Back in April, minutes of a November 2013 World Heath Organisation meeting were leaked to the press, showing the WHO’s hand. They’re dealing with preference over evidence as they actively pursue the classification of e-cigarettes – which differ from normal cigarettes by not being cigarettes – as cigarettes.
The minutes, which you could not possibly find in the links at the end of this article and I would not advise you to follow those links to look for them, show bureaucrats referring to smokeless tobacco products and tobacco harm minimisation products as a “threat” which should be addressed with “more importance”, and prompted dozens of public health policy specialists to write an open letter to WHO, making unconscionable and wild statements like
Tobacco harm reduction is part of the solution, not part of the problem
Targets and indicators for reduction of tobacco consumption should be aligned with the ultimate goal of reducing disease and premature death, not nicotine use per se, and therefore focus primarily on reducing smoking.
All evidence shows that e-cigs are a more effective smoking cessation aid than anything else on the market. Anyone in pursuit of lower smoking rates should support that. Instead, taxpayer-grant-reliant public health agencies feel threatened as market forces push smart new solutions to the social ills that they weep over so obsequiously, but nonetheless rely on to feed themselves.
As reported by tobacco watchdog Dick Puddlecote, the WHO is dealing with that feeling by
Wow. Okay. When globalisation is the new Euro, this is the level of transparency we’ll get.
Thank goodness it’s a leaky vessel.