CAPHRA Advocates For Inclusion Of Consumer Voices In Tobacco Harm Reduction Policies
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is calling for the inclusion of consumer voices in the decision-making process around tobacco harm reduction policies. CAPHRA believes that the experiences and perspectives of consumers are crucial in shaping effective and sustainable policies that can significantly reduce the harm caused by combustible tobacco products.
CAPHRA's call comes in the wake of recent regulatory developments in countries like Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand.
“While these countries have made significant strides in implementing tobacco control policies, a focus on harm reduction strategies to reduce smoking rates will lead to even greater strides to improve public health,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.
In Thailand, there is a growing recognition of the need to lift the ban on vaping and to view it as a health issue rather than a social one. The establishment of a subcommittee and the development of draft regulations are seen as positive steps towards this goal says CAPHRA.
In the Philippines, the focus is on enforcement due to the size of the illicit market. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has jurisdiction for regulatory developments around nicotine salts and freebase nicotine, and changes to tax rates are being considered.
In New Zealand, the new coalition government is committed to reversing the regulatory overreach of the previous government by repealing three key amendments of the Smokefree Environments Act. The country's success in reducing daily smoking rates from 9.29 to 6.89 over the past few years is a testament to the effectiveness of tobacco harm reduction policies.
CAPHRA believes that these developments underscore the need for a more inclusive approach to policy-making. "To make the best decisions around tobacco harm reduction and safer nicotine products, we strongly urge elected representatives to include the voices of consumers in their decision-making process," says Ms Loucas.
CAPHRA's advocacy is backed by research showing that the perceived credibility of the organization delivering a message is an important component of an effective communication strategy. By including consumers in the conversation, policy-makers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand and develop more effective strategies for tobacco harm reduction.
CAPHRA is committed to continuing its advocacy for consumer inclusion and tobacco harm reduction policies. The organization believes that these efforts can lead to significant improvements in public health and save lives.