Petition Against E-Cigarette Ban Reaches 10,000 Signatures

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition against the e-cigarette ban through COP10, urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to respect consumer rights and end its opposition to e-cigarette smoking. Organizers aim to reach 20,000 signatures.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition against banning e-cigarettes, urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to respect consumer rights and end its opposition to e-cigarette smoking. Organizers now hope to reach 20,000 signatures through COP10.

The Right2Switch signatures, launched during the 2021 Voices4Vape webinar, call on WHO to "stop lying to us and provide guidance based only on sound scientific facts, methods, and principles.

Nancy Loucas, a leading e-cigarette advocate in the Asia-Pacific region, said the WHO's insistence that safer nicotine products are as harmful as combustible tobacco and should be banned or severely restricted is costing millions of smokers around the world their lives.

The signature pleads with WHO and health authorities around the world to regulate based on sound scientific facts, including consumer participation as part of the decision-making process.

It calls on WHO to stop interfering with the rights of adults to make informed choices about their health and well-being. It also calls on WHO to follow its mission that "we communicate openly with all people and learn from each other.

Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Advocates for Tobacco Harm Reduction (CAPHRA), said that while WHO continues to delve into its unjustified anti-e-cigarette stance, next year will provide an opportunity for change.

In November 2023, Panama will host the WHO's 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). At the important global conference, delegates will discuss and make recommendations for safer nicotine products. "In just 12 months, international delegates will have the best opportunity to ensure that global public health guidelines finally reflect reality: that it serves as an effective and harm-reducing cessation tool to save smokers' lives," she said.

CAPHRA said that to date, some 70 countries have ignored the WHO's anti-e-cigarette campaign and regulation of e-cigarettes, and those countries have each seen significant declines in smoking rates. "Signature letters like this one add to the growing pressure WHO is now under. It is long past time for WHO to follow the evidence, rather than end the ongoing but unfounded hysteria." She said.

The signatories say adults have every right to make their own lifestyle choices - the right to make informed choices for their health, including the choice to use safer nicotine products as an alternative to deadly combustible tobacco.

"The solution to the world's smoking problem is already here. The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires action, so let's aim for 20,000 signatures on COP10 by 2023. Millions of smokers' lives depend on tobacco harm reduction advocates who do what we can to ensure that COP10 makes evidence-based decisions, not emotional ones," said Nancy Loucas. 

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