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We Vape: Britain Should Pressure WHO to Address Tobacco Harms

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The UK needs to pressure the World Health Organization to focus on reducing tobacco-related harms with measures like vaping, Mark Oates of We Vape said.

The We Vape director made the comments during an interview at Vape Live Europe, taking place online from Wednesday to Friday this week.

Oates argued that stopping smoking death should be as high a priority as addressing environmental issues.

He said:

“Britain needs to take the challenge to the World Health Organization, as a world leader in environmental causes.

“We should have as much focus on smoking and smoking related deaths as we do on the environment.

“If you look at the numbers, smoking is a huge killer and currently killing vastly more than the environment.

“The (UK) government is a huge funder of the World Health Organization. It needs to step up to the plate and take this subject seriously.”

Learn more: Ethnic Minorities Less Likely to Vape Despite Increased Risk of Smoking Harms

Vaping Bans

Oates also criticised the WHO policy of supporting countries that have vaping bans in place and for helping to spread ‘anti-vaping rhetoric’.

He noted that countries like India have a lot to gain from vaping.

He said:

“For millions and millions of smokers around the world in developing countries, vaping could play such a good role in reducing these deaths and health problems that occur.”

Oates added that British vapers need to engage with their local politicians to inform, educate and tell their stories.

MPs also need to be aware of the contribution that vaping could make in the UK meeting its smokefree 2030 target, Oates said.

” There’s that many of us that we could cause a little bit of a political headache. Politicians are like the rest of us, they like keeping their jobs. Remind them that there are in most constituencies probably around 5000 vapers around the UK. If you remind them that you’re there, and they could lose their job, if they don’t think of you, then it can be very successful.”

Read more: US Vape Mail Ban Hits UK Businesses

Caroline Barry
24 posts

About author
Caroline Barry is an experienced journalist across multiple sectors and hails from Clonakilty in Ireland. Her journalism focuses on CBD, medical cannabis, vaping, LGBT+ rights and culture. She is currently working on her first non-fiction book about growing up gay with ADHD in rural Ireland. Caroline is currently based in Nottingham, England with her small black cat.
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