UK Charity Urges Vapers to Stand up to The World Health Organization
The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) is calling on consumers and advocates of reduced risk nicotine products, to speak up against the threats posed by the WHO’s upcoming session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10).
In 2021, FCTC organizers had announced that there would be no discussions or decisions around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products at COP9. They had highlighted that any related documents should still be submitted for information to COP9. However, any substantive discussions related to ‘smokeless tobacco and heated tobacco products’ and ‘novel and emerging tobacco products’, would be postponed until 2023’s COP10.
Finally the time has come, the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will be held this November. Sadly, vapers and tobacco harm reduction experts world wide are aware that as in previous years most likely nothing good will come out of this meeting as a several thousand unaccountable bureaucrats will be discussing a topic that they will be fully left out of.
In a recent episode of RegWatch, Martin Cullip, International Fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and prolific writer on harm reduction policy, discusses the threats COP10 poses to the future of vaping.
The threats posed by COP10
Similarly the NNA is highlighting that the threats posed by COP10 include:
·“A ban on all open system vaping products
·A ban of all flavours except tobacco
·A ban on nicotine salts in vaping products
·Regulating products so that they are all exactly the same and restrict delivery of nicotine
·Demanding that countries around the world treat vaping and heated tobacco products the same as combustible tobacco
·Taxation at the same rate as cigarettes, banning use where smoking is prohibited, large graphic health warnings, plain packaging, and a ban on all advertising, promotion and sponsorship”
The group is urging UK vapers and tobacco harm reduction advocates to take action, highlighting the main ways this can be done:
“Write to your MP and express your objections to these real threats.
Tell them why the products are so important and why WHO threats must be resisted. Ask them to pass on your concerns to the government and insist the UK stands up for vaping and other non-combustible nicotine alternatives to smoking. The UK delegates may or may not have been selected already but ask your MP to enquire who is on the delegation so you can write to them.
You can find your MP’s contact details at the UK parliament website or send your message using writetothem.com.
Write to the FCTC “focal point” person in the UK
Each country which sends a delegation to the conference has a “focal point” person who passes information between the FCTC Bureau and the national government. Tell the focal point that you wish to know what current plans are being communicated from the FCTC Bureau to the UK government and vice versa. Ask them for updates, meeting minutes and other information about the COP10 process.
The UK focal point is Alison Walker (email@example.com). If you are not from the UK, you can find your focal point by going to this page, selecting your country from the drop-down menu, and clicking on the 2020 report. The focal point is the first name on page 1, with their contact address and email(s).
Be polite but persistent, tell your story
It is always important to be polite when contacting MPs, focal points, and other political influencers. If you are a consumer, do tell your story about how reduced risk products work for you. It is likely that you will not get the answers you want straight away but, if so, write again to ask for a dialogue and to be updated about developments related to the COP10 meeting. If you feel you have not been answered adequately, reply to emphasise that you consider this to be important and you wish your concerns to be taken seriously.
Share your letters and replies with us
Do share your letters with us and any replies that you receive. As the year progresses, the COP10 process will evolve and we will give updates on the NNA website. Your actions can help us to assess what is happening and enable us to advise what supporters and consumers can do next to head off the WHO’s threats.”