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WVA Expresses Concern on FCTC COP10?s Exclusion of Consumers and Misguided Harm Reduction Policies

09.02.2024 - 09:46:56

Business Wire India
As the 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control convenes, the World Vapers' Alliance (WVA) is raising a critical voice against the exclusion of consumers from the decision-making process and the potential implementation of measures that could severely undermine harm reduction efforts globally.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, emphasises the gravity of the situation, saying, "At COP10, decisions are being made without the input of those most affected – the consumers. This exclusion is unacceptable. Harm reduction saves lives, and it's imperative that this is recognised and integrated into global tobacco control policies. The proposed measures at COP10 could drastically restrict access to safer nicotine alternatives. These include equating these alternatives with traditional cigarettes, prohibiting flavours that are essential in aiding smoking cessation, and implementing other restrictive policies."
Landl further states, "The potential restrictions being considered at COP10 are not just counterproductive; they're a threat to public health. Restricting access to safer nicotine alternatives will only drive people back to more harmful smoking habits and potentially to the black market."
Globally, smoking is a leading cause of death, with over 8 million people dying each year due to tobacco-related illnesses. In light of this, the WVA argues that policies should be guided by science and evidence. Over 100 global organisations support the benefits of less harmful alternatives to smoking. Cochrane's comprehensive review, along with many studies, confirms their efficacy and reduced harm compared to smoking. Ignoring this evidence at COP10 could lead to dire consequences. Misinformation and stringent regulations could deter smokers from making healthier choices, potentially leading to a public health disaster. The WVA urges the FCTC member states to consider a risk-based regulation approach, reflecting the reduced harm of alternatives compared to smoking.
Landl concludes, "We cannot afford to let misinformation and misplaced priorities dictate global health policies. It's time for the FCTC to listen to the voices of consumers and the scientific community. We must protect the right to a healthier life and ensure harm reduction remains a viable choice for everyone."
About World Vapers Alliance

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voices of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. Our members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world. More information on www.worldvapersalliance.com
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