I have reported many times on the threats that the COP10 (Conference Of the Parties 10) FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) may pose for us vapers and other alternative nicotine users.

fctc versus vaping

The COP10 convention will be held in Panama in November 2023 and delegates from all the WHO (World Health Organisation) member states will be in attendance.

fctc about

Sadly the WHO are pretty anti-vaping and anti Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) – and a recent report did back up some of the threats we were expecting.

If the COP10 FCTC gets a consensus vote on their proposals for tobacco and nicotine products then all the member states will have to abide by these regulations.

But if just a few countries do not agree with the proposals and refuse to sign them into effect, this can prevent the threats becoming reality.

Many of us in UK THR circles have been hoping that the UK will enter the convention with a positive THR attitude – but so far we have had no confirmation of this.

Where Does Neil O’Brien Come Into This?

Neil O’Brien is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social care.

neil obrien

He is the guy who announced the pro-vaping “Swap To Stop” scheme in April 2023.

On the whole he is very pro THR but knows more action is needed on underage vaping and waste.

On the 7th June 2023, an answer to a written question discussing the WHO FCTC was reported by the “Theyworkforyou” website.

Ben Bradley – a Conservative MP from Mansfield asked the following…

“To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken at the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to lead that Conference’s efforts to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.”

Neil then replied…

“The Government encourages adult smokers to switch to vapes as they are substantially less harmful than smoking. They can help adult smokers to quit, particularly when combined with additional support from local stop smoking services. They are an important tool in our ambition to be Smokefree by 2030.

The Government has regularly set out our position on vaping at the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and will do so at the next conference in November 2023. The delegation will not agree to any decisions which would impact on our ability to make vapes available for smokers who wish to quit.”

I really do hope the UK delegate at COP10 sticks by this stance. There will be a lot of pressure from anti-vaping countries and even possibly the WHO themselves against the position of the UK.

There is of course the worry that the UK could agree other proposals on different types of vape products, whilst still being able to provide vapes to smokers.

For instance there could be different categories such as Nicotine Salts, Nicotine Strengths, Open (refillable) or Closed (pre-filled) devices, Disposable kits etc etc. The UK could agree on heavy restrictions or bans on any of these categories and just pin their flag to one style of device that they want to save?

The UK government potentially has a lot to lose if the FCTC get their way, as it has been promoting vaping and various schemes to help cut the smoking rates.

The threats are still there and of course the UK might the odd one out objecting to THR regulation so we all still need to get involved.

Further Explanation

Visit the article on the NNA website for more details – “Call To Action – The World Health Organisation is planning a global assault on vaping”.

Also the NNA have produced a video to help explain what is happening.

The GSHTR have produced a briefing paper to help understand what the COP10 FCTC is all about.

gsthr cop 10

A live-stream was created on World Vape Day (30th May 2023) with representatives Nancy Loucas (CAPRA) and Martin Cullip (International Fellow of the Taxpayers Alliance Consumer Centre). Martin explains more about COP10 and TobReg. You can view this below!

How Can You Get Involved

  • Write to your MP and express your objections to these threats. You can find out who your MP is and their contact details on the UK parliament website. Also you can use the website Writetothem to compose your message.

“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.”

  • Write to the FCTC focal point person in your country. This will be the person who passes information between the FCTC Bureau and the Government. The focal point for the UK can be contacted here addictionspolicy@dhsc.gov.uk. For those outside of the UK this link will tell you who is your focal point.

“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.”

  • Tell your story in a polite but persistent way. Share your story of how vaping helped you quit smoking, emphasise the type of equipment and flavours which made your quit journey a success.
  • I suggest you mention that it scares you how this important tool in your non smoking journey could be at risk.
  • Also emphasise how vaping will play a huge part in meeting “Smoke Free” goals.
  • Share your messages and letters with the NNA.
  • Also share on social media any posts regarding the campaign!

Please get involved and get your voice heard!

Michelle

My name is Michelle - I am 48 and an engineer and Technical Author by trade. I started vaping many years ago in the days of Tornado tanks, Ego batteries and Variable Voltage. My journey in vaping began again around 2016 and have been interested in the topic ever since. I finally stopped smoking as of June 2019 and that is all thanks to vaping! 20mg Nicotine Salts are my hero! Oh and I am partial to a nice pod mod and Bubblegum e-liquid! I have enjoyed writing for Ecigclick since 2017 and love being part of this great team! My passion for Tobacco Harm Reduction has also led me to becoming a Trustee for the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) aiding in Advocacy

My name is Michelle - I am 48 and an engineer and Technical Author by trade. I started vaping many years ago in the days of Tornado tanks, Ego batteries and Variable Voltage. My journey in vaping began again around 2016 and have been interested in the topic ever since. I finally stopped smoking as of June 2019 and that is all thanks to vaping! 20mg Nicotine Salts are my hero! Oh and I am partial to a nice pod mod and Bubblegum e-liquid! I have enjoyed writing for Ecigclick since 2017 and love being part of this great team! My passion for Tobacco Harm Reduction has also led me to becoming a Trustee for the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) aiding in Advocacy

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