UK and US taxpayers are funding the World Health Organization’s unscientific anti-vaping policies, according to an industry expert.

The comments were made following last week’s Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum in London.

Jeff Stier of US consumer watchdog Consumer Choice Center, highlighted recent controversies surrounding the organisation’s practices.

Mr Stier said:

“Both the US and UK are financing an organisation which for years has had problems with corruption and transparency, and the biggest part with transparency issues is the FCT [Framework Convention on Tobacco Control].

Its policies show that the WHO is fighting vaping in an unscientific way. According to Public Health England there is virtually no effect for bystanders […] You can smell it, but you can also smell a perfume. And there is very little health risk to the user.”

While the likes of PHE and the American Cancer Society have endorsed vaping as a tool for reducing harm, the WHO has adopted a more sceptical and prohibitive stance.

In its most recent report into the use of e-cigarettes, the organisation said:

“Although the debate about whether the use of ENDS/ENNDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems) is a gateway to smoking is unresolved, preventing this eventuality requires making the initiation and persistence of smoking as difficult as possible.”

Opponents of e-cigarettes frequently cite the so-called gateway effect. However, the growing body of evidence shows that e-cigarettes are in fact a gateway out of smoking rather than into it.