Did you know 31st May marked this year’s World No Tobacco Day? Even though it has been and gone, this year was the 30th anniversary of the very first World No Tobacco Day originally introduced in 1988 by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It would seem to be an opportune moment to promote methods that have been proven to help smokers quit the habit. Yet WHO has continued to ignore the potential of vaping when focusing on its anti-smoking campaigns.
This year, the focus of the campaign was to highlight the link between smoking and heart disease. Since they are clearly so keen to support people in quitting smoking cigarettes and other tobacco-based products, it is odd they have ignored the one method that has arguably proven more successful than any other for doing this.
They are keen to provide help to those who wish to quit smoking, yet there is no mention anywhere of the possibility of switching to vaping. Yet many people have quit by doing just that.
Countries are relying on evidence to formulate their own approaches
This is perhaps the most sensible approach to take. Many countries have explored the evidence on smoking and electronic cigarettes when deciding whether to formally back vaping as a method for helping people quit smoking. Countries such as the UK, France, and the US have seen a major drop in the percentage of people who smoke since they began promoting e-cigarettes as a cessation method.
Yet the WHO is still hugely reluctant to even mention vaping in any of its materials on health and World No Tobacco Day. Despite the huge amount of research that has proven, time and again, that vaping is safer than smoking, they seem to have ignored it.
This is concerning given their focus on world health and on improving the health of the population in all countries. Moreover, we cannot see a change occurring anytime soon. Perhaps by the time World No Tobacco Day rolls around in 2019, they will have changed their stance.
What do you think about the views of the WHO? Do you think they should be supporting the switch to vaping in the hope of reducing smoking rates even further? The stats prove smoking rates drop by considerable amounts when countries support the use of vaping. How long do you think it will be before the WHO catches on?