• August 12, 2020

US-based vapor organization joins global effort

The Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) has joined an international push for the World Health Organization (WHO) to reform its stance on vaping regulation. This will be the first time that international campaigners and leaders of the vaping industry join forces to reform discordant global health policies. Organizations from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia have signed the UK Vaping Industry Association’s call to action. 
The WHO’s tobacco control group will be meeting at the 8th session of its Conference of the Parties (COP8) in Geneva (1-6 October) to explore international guidance on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (aka vaping products/e-cigarettes). Despite having recognized vaping’s potential for reducing smoking rates, the WHO tobacco control group took the contradictory stance in 2016 that member states could also ban vaping products outright as part of a tobacco control plan.
The Who’s position is at odds with member states, in particular those such as the UK and New Zealand, who advocate smokers switching to vaping as part of harm-reduction policy. The UAE, Philippines and Australia are also currently considering lifting their bans on vaping, for instance. 
International vaping bodies have come together out of concern that the WHO’s stance may compromise the progress made by countries who have embraced vaping, by opening the door to potential bans.
Vapers believe the WHO tobacco control group’s messaging is not only detrimental to public health, but unaccountable, least of all to the consumers whose taxes fund but do not appear to influence its policies.
Maggie Gowen, executive director of the GVSA said: “We and our international co-signatories are proud to stand up for vaping as a route for smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. We are keen to work with the WHO to ensure that its policy decisions at the Geneva congress reflect the evidence and good common sense.” 
The global call to action urges the WHO tobacco control group to acknowledge vaping as part of an effective harm reduction strategy, to reverse its previous decision to invite bans and restrictions on vaping; and to recommend that member states regulate tobacco and vaping products separately. 
The signatories include: 
ANAFE-Confindustria – Italy
Asian Vape Association (AVA) – Asia

Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) – Australia

Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research (AVATAR) – Australia Canadian Vaping Association – Canada

Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) – USA

France Vapotage – France

Koora Elektronické Kouřeni (KELK) – Czech Republic

Malaysia E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternatives (MEVTA) – Malaysia Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) – Philippines Udruga Korisnika Osobnih Isparivača (CROHM) – Croatia

UK Vaping Industry Association – United Kingdom

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) – Ireland

Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) – New Zealand Verband des eZigarettenhandels (VdeH) – Germany