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WHO Incompetence Exposed

Member states, science, experts, and consumers are being disrespected and ignored according to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates

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The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) has issued a strong critique of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) for its failure to not only embrace science, listen to experts, and include the voices of one billion nicotine users worldwide in its policy-making process but also for the systemic failures that led to the postponement of COP10 (Conference of Parties) that was due to take place in Panama.

Whilst the "official" reason for the postponement of the conference was said to be security issues on the ground in Panama, it has come to light that the unfulfilled COP10 organisation contract for which US$5 million was allocated by the Panamanian Ministry of Health (MinSa) was terminated by the government at the end of October, finding itself without any service provider to ensure the event took place.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates says that the WHO FCTC knew in October that they did not have a venue or conference planning underway.

The organisation decries the WHO for waiting until the week before the conference was due to begin before cancelling it, saying that “it shows contempt for member states and a blatant disregard and dismissal of the months spent creating and submitting position papers, requesting budget allocations from their governments and planning their attendance - including airfares, visas and hotel reservations. But then again, it seems a non-issue that 5 million dollars US disappeared. Money that doctors in Panama said would be better spent on actual healthcare in the country - incubators, medicines and facilities.” Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA said: “CAPHRA argues that the WHO FCTC's actions not only threatens public health but also causes economic strain and fosters next-generation addiction.

“The WHO FCTC is tone deaf to anything or anyone that questions the work they are mandated to do. This includes sabotaging health policies, negatively impacting the environment, and using funds from Big Pharma and the Bloomberg Foundation, among others, to promote misleading narratives and undermine tobacco harm reduction efforts”.

Nancy Loucas added: “CAPHRA's campaign aims to expose these tactics and counter the WHO's infodemic. CAPHRA stands with young people globally, who have urged the WHO to provide pragmatic, evidence-based health policy suggestions and to stop targeting them with harmful, untruthful, and misleading advice.”

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates says its objectives are to protect future generations from harm by asking governments to safeguard health policymaking from corrupt and flawed interference, spread awareness about the various tactics the WHO FCTC uses to influence public opinions and policy, and amplify calls from adult nicotine users to protect them and youth from the WHO FCTC's corrupt and misleading scaremongering.

It should not go unnoticed that the debacle of the COP 10 was rife with corruption and that the WHO FCTC were tone deaf to the calls of how that money could have been better spent on healthcare in Panama,” Ms Loucas concluded.

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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