Outrage Towards the WHO
If you would like to donate to the running and maintenance of this website please click the donate button.
© Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Follow Smoke Screens on
Columbus, GA December 10, 2009
– This week’s report by the World Health Organization regarding global tobacco
use drew the ire of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers, a
U.S. based not-for-profit trade association of tobacconists.
The anti-smoking report was issued
in Istanbul, Turkey by WHO, a ‘specialized agency’ of the United
Nations. The agency receives more funding from the private sector than it
does from the UN. Private sector funding of WHO includes pharmaceutical
interests, including those that manufacture and sell smoking cessation products
and benefit from anti-smoking efforts. WHO does not reveal its funding
sources on its website.
“The WHO report is totally without
credibility and is filled with wild, unsupportable claims,” said Chris McCalla,
legislative director of the IPCPR which represents some 2,000 small
businesses that make, distributor or sell premium cigars, pipes, premium
tobacco and related accoutrements.
“For us to take on WHO is like David
taking on Goliath. We’re not ‘big tobacco’ and our mom-and-pop retail
members are just small businesses selling legal products that adults enjoy like
fine wine or top-shelf Scotch whiskey,” McCalla said, “but we cannot stand
by while WHO makes outlandish and outrageous claims that are an affront to the
intelligence of all thinking people,” he said.
McCalla chose not to repeat the
controversial WHO claims so as not to give them further coverage. However,
he explained that they had to do with alleged health issues related to smoking
and secondhand smoke.
“They say there are no safe levels
of secondhand smoke, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says
otherwise,” McCalla explained. “OSHA has, indeed, set safe levels for
secondhand smoke and those levels are 25,000 times higher than are found in
bars and restaurants.”
Among contributors to WHO is the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which, despite its support for WHO’s work
with preventing and treating malaria, has been criticized by top WHO staffers
for not allowing its funding to be more broadly spent.
“It’s all about money and
power. WHO should stick to its work monitoring and treating infectious
diseases. They certainly don’t know what they are talking about with regards to
tobacco usage and smoking against which they suffer from terminal biases. What
would you expect from an organization that refuses to hire people who smoke?”