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 What follows is an English translation of Vape: la direction de l'OMS pousse pour la défense du tabac indien et l'agenda électoral de Bloomberg contre la science, written by Philippe Poirson and published on Vapolitique, here.

Vaping took centre stage in what turned out to be a concerning briefing at the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board (EB146) in Geneva on 4 February. Put on the agenda by Iraq, a nation where vaping is not a priority, the subject was introduced by the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu. Although the session had only an informative and non-decision-making status, the direction desired by the Secretariat of WHO left no room for doubt. Tedros has taken up the language of the billionaire candidate for the White House, Michael Bloomberg, by repeating the unsupported belief that vaping is toxic and a threat to young people. "We know enough to have to protect our children from their harmful effects," says Dr Tedros as a policy line for the WHO. This was without discussing harm reduction in the context of smoking, nor relevant scientific work of independent organizations, notably those in the UK. 

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A General Election is being held in Ireland on February 8th and 5 per cent of the electorate is being ignored by the main political parties. Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Irish Green Party all promote policies to further marginalise the hundreds of thousands of current vapers in Ireland.

Fianna Fail has suggested banning what they describe as “child focussed flavours” by which they mean all flavours. Most adult vapers consume dessert, fruit and candy flavours to distance themselves from the taste of tobacco so, under this proposal, will be deprived of a significant factor in ensuring they stay away from smoking. The party has also stated they intend to remove vaping entirely as part of their smoke free Ireland targets.

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REAL1

POSTED BY: NIKAN JANUARY 18, 2020

There are now more Norwegians using snus than smoking daily.

New figures from Statistics Norway show that while 14 per cent of the population aged between 16 and 74 used snus daily in 2019, only 9 per cent were daily smokers. Nikan has looked at the figures and asked for comments from researcher Karl Erik Lund at the Institute of Public Health.

In the last 10 years, the proportion of daily smokers has more than halved, from 21 per cent in 2009 to 9 per cent in 2019. Meanwhile, the proportion of daily snus users has increased, from 6 per cent in 2009 to 14 per cent in 2019. Snus has thus taken over as the preferred mode of administrating nicotine - which is gratifying news from a harm reduction perspective.

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The Dutch government are proposing to extend their ban on the use of tobacco products in public places to include the use of snus (see here for the notification detail for the draft act). The consultation period ended on 31 December 2019.

Bengt Wiberg, the co-founder of ETHRA partner EUforSnus, wrote to the Swedish government to urge them to respond to the proposal. We summarise the letter below.  

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