“sCOPe22’s success was critical given delegates will be discussing and debating harm reduced products at next year’s COP10. sCOPe22 showed that consumer advocates worldwide are united and highly motivated to fight for millions of smokers’ lives,” said Nancy Loucas of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates.
Tobacco harm reduction consumer advocates livestreamed for eight hours on both 30 and 31 May. The panel discussions and presentations included representatives from Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, and Latin America.
sCOPe’s return on #WVD22 and #WNTD22 followed its five-day livestream last year during COP9 - the 9th Conference of Parties for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
“Countries represented at COP10 need to fully understand that millions of lives depend on delegates’ substantive discussions and subsequent recommendations on safer nicotine products next year. The red light must turn green - it’s long overdue.
“Last year the FCTC kicked the subject for touch, but next year it’s all on. All eyes will be on COP10 to see if delegates start following the evidence not the emotion. THR works. Vaping bans don’t, and THR advocates are keener than ever to expose and change WHO’s fraught position,” says Ms Loucas.
THR organisations that featured in sCOPe22 included European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA), Vaping Saved My Life South Africa (VSML), Association of Vapers India (AVI), and the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates.
The Americas were also well represented with Latin American-based ARDT Iberoamerica, Rights For Vapers Canada (R4V), the Tobacco Harm Reduction Association of Canada (THRA), and United States-based Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA).
“sCOPe22 uncovered many powerful personal stories of ex-smokers whose lives have been saved by switching to 95% less harmful vaping. Instead of demonizing safer nicotine products, WHO needs to embrace them. Outrageously, WHO’s misguided advice and bullying sees hundreds of millions of smokers still blocked from accessing these life-saving products,” she says.
Nancy Loucas says THR advocates are buoyed by the fact that every year more and more countries are ignoring WHO’s anti-vaping campaign. Instead, they’re legalising and regulating safer nicotine products.
“In the Asia Pacific region alone, The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand are set to join nearly 70 countries worldwide which have wisely regulated vaping with dramatic declines in their overall smoking rates. If WHO wants to improve global health and save smokers’ lives, they’d promote a THR approach next year - at the latest,” says Nancy Loucas.