CAPHRA Calls for Review of Tobacco Harm Reduction Methods

CAPHRA Calls for Review of Tobacco Harm Reduction Methods
The CAPHRA coalition sent a letter to FCTC representatives urging them to review THR methods for COP10 in Panama.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), which comprises of nine member organizations, has written to chiefs of delegations of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) worldwide, urging them to review methods supporting the reduction of tobacco harm (THR).

As governments from various countries send representatives to attend the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) in November 2023, the CAPHRA Alliance is eager to provide comprehensive reference materials to leaders for COP10 planning, submission and deliberation.

The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) will be held in Panama and hosted by the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

We represent four million nicotine product users in the Asia-Pacific region. Our region is particularly vulnerable to the dangers and deaths caused by combustible and unsafe oral tobacco worldwide," the letter stated.

Representatives from the CAPHRA alliance have reminded health leaders that the FCTC convention has the authority to consider harm reduction as a core tobacco control policy.

For decades, it has been widely known that the tar and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke lead to smoking-related deaths and illnesses, rather than nicotine. Studies have shown that although nicotine is generally mildly addictive, like caffeine, it is not a health concern, they wrote.

The letter also calls on representatives to condemn the policy of holding the COP10 conference behind closed doors by the FCTC.

They wrote: "COP10 should represent the rights and wishes of the citizens. Their participation fees are paid by taxpayers and it is hoped that they speak for themselves, recognize the scientific benefits of supporting ENDS for harm reduction, and uphold democratic principles," they wrote.

Representatives of the CAPHRA Alliance are requesting that countries take into account consumers' right to make choices that help them avoid negative health outcomes when submitting their COP10 submissions. Additionally, smokers have the right to access nicotine products with lower harm as alternatives to smoking.

A recent white paper titled "Disrupting Public Health: A Consumer Perspective" was presented by Nancy Loucas, the executive coordinator of the CAPHRA alliance, at the 5th Asia Harm Reduction Forum. The evidence-based document was included in the presentation.

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