Driving through Geneva in the iconic electric pink ‘Vape Bus’, the World Vapers’ Alliance, representing vapers worldwide, displayed a powerful selection of quit stories from all over the world.
The World Vapers’ Alliance said: “The audience for the demonstration was the delegates to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s (FCTC) COP9 meeting, taking place in Geneva and virtually. The WHO FCTC has excluded vapers from participating in the COP 9 discussions, and the WVA's demonstration was quickly ejected from outside of the WHO building.”
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented: “We came here today to make sure that vapers’ voices are heard, and that vaping is at the forefront of smoking cessation policies worldwide. Vaping can save 200 million lives globally, and it is imperative that COP9 delegates understand the real-life stories of people who have been able to quit smoking thanks to vaping.
We have brought our message to the WHO’s front door and asked them to listen to our voice. COP9 delegates have the opportunity to make history and save lives IF they back vaping as a tool to beat smoking. Our message to them is clear: choose science and save lives,” he added.
The WVA says that nearly 200 million smokers worldwide could switch to vaping, an alternative that is 95% less harmful, if governments adopted regulations that facilitate and encourage vaping as a means to quit smoking. The governments and health authorities of the UK, France, Canada and New Zealand have already done this. Yet the WHO has waged a “war on vaping”, refusing to listen to the science. The World Vapers’ Alliance called for the WHO and global leaders to start taking tobacco harm reduction seriously.
“There is a risk that global leaders at COP 9 - under pressure from anti-vaping activists - will push for the introduction of laws that would treat vaping the exact same as smoking. This would spell disaster for vapers, for smokers and for global public health. The best way we can beat smoking is to promote vaping as part of public health policies,” Michael Landl concluded.