As many readers know, the World Health Organization (WHO) came out this week with an attack on e-cigarettes which presages them trying to pressure governments into acting against e-cigarettes. CASAA has not tried to address this in detail because
(a) most of what we would have to say is generic observations of how many of the claims are wrong and proposed policies are bad, and we have already done that in other contexts, and
(b) it seemed a reasonable division of labor to leave this to European supporters of tobacco harm reduction because we had to deal with the CDC and FDA this week.
One of the Europeans who took on the WHO was Clive Bates, including with these posts. In response to Bates’ challenge to them, WHO did not pause to consider that they might be wrong and doing harm, nor did they try to defend themselves substantively. Instead, they threatened legal action against Bates.
WHO the hell are these people- we think of them as the adults in the room during a crisis. WHO has no real power, just the power of persuasion and persuading countries into investing in dealing with short and long term health issues around the world…Sort of.
If WHO takes Clive to court, they will have to take a stadium full of Yanks as well. Yanks and Brits thrive on satire, parody and gallows humor.