The Word Health Organization’s 8th annual global anti-smoking summit left a bitter taste in the mouths of vaping enthusiasts. The WHO has refused observer status for INNCO, despite the fact that this network of consumer organizations of reduced-risk nicotine products wanted its voice to be heard. Worse still: the debate session was not broadcasted as advertised.
INNCO, which brings together 36 international organizations, is a major player in the fight against tobacco addiction. However, the WHO does not seem to want to give it observer status, a request that was refused after only ten minutes of debate.
Aside from the unfortunate results, it was the method in which the WHO went about the decision that angered vaping enthusiasts. While all of the debates were supposed to be live-streamed, for this particular decision, the discussion was not televised! The broadcast was cut just before the subject was discussed, and the lack of transparency brings to light the significant issues with the WHO’s true intentions.
Safer alternatives for smokers
Members of INNCO neither understand why the WHO refused INNCO observer status, nor why the debate about this decision was not broadcasted. However, releasing a recording of the meeting could still bring an end to this unfortunate situation. Following the world summit, this issue remains a major issue for vaping associations that uniformly feel disrespected.
Supporters of the e-cigarette are having a hard time understanding why INNCO was refused observer status. According to INNCO, gaining observer status would have been more democratic. In this way, WHO delegates would have officially recognized the experiences of vape users throughout the world.
As of today, the WHO does not accept “any contribution from civil society,” INNCO said in a statement. The network of anti-tobacco associations estimates that the voice of vapers throughout the world was ignored. In INNCO’s assessment, the WHO is at fault for not currently allowing smokers easier access to less harmful tobacco alternatives.