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Report by Public Health Experts Laments “Missed Opportunity” as World Health Organization Debates Global Tobacco Policy

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy                   

As delegates gather for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) biennial conference on tobacco, the authors of a new report, “No Fire, No Smoke: Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction,” are fiercely criticizing the WHO’s record. The public health experts accuse the WHO of failing to comply with international treaty obligations to back reduced-harm alternatives to smoking. They deplore that the WHO instead recommends bans on e-cigarettes—a move that has been implemented by dozens of countries.

6 October, 2018

Launched today in Geneva, Switzerland:

No Fire, No Smoke: the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction Report 2018.

Every six seconds someone dies from a smoking-related disease and the problem is likely to worsen; the steep smoking declines in richer countries are slowing while in poorer countries smoking is set to rise. Existing forms of tobacco control are proving insufficient. There is substantial international, independent evidence that safer nicotine products could lead to a global revolution in public health. Time is way overdue that countries and international organizations support tobacco harm reduction and safer nicotine products (SNP)

The GSTHR report maps for the first time the global, regional and national availability and use of SNP, the regulatory responses to these products, the public health potential of tobacco harm reduction, and the right to access SNP.

The report is published by Knowledge Action Change, the private sector agency for public health and written by Harry Shapiro.

The report is available to download at:

Summaries of the report in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese are available to download at: More languages will follow.

In the next few weeks the GSTHR website will include searchable country profiles on smoking and SNP.

Thank you

The GSTHR team

2 October, 2018

‘E-cigarettes are most likely 95% less hazardous than smoking cigarettes’

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy 

The ministry of health and family welfare recently asked state governments to stop sales of e-cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). Public policy advocate David Sweanor talked to DB Post about the issue and said, “To ban the least hazardous product really condemns a lot of people to a premature death.”

1 October, 2018

We’re going to need a tobacco buyout for the developing world

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy 

Millions of smallholder farmers and their families in Africa and other parts of the developing world are going to lose their livelihoods due to the coming (welcome) fall in global demand for tobacco. This decrease will come as a result of changing technologies (e.g. moving from tobacco to vaping). A number of poor countries are surprisingly dependent on tobacco for jobs and hard currency. The coming end of tobacco products is a major social and economic disruption in these societies.

27  September, 2018

UP IN SMOKE: E-cigarettes PT 2

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy 

As traditional cigarettes get vaporised, will the same eventually happen to the entire industry? PMI says this is what they’re after in pursuing a “Smoke Free Future” and e cigarette manufacturers and retailers are keen to see this happen as well.

19 September, 2018

Affordable vaping for smokers in poor countries branded ‘a human rights issue’

The costs of vaping should be reduced for smokers in developing countries as an urgent “human rights issue”, researchers have told a pro-tobacco conference in London.

Addressing a 300-strong audience of tobacco and vaping industry representatives, Helen Redmond, an expert in substance use at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, said people in poor countries should not be priced out of nicotine-based products that could potentially help them to quit smoking.

Redmond compared the medicinal qualities of nicotine with cannabis and stressed “the need to get vaping to the poorest, who need it most”. Click here to read more...

17 September, 2018

Cancer Burden Rises To 18.1 Million New Cases And 9.6 Million Cancer Deaths In 2018 (WHO Research)

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy 

“Best practice measures embedded in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have effectively reduced active smoking and prevented involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in many countries,” says Dr Freddie Bray, Head of the Section of Cancer Surveillance at IARC. “However, given that the tobacco epidemic is at different stages in different regions and in men and women, the results highlight the need to continue to put in place targeted and effective tobacco control policies in every country of the world.”

13 September, 2018

The counterfactual Letter to WHO DG concerning WHO/FCTC approach to low-risk alternatives to cigarettes

Re-post from the counterfactual

We’ve sent a letter to WHO and the FCTC secretariat in advance of FCTC COP-8 (1-6 October, Geneva) – protesting about WHO’s inclination towards prohibition and excessive regulation of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS).  For background, see papers on vaping (FCTC/COP/8/10) and heated tobacco products and others (FCTC/COP/8/8).

The letter by David Abrams, Ray Niaura, David Sweanor and me is available in PDF form with all footnotes here – and the text is reproduced without notes below. >> read the full post

10 September, 2018