A live panel discussion of vaping advocates and experts vowed to tackle a fresh round of “mistruths” about vaping in the media on Sunday.
The Advocates Voice, or TAV, has a growing following among tobacco harm reduction supporters and the public. Sunday’s episode will be simulcast on the Facebook page of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates. Questions from viewers to the panel are encouraged.
Hosted by CAPHRA, TAV’s sixth episode will premiere at 12 p.m. Hong Kong time or 4 p.m. New Zealand time. It will include a panel discussion on the World Health Organization’s latest Tobacco Product Regulation report and its guidance for harm reduced products which CAPHRA described as deeply disturbing.
“WHO’s negative and obstructive approach towards safer nicotine vaping products continues to impact smoking cessation rates, costing lives globally. WHO continues to treat smoking and nicotine vaping as the same and ignores all the science,” said Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator of CAPHRA.
“We will discuss TobReg [tobacco product regulation] and the action that advocates can take, and what consumers and the public need to do to protect their rights to make informed choices for their health,” she said.
TAV is keen to confront a recent avalanche of mistruths and myths about vaping which the media seems determined to publicize, according to CAPHRA.
“The ‘youth vaping epidemic’ seems to have made a comeback as a media favorite, but we have some very solid empirical data which quashes any emotion some are trying to drum up. Some media now also suggest that vape flavors might be dangerous to inhale. Then we have other ridiculous claims such as the one by SPCA New Zealand that nicotine vaping is harmful to pets! TAV will deal to all these, plus any other baseless beat ups, in its typically full and frank format,” Loucas said.
“We will also talk about the risk proportionate bill that’s now in the Senate in the Philippines. It may open the floodgates for Southeast Asia public health policy to adopt harm reduction as a goal,” she said.
TAV’s latest social media campaign for its upcoming Facebook livestream, headlines ‘We know that science, evidence and facts will win this war’.
“Many in the mainstream media seem determined to run WHO’s lines, beating up on vaping despite it being the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool. We need to get the focus squarely back on combustible smoking which continues to kill eight million people globally every year,” Loucas said.
CAPHRA said that despite the media’s best efforts, scientists, researchers, and health officials stand by vaping. This includes Public Health England which has never wavered from its 2018 independent review of evidence which concluded that ‘e-cigarettes are around 95-percent safer than combustible cigarettes’.
“World Vape Day on 30 May was one of the biggest we’ve seen. TAV, or The Advocates Voice, is also gathering momentum with the first Sunday of every month fast becoming appointment viewing. To save more lives, we need to keep fighting. Knowledge is power, and there is nothing more powerful than an educated public,” said Loucas.
Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific region launched a petition that urges the WHO to respect consumer rights ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control in November.