WHO ‘War on Nicotine’ Lambasted

    Photo: Aleksey Novikov

    Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC) condemned the recently released WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2021, which describes e-cigarettes as harmful.

    “The World Health Organization and its single most significant funder for anti-smoking efforts, U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg, have today sought to distract from years of failure under the WHO’s MPOWER tobacco control strategy by focusing instead on what U.K.-based public health agency Knowledge-Action-Change and other observers are calling a new ‘war on nicotine,’” KAC wrote in a press release.

    “On publication of the WHO’s ‘eighth annual report on the global tobacco epidemic,’ the organization is continuing its misguided insistence that vapes (e-cigarettes), snus, nicotine pouches and heated-tobacco devices, collectively known as safer nicotine products, are a threat,” KAC wrote. “This ignores the growing international, independent evidence that they offer millions of adult smokers the opportunity to quit deadly combustible tobacco.”

    “The WHO’s self-congratulatory focus on strategy over outcomes indicates the lack of vision and ambition underpinning the international tobacco control establishment,” said Gerry Stimson, co-director of the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) project and emeritus professor at Imperial College, London. “This report offers no surprises and no hope for the world’s 1.1 billion smokers who need and deserve better.”

    The GSTHR estimates that there are 68 million vapers worldwide, 20 million users of heated-tobacco products and 10 million snus users. By comparison, there are 1.1 billion smokers.