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Letter To WHO

Advocates for vaping lay out the case for supporting harm reduction ahead of the World Health Organisation’s COP10

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CAPHRA’s nine member organisations have written to FCTC delegation heads from around the world, and health ministers and leaders, urging them to review the evidence which supports a Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) approach ahead of the World Health Organisation’s COP10.

With governments sending delegates to COP10 in November 2023, CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) was keen to send leaders comprehensive reference material for their COP10 planning, submission writing, and deliberations.

COP10 will held in Panama and is hosted by the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

We do this on behalf of the four million current users of safer nicotine products in the wider Asia Pacific region. As you are aware, our region bears the brunt of the harm and death from combustible and unsafe oral tobacco globally,’ said the letter.

The CAPHRA representatives reminded the health leaders that the FCTC has a mandate to pursue Harm Reduction as a core tobacco control policy.

It has been known for decades that tar, and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke, cause the death and disease associated with smoking, not nicotine. Research has proven that nicotine, while usually mildly addictive in the same way as caffeine, is not a health issue,” they wrote. 

The letter also called on delegates to deplore FCTC’s policy to make COP10 sessions closed-door, unaccountable, and unreported - representing only vested interests.

“Delegates to COP10 should be representing the rights and aspirations of the citizens whose taxes are paying for their attendance, who expect them to speak on their behalf, acknowledge the science underpinning the harm reduction benefits of ENDS, and maintain democratic principles,” they wrote.

The CAPHRA representatives asked countries to take into account, when making their COP10 submissions, that consumers have the right to make choices that help them avoid adverse health outcomes. What’s more, people who smoke have the right to access less harmful nicotine products as alternatives to smoking.

The evidence-based documentation was wrapped up in a recently released white paper, titled ‘The Subversion of Public Health: Consumer Perspectives’. It was presented by CAPHRA executive co-ordinator Nancy Loucas at the Fifth Asia Harm Reduction Forum (AHRF 2022).


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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