Apparently I’m not permitted to report or discuss any information relating to e-cigs, and the WHO’s proposed strategy for regulatory guidelines. I strongly recommend that you ignore everything relating to this matter published here and here. Do not, under any circumstances click on these links as the information is now classified according to the World Health Organization. It’s my understanding that legal letters have been officially issued demanding that an unnamed document be removed immediately and that no further reference to it be made.
Whatever this mystery information is, it’s very interesting that it was originally furnished, I mean leaked, to the Financial Times of all news outlets. The WHO always knows what’s best for public health, and besides, who are we to question their authority!? It appears that it’s unreasonable for the general public to expect transparency and accountability from the World Health Organisation.
It’s no big secret that the WHO has a deep seated animosity towards e-cigarettes, they view them as a step backwards in the fight against smoking, they’ve effectively opted to disregard the philosophy of harm reduction. Many Governments around the world simply parrot the same animosity and will duly regulate based on their recommendations.
Since the mystery document was leaked to the Financial Times it prompted a written response from 53 public health specialists who aired their concerns to the WHO. They advised that the WHO should relax their position on e-cigs. Following on from this another letter was coordinated by Stanton Glantz requesting that the WHO hold firm on their position.
The letter was organized by tobacco scientist Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco, and others.
The title Tobacco Scientist given by Reuters might mislead you to believe Stanton Glantz has a medical background, but this is not the case. I was surprised to learn that any Doctor or indeed, tobacco scientist, would be so stringently opposed to e-cigarettes as an effective form of harm reduction. Here’s what I discovered doing some background research.
In investigating this man, we obtained his Curriculum Vitae and were astounded to learn that Dr. Stanton Glantz is not a medical doctor, but has his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Dr. Glantz was also one of the authors of the EPA Report, as well as authoring a paper entitled, “Tourism and Hotel Revenues Before and After Passage of Smoke Free Restaurant Ordinances, 1999”, as well as numerous other papers on economic issues relating to no-smoking by-laws about which he can make no claim to professional competence – he does not have an economic[s] degree. However, Dr. Glantz has been an anti-smoking advocate since the 1960’s and clearly is NOT a medical doctor.
It’s not for me to state in any professional capacity whether or not you can question the credibility of his work, and ultimately I can only give my opinion. It’s worth noting that I do admire and acknowledge that some of his work in the field of tobacco control has undoubtedly benefited public health in many ways.
However, when you have a seasoned anti-smoking advocate, with no medical background and a history of refusing to accept scientific data on the basis that it didn’t suit the desired result. Couple this with a history of blatantly skewing data to reinforce the view that e-cigs are a gateway to tobacco, ask yourself this, is this is a man you can trust to put forward unbiased scientific findings on e-cigarettes to the WHO? I have my doubts based on the wide number of justified criticisms leveled on past and recent studies published in medical journals.