Debate on E-cigarette Regulation: UK Parliament vs. WHO

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Debate on E-cigarette Regulation: UK Parliament vs. WHO
UK Parliament plans to livestream a debate on January 18th regarding e-cigarette regulations, the WHO COP10, and differing stances on e-cigarettes.

The British Parliament is set to hold a live debate on January 18th, focusing on the regulation of e-cigarettes in the country, the upcoming tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Panama, and the differing positions of this organization and the UK government regarding e-cigarettes. This debate, initiated by MP Andrew Lewer, aims to examine and challenge the WHO's opposition to e-cigarettes, particularly their policies on banning or overly regulating e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, and oral nicotine pouches.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has long been committed to controlling the use of tobacco and nicotine products, especially e-cigarettes. According to a report on December 14, 2023, the WHO emphasized the need for urgent action to control e-cigarettes in order to protect children and non-smokers, while minimizing the health risks to the public. The WHO pointed out that e-cigarettes contain highly addictive nicotine and are harmful to health.


Meanwhile, the stance of the United Kingdom differs significantly from that of the World Health Organization (WHO). The UK government has consistently supported e-cigarettes as a substitute for reducing the harm caused by smoking. According to the UK government's perspective, e-cigarettes can aid smokers in quitting, and their risks are far lower than those associated with traditional tobacco products. A report by the Policy Exchange, a UK policy think tank, demonstrates the enormous impact smoking has on the economy and highlights that reducing smoking rates can not only improve health conditions and alleviate the burden on the National Health Service (NHS) but also stimulate productivity and economic growth.


The upcoming debate in the British Parliament is expected to cover various areas, including concerns about the influence of the World Health Organization (WHO) on UK health policies and calls for the UK delegation to uphold its stance on the role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation on the international stage.


The parliamentary debate in the UK has presented a rare opportunity for the public to gain insight into the controversy and intricacies surrounding e-cigarettes within the global tobacco control movement. This debate is expected to offer novel perspectives on the future development of global tobacco control policies.


2FIRSTS will be providing full coverage of the entire debate and will provide further updates after its conclusion. Stay tuned for more information.


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