WHO report on e-cigs to be presented at COP7 conference

WHO logo - U.S. mission, Geneva - 300x180Tobacco control leaders from around the globe will be presented with the latest findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) on e-cigarettes and public health at a meeting in India this November.

The seventh Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – generally known as COP7 – will take place in Delhi from 7th to 12th November, and may issue recommendations on e-cigarette regulation after hearing the WHO’s views.

On the agenda, under the heading “control and prevention of globally emerging products”, is the presentation of a report by the WHO that the last meeting, COP6, requested in 2014.

That report is expected to be published before the Delhi conference, most likely during September.

Both the FCTC and the broader WHO, the international body under whose aegis it stands, have become notorious for their sceptical attitude toward e-cigarettes.

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    The COP6 meeting suggested that member countries, which include nearly all major nations with the notable exception of the U.S., should consider a regulatory repertoire that could include restrictions on vaping in public places, advertising bans, or even complete prohibition of e-cigarettes and similar products.


    What This Means: FCTC recommendations are not necessarily binding on members, but they – and WHO attitudes – have a strong influence on policy. This is especially true in the developing world, and is undoubtedly one reason why India (for example) is cracking down so hard on e-cigs; and even in other countries it adds considerable weight to arguments for tight regulation.

    We wrote in 2014 that “there is no escaping the fact that [COP6] is encouraging governments to approach [e-cigarettes] with grave suspicion”, and given the tenor of the WHO’s attitude toward vaping – infused by loathing of combustible tobacco and its history – we suspect we will be writing much the same this November.

    – Barnaby Page ECigIntelligence staff

    Photo: U.S. mission, Geneva

    Barnaby Page

    Editorial director
    Before joining ECigIntelligence in early 2014 as one of its first employees, Barnaby had a 30-year career as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and online services, working in Canada, the US and the Middle East as well as his current British location. He has edited publications covering fields including technology and the advertising industry, and was launch editor of the first large daily online news service in the British regional media. Barnaby also writes on classical music and film for a number of publications. Barnaby manages the editorial and reporting teams and works closely with the analyst teams, to ensure that all content meets high standards of quality and relevance. He also writes for the site occasionally, mostly on science-related issues, and is a member of the Association of British Science Writers.

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