The WHO’s Conference of Parties (COP) is taking place this year, and the COP Secretariat has produced an agenda for COP9. It recommends discussions on reduced risk products be postponed until COP10 in 2023.
“This is a good thing because it means we have more time to ensure that Parties are being guided by better evidence rather than the wild and damaging recommendations emanating from TobReg and WHO. But this will not happen on its own,” says the NNA (1).
The NNA is issuing a call to action for consumers to write to their MP, with these requests:
- To write to the Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jo Churchill, to insist that the substantive discussion of reduced risk nicotine products is not discussed at the WHO’s virtual COP9 meeting in November, but instead deferred to COP10
- And to ask that she instruct the UK delegation to COP9 to propose the setting up of a Tobacco Harm Reduction Working Group for COP10
The NNA explains: “the COP Secretariat doesn’t make decisions, the parties do. It only takes one country to demand that this all gets discussed at COP9 and it will be unless another Party objects, which is not a given. The UK delegation should ensure that these discussions do not take place this year.
“We are not safe in the UK from harmful regulation towards vaping and other reduced risk nicotine products, it can spread across borders very quickly. We must not assume that the current UK political acceptance of vaping is fixed in stone and will never change. Things can move swiftly in the wrong direction in politics, especially if politicians feel they are an outlier to a global consensus.”
The NNA says the simplest way of doing so is by using the Write to Them website, the website will find your MP when you enter your postcode. Alternatively, you can email your MP directly or send them a letter in the post by searching for their contact details online
The NNA has provided a suggestion for the wording of the letter:
“I’m asking you to write to the Under-Secretary of State for Health to insist that the
substantive discussion of reduced risk nicotine products is not discussed at the WHO’s virtual COP9 meeting in November, but instead deferred to COP10. Additionally, can you please ask that they instruct the UK delegation to COP9 to propose the setting up of a Tobacco Harm Reduction Working Group for COP10.”
The NNA suggests you
- Be respectful and polite
- Write about how vaping or other safer nicotine helped you
- Emphasise the value of flavours if you find them important to you
- Personalise your response, MPs do want to hear from constituents
- Conclude by saying you look forward to their reply
- Share your replies on social media and encourage friends and family to write to their MP too
Other points you could consider making can be found here.
- The New Nicotine Alliance - https://nnalliance.org