Fight Over Vaping: Campaigners, Lobbyists Clash Before WHO Summit

Sat Feb 03 2024
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PARIS: The World Health Organization prepares to host a tobacco summit next week to discuss health related issues.  Does vaping offer an opportunity for smokers to break free from their deadly tobacco addiction, or pose a vast new health threat to the world’s youth? This longstanding question is once again in the spotlight as the world health body will the summit next week.  The event is expected to be a battleground between supporters of e-cigarettes, including some lobbyists from the tobacco industry, and anti-smoking advocates, APP reported.  Vaping, along with other recent smoking alternatives, will be a key topic of discussion as representatives from various countries convene in Panama City to revise a WHO treaty on tobacco control.

Fight Over Vaping and WHO Summit

Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarette devices do not contain tobacco; instead, they vaporize a liquid typically containing nicotine. This method eliminates tar and carbon monoxide, the primary culprits behind the numerous cancers and heart diseases associated with tobacco, suggesting that vaping could be a less harmful option.

However, the WHO and many anti-smoking campaigners remain sceptical, citing the precautionary principle. Due to limited research spanning only a decade, there’s uncertainty about the potential long-term health effects of vaping. Consequently, different countries have adopted varying policies, with over 30 nations banning vaping altogether while others have minimal regulations in place.   —AFP/APP

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