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Include Consumer Voices

Consumer advocacy organisation CAPHRA argues that consumer voices should be included when formulating tobacco harm reduction policies

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The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is calling for the inclusion of consumer voices in the decision-making process around tobacco harm reduction policies. CAPHRA believes that the experiences and perspectives of consumers are crucial in shaping effective and sustainable policies that can significantly reduce the harm caused by combustible tobacco products.

The Coalition’s call comes in the wake of recent regulatory developments in countries like Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand. 

While these countries have made significant strides in implementing tobacco control policies, a focus on harm reduction strategies to reduce smoking rates will lead to even greater strides to improve public health,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

In Thailand, there is a growing recognition of the need to lift the ban on vaping and to view it as a health issue rather than a social one. The establishment of a subcommittee and the development of draft regulations are seen as positive steps towards this goal says CAPHRA.

In the Philippines, the focus is on enforcement due to the size of the illicit market. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has jurisdiction for regulatory developments around nicotine salts and freebase nicotine, and changes to tax rates are being considered.

In New Zealand, the new coalition government is committed to reversing the regulatory overreach of the previous government by repealing three key amendments of the Smokefree Environments Act. The country's success in reducing daily smoking rates from 9.29 to 6.89 over the past few years is a testament to the effectiveness of tobacco harm reduction policies.

CAPHRA believes that these developments underscore the need for a more inclusive approach to policy-making.

To make the best decisions around tobacco harm reduction and safer nicotine products, we strongly urge elected representatives to include the voices of consumers in their decision-making process,” says Ms Loucas.

CAPHRA's advocacy is backed by research showing that the perceived credibility of the organization delivering a message is an important component of an effective communication strategy. By including consumers in the conversation, policy-makers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand and develop more effective strategies for tobacco harm reduction.

CAPHRA is committed to continuing its advocacy for consumer inclusion and tobacco harm reduction policies. The organisation believes that these efforts can lead to significant improvements in public health and save lives.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organisations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

The Coalition says it “remains committed to advocating for the rights of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region to access and use evidence-based, regulated, and properly marketed harm reduction products as a means of reducing the devastating impact of smoking-related diseases. We encourage further research, open dialogue, and collaboration with governments, health organisations, and stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for public health.”


The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates -

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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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