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Global State Of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) Raises Alarm On FCTC COP10 Decisions

The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) has released a new briefing paper, which should be alarming to the New Zealand Government delegation about to head off to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control COP10 meeting in Panama.

“These Government officials need to be aware of the potential negative implications of their support of decisions taken at the FCTC COP10 on the future of safer nicotine products,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

“The analysis by GSTHR confirms that these decisions will be highly significant in determining the future of these products, which are remarkably absent from the proceedings,” said Ms Loucas.

The briefing paper, titled "The FCTC COP10 Agenda and Supporting Documents: Implications for the Future of Tobacco Harm Reduction" reveals that safer nicotine products are being presented as a threat to tobacco control, rather than a tool to support a switch from smoking and reduce high-risk tobacco use.

"Safer nicotine products have the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against tobacco-related harm," said Ms Loucas. "However, the current narrative at the FCTC COP10 is not reflecting this potential. Instead, these products are being viewed as a threat, which could have serious implications for public health."

The issue of safer nicotine products is so important, the Asia Harm Reduction Forum being held this week in Manila, Philippines, will be discussing the GSTHR Paper alongside cutting-edge research and studies on tobacco harm reduction.

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CAPHRA is urging governments and policymakers to consider the evidence presented in the briefing paper and to recognise the potential of safer nicotine products as a tool for harm reduction.

"Decisions taken at the FCTC COP10 will shape the future of tobacco harm reduction," Ms Loucas added. "We urge all stakeholders to consider the evidence and to make decisions that prioritise public health and harm reduction – consumers lives are at stake."

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