Friday, October 26, 2012

World Health Organization Urges Countries to Ban Electronic Cigarettes Because Their Use Violates the FCTC Treaty's Recommended Restrictions on Tobacco Advertising

The World Health Organization is urging countries to ban electronic cigarettes because when people use these products, they represent "tobacco advertisements" and this violates the FCTC treaty's recommended restriction on tobacco advertising.

In a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report on electronic cigarettes from the Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, WHO states:

"Furthermore, under Article 13.2, Parties have an obligation to undertake a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. “Tobacco advertising and promotion” is defined in Article 1(c) as “any form of commercial communication, recommendation or action with the aim, effect or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use either directly or indirectly”. Therefore, Parties may also wish to consider whether the sale, advertising, and even the use of electronic cigarettes can be considered as promoting tobacco use, either directly or indirectly. Regardless of whether or not ENDS contain nicotine or tobacco extracts, they are used to mimic smoking, which could be considered as a (direct or indirect) promotion of tobacco use."

The Rest of the Story

This is the fourth installment of complete crap from the World Health Organization in as many days. We end this four-part series on the World Health Organization's opposition to electronic cigarettes with its most ridiculous argument of all: that vaping must be banned because it represents a form of tobacco advertising.

There's just two problems with this argument:

1. Vaping is not tobacco use.

2. Vaping is not advertising. It's vaping.

Moreover, how can the advertising of electronic cigarettes be considered as promoting tobacco use when its very purpose is to get people to switch away from tobacco use? This argument is as inane as asserting that Chantix advertising should be banned because it promotes tobacco use or that advertising for nicotine inhalers should be banned because it is a form of tobacco promotion.

What it really comes down to is that the WHO simply cannot tolerate the fact that something which looks like smoking could possibly be a good thing, even if it is saving thousands of lives. And so once again, it becomes clear that the WHO's primary concern is not health, but ideology.

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