Vapers around the world celebrate World Vape Day

For the second year in a row, vejpers around the world are celebrating World Vape Day. Under the slogan "Switching is Quitting", researchers, activists and ordinary vejpers are calling on the world's politicians to change their minds about the importance of harm reduction for smokers.

"Commit to quit"
This is the World Health Organisation's message to smokers on World No Tobacco Day (31 May). Patches, chewing gum, nasal sprays and medicines are at the top of the list of aids to be used by smokers. encouraging smokers to throw their cigarettes in the rubbish bin.
But this is not enough, says the INNCO consumer networkwhich, together with its members from around the world and several other organisations, is launching the World Vape Day - on Sunday 30 May. (Under the slogan "Switching is quitting", World Vape Day promotes harm reduction and products such as e-cigarettes, nicotine pouches and snus.

"We want to show that there is another way of thinking about smoking cessation. That the WHO completely misses the requirement for harm reduction that is actually in their own Convention on Tobacco Control," says Mr Perez. Atakan Befrits, vejpare, activist and representative of INNCO to Vejpkollen.

Grassroots raising their voices

For the second year in a row, vejpare and tobacco harm reduction activists are launching their own campaign to make smokers and politicians aware of the value of harm reduction products. Behind the INNCO, International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations, there are over 35 local consumer organisations for nicotine users. Atakan Befrits comes from the New Nicotine Alliance Sweden.

"We are grassroots movements made up of ex-smokers and we demand to make our voices heard. The WHO says that those who have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes or snus have not quit smoking. This is absurd. If you don't smoke, you don't smoke. It's as simple as that. Switching is quitting"

WHO's view on vejpning devastating

The WHO manifesto and advice to member states is to regulate alternative nicotine products in the same way as smoking tobacco. Tobacco companies are the enemy, no matter which product they launch. "We celebrate No Tobacco Day to draw the world's attention to the dangerous activities of tobacco companies," says the World Health Organisation on its campaign website.
The WHO's approach to harm reduction products has devastating consequences for smokers, new and old, says Atakan Befrits. According to him, the WHO is deliberately distorting the point of harm reduction in favour of other interests. 

"According to the WHO, all nicotine not controlled by pharmaceutical companies is by definition part of the tobacco industry. This is an image that is spreading around the world, leading to legislation that is directly harmful to nicotine users who are trying to quit smoking tobacco," said Mr Perez. Atakan Befrits.

Bans on flavours are illogical

A ban on flavours in e-cigarettes, which includes discussed in Sweden, and sometimes total ban on vejp products are just a few examples, says Atakan Befrits.
"If it were the case that smoking tobacco and cigarettes were first banned, I would understand the reasoning. But as long as smoking is allowed and people choose to use nicotine, it is reprehensible to ban or severely restrict the less harmful alternatives." says Atakan Befrits.

Swedish prohibitionist mentality is contagious

According to INNCO, access to alternative, less harmful nicotine products is therefore a human right. Especially in low- and middle-income countries, where access to alternatives to smoking tobacco is currently non-existent. The WHO has actively encouraged these countries to either heavily regulate or ban products such as snus and electronic cigarettes.

"There is a prohibitionist mentality that can be traced to Swedish tobacco policy" says Atakan Befrits. "If Sweden could do ONE thing to improve the health of smokers in the world, it would be to introduce harm reduction as part of its tobacco strategy. The concept is not even included in the Swedish translation of the WHO Tobacco Convention. It has become a barrier to improving the health of smokers, not only in Sweden but also in the rest of the world. "Sweden is seen as a model country, we have low rates of smoking due to snus, but our authorities don't recognise this. Because harm reduction is not something we do."

Live broadcasts and Twitter campaigns

World Vape Day can be followed via several social media platforms and will take place on Sunday 30 May.

World vape days official website
Materials, information and how vejpare can help spread the message "Switching is quitting".

The World Vape Day Twitter channel.
The official tag is #worldvapeday (but also #WVD21).

The media channel Regulator Watch will be broadcasting live throughout the day, with guests from around the world on the topic of tobacco harm reduction.
WORLD VAPE DAY 2021 | North American coverage | RegWatch (Live)

Also follow the project Golden Oldies Capitol Tours on Facebook- where American vejpers talk about how they quit smoking.


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