The National Conference on Tobacco and Vaping has recently hosted tobacco control activists and public health professionals from across the Canada. However tobacco harm reduction and vape advocates were not allowed to join.
In a new episode on Regwatch, vape advocate Dr. John Oyston, a retired anesthesiologist and former associate professor at the University of Toronto, discussed the fact that he, like his peers, was banned from the conference. An Ontario Public Health Association rep. said that, “the conference does not allow those with ties to tobacco or vaping industries to attend,” sadly insinuating that anyone who advocates for the use of safer nicotine alternatives is affiliated to either industry.
Oyston highlighted that actually conference organizers should be paying more attention to their conflicts with big pharma rather than being concerned about tobacco harm reduction advocates attending the event.
Regwatch discusses COP10
Another recent episode of RegWatch, discussed the threats that another conference, the imminent COP10, poses to the future of vaping. In 2021, FCTC organizers had announced that there would be no discussions or decisions around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products at COP9. They had explained that 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 in Panama. Sadly, vapers and tobacco harm reduction experts worldwide 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-the main stakeholders, will be fully left out of.
Last year, the Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) Nancy Loucas, mentioned the importance of this year’s event. “Countries represented at COP10 need to fully understand that millions of lives depend on delegates’ substantive discussions and subsequent recommendations on safer nicotine products next year. The red light must turn green – it’s long overdue.”