Worries About WHO’s Harm Reduction Stance

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In a submission to the U.K. All Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping Inquiry, the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO) has expressed its concerns about the World Health Organization’s stance on tobacco harm reduction.

Specifically, INNCO is concerned about the WHO’s treatment of low-risk nicotine products and its refusal to recognize harm reduction principles to lower the disease and premature death caused by use of high-risk forms of tobacco such as combustible cigarettes and certain oral tobacco products.

The U.K. Parliamentary Group’s inquiry is designed to collect evidence and issue a report on the ninth conference of the parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP9), which is scheduled to take place in November in the Netherlands.

The U.K. has taken a pragmatic, humane and effective position on the use of tobacco harm reduction, embracing electronic cigarettes as a complement to traditional tobacco control strategies. Consequently, England has one of the lowest smoking rates in Europe.

Due to the country’s track record in tobacco harm reduction, INNCO believes the U.K. is in a unique position to raise its concerns with the WHO and FCTC.