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CAPHRA Champions World Vape Day: A Call For Truth And Harm Reduction

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) today celebrates World Vape Day on May 30, 2024, by urging global leaders to recognise the life-saving potential of safer nicotine products and to expose the ongoing disinformation campaign led by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Science of Harm Reduction

“Despite overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the reduced risk of vaping compared to combustible tobacco products, the WHO continues to ignore the facts and mislead the public,” said Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

“These products, including e-cigarettes, snus, and heated tobacco products (HTPs), offer a viable alternative for millions of smokers seeking to reduce their health risks. The GSTHR reports have shown that these alternatives are not only effective in reducing harm but also play a significant role in public health by providing accessible and acceptable options for smokers worldwide,” said Ms Loucas.

WHO’s Exclusionary Tactics and Disinformation

CAPHRA has been vocal in criticising the WHO's exclusionary tactics, particularly at the Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10). By excluding consumer groups and harm reduction advocates, the WHO has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the voices of those directly impacted by tobacco use. This exclusion is not just a procedural oversight; it is a deliberate attempt to silence the truth about harm reduction.

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“One of the most egregious aspects of the WHO's stance is its use of children as pawns to propagate the false narrative that vaping is not a tobacco harm reduction product,” said Nancy Loucas.

“This disinformation campaign not only undermines the credibility of harm reduction efforts but also jeopardises the health of millions of adult smokers who could benefit from switching to safer alternatives.”

The WHO's refusal to acknowledge the science behind reduced-risk products is a disservice to public health and a violation of the principle of ‘Health For All’.

"The WHO's ongoing disinformation campaign is a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the real issue: the need for effective strategies to help smokers quit. Accusing harm reduction advocates of collusion with big tobacco is not just false, it's a deliberate attempt to undermine the potential for life-saving innovations".

A Call to Action

On this World Vape Day, CAPHRA calls on all stakeholders, including policymakers, public health officials, and the media, to recognise the truth about tobacco harm reduction. It is time to challenge the disinformation spread by the WHO and advocate for evidence-based policies that prioritise the health and well-being of smokers worldwide.

Nancy Loucas emphasised, "It's time for the WHO and FCTC to listen to consumers and integrate harm reduction into their policies. Only then can we tackle both the public health crisis of smoking and the escalating illicit tobacco trade". She added, "The WHO's stance not only ignores the evidence supporting these strategies but also undermines the global fight against the tobacco epidemic".

Join us in using the hashtags #DisinformationKills, #Healthforall, and #tobaccoexposed to spread the message and demand accountability from the WHO. Together, we can ensure that the truth about vaping and other reduced-risk products is heard and that millions of lives are saved through informed choices and effective harm reduction strategies.

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