying a significant fall in smoking rates. Whereas those following the World Health Organization’s guidance continue to experience excessive smoking-related illnesses and deaths,” said the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas, said that thankfully the release of this significant data coincided with the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which held its infamous COP9 session last November. “Ultimately, this paper proves countries that embrace vaping, such as France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada, have witnessed a decrease in smoking rates that is twice as fast as the global average,” she said.

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