Copwatch #COP10 summary

Well – we survived! 
Copwatch has been taking a breather, to digest what happened last month at COP10. Getting confirmation of what had happened took time, because the decisions were slow to arrive on the official website –  presumably written to paint the event in the most positive light possible.

The live coverage on these pages revealed frustration amongst the FCTC ranks which was echoed by the head of the Secretariat, Adriana Blanco Marquizo, remarking at the end of the conference that her organisation had “survived”.

FCTC Pravda hailed “historic decisions” and announced that the meeting was a triumph, as it always does, but articles published by its allies expressed a lot of disappointment

Where were all the delegates? 

Even the FCTC Secretariat’s newsroom couldn’t hide the fact that there were deficiencies with the conference. Over 190 delegations would have been expected to arrive for the original staging in November, but the official record only counted “representatives from 142 Parties” as being in attendance.

Anyone who watched the live streams would have noticed a significant number of empty seats and made that assumption anyway. Copwatch estimates that there were up to 700 delegates missing between FCTC boasts in November and the official count post-event.

All the more amusing, then, that the WHO’s sole anti-vaping holdout in the Philippines, Pia Cayetano, has condemned the “huge” delegation sent by her country. One would have thought that sending a large delegation was a sign of support for the event. Copwatch suspects her objection would not have materialised if the delegates were paid-up members of Cayetano’s anti-harm reduction club rather than selected by the Philippines government to defend its admirable policy of embracing reduced risk products. 

Interesting country statements 

Cayetano was no doubt still seething at the Philippines’ prominent role during country progress statements in the (delayed) opening plenary. The country was one of many which challenged the WHO to consider harm reduction as a valid option to reduce the harms of combustible use. Furthermore, their statement made reference to Article 1(d) of the FCTC treaty which states categorically that harm reduction is one of the pillars of tobacco control, something that the FCTC authorities would rather ignore. 

They were not the only delegation to do so. Disappointed pro-WHO groups moaned that “a number of countries, led by Guatemala and including the Philippines, China, Russia, Antigua and Barbuda, echoed industry talking points.” Translation: They didn’t fall into line with the favoured extremist policies suggested by the WHO.

Copwatch could add New Zealand, Guatemala, Armenia and El Salvador to that list, amongst others, and St Kitts and Nevis who played a starring role. More on that further down. 

What triumphs? 

But firstly, what were the triumphs that Adriana Blanco Marquizo was eager to trumpet?

Article 18
She was most enthused by the consensus achieved over Article 18 on the environment. The decision states that Parties must “have due regard to the protection of the environment and the health of persons in relation to the environment in respect of tobacco cultivation and manufacture within their respective territories.” It is very vague and will be something which is probably already being considered at national level . 

Article 19
Likewise, the consensus decision on Article 19 which recommends Parties “strengthen their criminal and civil liability regimes, including administrative measures, to ensure accountability and deterrence, improve access to justice, and allow for effective remedies for those affected by tobacco harms.” Copwatch wonders what enthusiasm there will be for the many Parties with nationalised tobacco industries to take themselves to court. 

Article 2.1

Article 2.1 was already a part of the treaty, but was bolstered by being included on the agenda. The decision recommends that Parties “identify and describe forward-looking tobacco control measures and measures that expand or intensify approaches to tobacco control as they apply to tobacco products.” Copwatch has a great idea. How about Parties identify harm reduction and the promotion of reduced risk products as a proven way of reducing the harms of combustible tobacco use? It fits the description perfectly. 

Article 13
There was also a decision on Article 13 on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, mostly concerned with tackling posts on digital and social media channels which, again, is being discussed in many countries already. 

Articles 9 & 10

One agenda item on which Parties could not reach consensus was on Articles 9 & 10 regarding regulation of contents and disclosure of tobacco products. Debate was ongoing for the entire week, taking up so much time that other items had to be shifted to the workload of Committee B for the duration. 

An item in the GATC day 2 bulletin, written by Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society and Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health in the UK, insisted that “Articles 9 and 10 deal with tobacco products, not e-cigarettes or other nicotine products.” Yet the agenda item encouraged delegates to consider report FCTC/COP/10/7 during discussions which, as Copwatch has written before, comments extensively on nicotine pouches and disposable vapes; dishonestly states that there is no evidence vaping can help people quit smoking; that even if they do, it does not constitute smoking cessation; that flavours are only attractive to adolescents; and points delegates to cherry-picked research on reduced risk products in the TobReg9 report. 

Surely that is all wasted work if, as claimed, Articles 9 & 10 are not concerned with novel products? Perhaps this is why St Kitts and Nevis not only argued that the WHO needs to define harm reduction, but also introduced a proposal that Article 1(d) should be taken into account in deliberations over articles 9 & 10. And then the fight started. 

Despite 5 days of debate, no consensus could be reached and they will go through it all again at COP11 next year.

Who wants to host COP11?

All in all, the decisions which reached consensus were rather limp and the conference in general rather underwhelming. Not particularly deserving of the term “historic”.

Finally, Copwatch would have liked to inform our readers where COP11 will be taking place but, sadly, the host country was not announced in the closing plenary. Evidently, there was no interest from any of the Parties and no applications to host were received.  

One wonders what countries don’t find appealing about playing host to a two week opaque talking shop which attracts no tourists or media interest, nor offers infrastructure benefits, but comes with a $5 million price tag.

COP10FCTC LIVE Day Six #COP10news #THRworks

An update from us at COPWATCH, on the final day of COP10. 

Today’s Journal 
The Journal for today is here:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-6-en.pdf

At nine pages, it is unusually long. Here are our observations:

  • Articles 9 & 10 (agenda item 6.1) has been postponed to COP11. This is no surprise – we have been reporting all week on how slow the progress on that agenda item has been.
  • There is a lot still to get through in the first session today, and only 3 hours to do it 
  • An item of particular interest to us, Novel and emerging tobacco products (agenda item 6.3) is not resolved and is carried over to today’s business
  • Late evening meetings have been needed to force decisions, including on who the next Head of the Secretariat will be (agenda item 8.8) `

Please let us know if you think we have missed anything interesting.  

There are still no decisions for this week posted on the Decisions page. So, we will keep watching for when those appear. 

Today’s GATC bulletin
From today’s GATC bulletin we learn that:

  • COP is expected to take up two sessions today, finishing in the evening. We had reported yesterday that there were still a lot of agenda items to get through.
  • Philippines is the latest country to be dignified with a ‘dirty ashtray’ award, for ‘its brazen use of tobacco industry tactics of obstinate dispute and delay throughout the COP’. The Philippines is included in our Interesting country statements article, their statement at the livestreamed debate included:

‘we emphasize the importance of a tailored multi-sectoral approach to FCTC implementation, acknowledging Article 1D of FCTC, varying national context and priorities, and domestic legislation.’ The link to the Philippines statement is here.

GATC indignation 
The GATC bulletin displays a palpable sense of indignation. Frustrated that the decision on articles 9 & 10 was deferred to COP11, the editorial complained of “just the amount of diversion and distraction that seemed intentionally disruptive at times.” 

The author was particularly irritated that the term “harm reduction” was used. The adoring FCTC fan club has deluded itself that harm reduction is a tobacco industry fabrication rather than a real life concept with its own Wikipedia page and is an obligation (much ignored) of the FCTC treaty in article 1d of the preamble. 

The editorial also claimed that parties were “confused” about the difference between a working group and an expert group. To clarify for our readers, the former is a group open to all Parties to join, whereas the latter is a group of so-called ‘experts’ cherry-picked by the Convention Secretariat to force through its perverse ideology. See Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda (page 5) for more on that.

GATC’s assessment of the week

The bulletin also carries an account of the experience of a first-time COP attendee from the Philippines. Having been suitably brainwashed, she moaned about how delegates had not clamped down hard enough on “electronic smoking devices”. 

“Clearly, the tobacco industry is creating a new generation of nicotine addiction with these emerging products”, she claimed, blissfully ignorant of the fact that tobacco companies provide a tiny proportion of the vaping market and that the products have been saving millions of lives worldwide. 

Remember, you are paying for this delusion through your taxes. 

Will there be any live streaming from COP10 today? 
This tile has appeared on the COP10 website, so it looks as though a press conference will be streamed:

We had thought that the final session might be streamed, and perhaps it will. However, it is unlikely to be as interesting as the debate we saw on days one and two this week, which featured the statements from some of the Parties.  

The announcement of where COP11 will be held will come later. That honour probably won’t be going to a Dirty Ashtray award winner. 

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 5 #COP10news #THRworks

COP Live Day 5 update #1

COP10 business

The COP Journals are informative for what business COP is expected to get through that day and for a report on the previous day. Today’s Journal is here:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-5-en.pdf

From the Journal we learn that ‘Implementation of Articles 9 & 10’ (agenda item 6.1) is still unresolved; Committee A will be dealing with it yet again today. We reported on this several times this week. If you are in Committee A and you are reading this – do look at page 5 of Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda for a succinct outline of the issues.   

Committee A is also discussing ‘Novel and emerging tobacco products’ (agenda item 6.3) today. Again, if anyone from Committee A is here, do read pages 9-11 of Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda for his expert view on that. 

Both Committees have had evening sessions added, in order to get through their business. It is good to see that the agenda items are being properly discussed, and the WHO and Secretariat’s proposals are not just being waved through. 

According to the Programme of work in today’s Journal, the plan is to clear agenda items up to and including item 8. That would leave what are basically announcements for the plenary / closing session tomorrow. According to the Preliminary Journal, tomorrow’s plenary session will be held either in the morning or in the afternoon:


We just hope that Red Bull is on hand – there is still a lot of business to get through.

The thorny issue of harm reduction at COP10 

It is evident that the prohibitionists at COP are getting a hard time over the issue of tobacco harm reduction (THR). Many of the statements made by Parties in the livestreamed debate referenced it, suggesting trouble ahead for those who want harsh restrictions applied to safer nicotine products. The NGO’s are on the back foot. The European Respiratory Society (ERS) felt compelled to put out a statement on THR this week, asserting that ‘it cannot recommend “harm reduction” as a population-based strategy to reduce smoking and aid quitting’. (Sorry, ERS, the ship has already sailed: there are millions of us globally who have left smoking behind, thanks to THR.) 

GATC published an article titled ‘Harm reduction is at the heart of the treaty’ in their latest bulletin. Those of us who practise THR would agree that harm reduction is central to the treaty – after all, it is covered in article 1 d of the FCTC:


Image credit: @vapingit

However, that is all we can agree with in GATC’s article, in which they appear to misunderstand what harm reduction is about, let alone THR.   

We hope that COP will heed St Kitts and Nevis, who in the livestreamed debate said that:

‘the tobacco control community should not reject the idea of harm reduction per se but we should learn from the best practices of proven public health oriented measures while preventing the tobacco industry from hijacking that important term’

 

Go Guyana! 
Guyana is in GATC’s bad books today, for ‘repeated grandstanding, time-wasting interventions that ignored legal advice on the content of the FCTC and rules of procedure of the COP’

Yesterday we had included Guyana in our Interesting country statements article, noting that they had called for a ‘serious and evidence-based discourse on harm reduction’. A clue to GATC’s displeasure? 

Country statements – videos
sCOPe has compiled a YouTube  playlist with the videos of the statements made by countries in Asia Pacific. Watch (and share!) those from here:
CoP 10 Country Statements – Asia Pacific

Links

Some of the interesting articles we have seen recently:
WHO FCTC asked to disclose full information on smoke-free products

Bloomberg-funded groups accused of intervening in LMICs’ smoking-cessation strategies

COP 10, Panama și reducerea riscurilor asociate fumatului – între oportunitate și ignoranță 

Surge una corriente de rechazo a la oposición de la OMS a los productos de tabaco sin humo: “Sin soporte científico”

Tobaccoharmreduction.net has these reports from earlier in the week:
Navigating Tensions: Pragmatism vs. Ideology at COP10’s Midpoint
SHIFTING POLICY GOALS: CHALLENGES IN TOBACCO CONTROL AT COP10 SESSIONS

Unofficial COP events

It’s the last day of Good COP. The event so far has been excellent. Check out the agenda here:
https://www.protectingtaxpayers.org/cop10-program/

Catch up on any sessions you have missed on TPA’s YouTube and the RegWatch channel.

That’s all from us, for now

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 3/4 #COP10news #THRworks

COP Live Days 3 & 4 update #2

COP10  business
So, today’s Journal eventually got published, shortly before the sessions started for the day.  
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-4-en.pdf

The Journal includes an overview of what business the COP will address for the day, and a report on the previous day.  From the report section, we see that Committee A’s deliberations over agenda item 6.1, concerning Articles 9 & 10, are still not resolved: 

Also, that two agenda items have now been transferred from Committee A to Committee B – an indication that the discussions over item 6.1 are taking much longer than anticipated. 

We have also noticed that the Decisions section on the COP10 website has no documents from this week- is this because no decisions have been made, or because decisions haven’t yet  been published? 

Interesting country statements
We have recently published this article with a selection of individual country statements:
https://copwatch.info/interesting-country-statements-made-at-cop10/

Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, New Zealand, Philippines, St Kitts and Nevis and the United Kingdom are all featured in there, and we have linked to a separate image file for each statement.  

NGOs behaving badly
We are so bored of writing about them but they will keep on doing awful stuff.  

GATC tweeted its Golden Orchid and Dirty Ashtray awards just before the sessions started – clearly intended to intimidate the Parties as they got down to COP business:

We assume that Singapore has been obediently pushing for the Expert group – see our earlier update for more on that. However, we have no idea what the Dominican Republic’s perceived sins are.  

NB our DM’s are open 😉

Outrage over the merch we reported on at our last update is growing, with Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos furiously quote tweeting the Spanish minister:  

https://twitter.com/FarsalinosK/status/1755453717929771076

Media coverage on COP10
Media interest in COP is picking up a bit. 
This article from ULYS media in Kazakhstan describes an incident during one of the live streamed sessions:

“Jamilya Sadykova, a well-known anti-tobacco activist in Kazakhstan, appeared on the monitor and took a place in the delegation hall with representatives of our country. In this peculiar queue to the podium of the conference, she, violating etiquette, tried to attract attention to herself and tried to communicate with the head of the Kazakh delegation from the Ministry of Health.

– This is not the first time. There have already been similar incidents at other COPs when Jamilya took it upon herself to make statements on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan, explain members of the delegation.

They are trying to understand what goals Sadykova is pursuing and assume that these are her personal interests associated with private organizations and the American billionaire Michael Bloomberg.”

Delegates behaving badly at COP, who knew?! 
Do read the full article, it also reports on demonstrations by farmers outside the Convention Centre. 

Vaping360 has published this excellent analysis of COP10, highly recommended reading:  
https://vaping360.com/vape-news/128865/cop-10-where-tobacco-control-plays-for-keeps-with-your-life/

Panama authorities T-shirt crackdown 
There was a commotion on Tuesday as Panamanian authorities flexed their muscles. Panama Radio reported that “the Public Health team of the Metropolitan Health Region carried out an operation in four hotels in the town after a complaint about the distribution of pamphlets and t-shirts focused on the consumption of tobacco and its derivatives.” This was apparently unacceptable “because it affects the public health of the population.”

Copwatch has discovered the nature of these lethal materials. They are t-shirts worn by vaping consumer advocates and flyers produced by consumer associations to be handed out to delegates at COP explaining salient points of harm reduction and politely asking them to consider consumer concerns. The Panamanian public are no doubt reassured that the full force of the state has been employed to stamp out such dangerous threats to the safety of the country’s citizens.



Copwatch understands that the Good COP event at the Central Panama Hotel in Casco Viejo was visited by representatives of the Bloomberg-funded Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids yesterday. They were greeted by Taxpayers Protection Alliance staff and invited to register for the event. Sadly, they left soon after but we hear their names are recorded at the TPA reception desk and their lanyards are available to pick up at their convenience.


CTFK pays #GoodCOP a visit

For more on the public health operation see:  
COP 10 in Panama: Police operations against harm reduction advocates/COP 10 au Panama : Opérations de police contre des défenseurs de la réduction des risques (Vapolitique)

Pro-vaping organizations challenge COP10/Organizaciones provapeo desafían a la COP10

https://adiariocr.com/salud/organizaciones-provapeo-desafian-a-la-cop10/

We’ll bring you more from #COP10 tomorrow!

COP Live Days 3 & 4 update #1

What’s going on in Committee A? 

The agenda items included in yesterday’s Journal included several for Committee A, under ‘Item 6 Treaty and technical matters’. This included item 6.1 Implementation of Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO FCTC. 

We wrote about this agenda item in our update yesterday, asking:  Will Parties relinquish control to the Expert group (Articles 9 & 10)? From the GATC bulletin Day 4 we learn that there has been a struggle in Committee A. GATC is very annoyed 😂 

“We appeared to be in some sort of dystopian COP yesterday in Committee A – was anyone else in the same alternate universe we were in? A world where COP Rules of Procedure can be blatantly ignored, the scope of FCTC Articles magically expanded, advice from WHO legal rejected and the entire history of how the COP operates forgotten or thrown out the window?”

The discussions over Articles 9 & 10 did not go according to the Canadian NGO’s plan: 

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind Parties of the necessity of adopting the proposed     draft decision in relation to Articles 9 and 10

The discussion has taken up a day and a half!  

That draft decision includes Parties surrendering control to an Expert group, on a very weak mandate. In reference to this Clive Bates wrote: 

“Parties should not allow themselves to be excluded by experts chosen by WHO’s bureaucrats”
Commentary on the Annotated Agenda (V2.3) Clive Bates,Counterfactual, taken from page 5

Copwatch is delighted to hear that Committee A is discussing this thoroughly. It is a relief to hear that some Parties in Committee A are conscientiously considering decisions which affect millions of lives – and not being railroaded by the Secretariat, the Bureau and unelected NGOs. 

Country statements
Of huge interest to COPWATCH’s consumer advocate audience has been the statements given by the countries, during agenda item 5. These have been live streamed over days one and two. 

All three videos can still be viewed on the COP10 home page, look for these tiles: 

We now have the transcripts for both streamed sessions from COP10 Day 2, and the streamed session from COP10 Day 1. Here are the links to those transcripts: Item 3 & 4 – Item 5 (Part 1), Item 5 (Part 2), Item 5 (Part 3)  

Later we will bring you excerpts from the transcripts, highlighting those statements which mention harm reduction. 

If anyone is producing video clips of the individual country statements please let us know – we would love to include those in upcoming Copwatch updates

There is no link between vaping and cancer

Vejpkollen tweeted this image, noting that it was first tweeted by a Spanish health minister 😭 We assume that it is merch being handed out by an official COP10 NGO. This is horrifying! There is no link between vaping and cancer. The only study which purported to find one had to be retracted. Health NGOs should not be misinforming about cancer risks.


https://twitter.com/vejpkollen/status/1755358202240098635

Official COP10 side events

Organised by the Bloomberg funded NGOs and designed to pressurise the Parties, it is good to see that these official side events are getting a healthy reaction on social media.

https://twitter.com/GrimmGreen/status/1755012685417373874

Unofficial COP events

1 Good COP is on again today. The event so far has been superb.  Check out the agenda here:
https://www.protectingtaxpayers.org/cop10-program/

Catch up on any sessions you have missed on TPA’s YouTube and the RegWatch channel.

2  An excellent article has been published about the Segundo Foro Latinoamericano Nicotina y Reducción de Riesgo event, which took place on Tuesday:
Regulación diferenciada en productos con nicotina enciende debate en Costa Rica y la región  (Differentiated regulation of nicotine products sparks debate in Costa Rica and the region)
https://observador.cr/regulacion-diferenciada-en-productos-con-nicotina-enciende-debate-en-costa-rica-y-la-region/

Interesting country statements made at #COP10

Countries gave statements during agenda item 5 at COP10. These were live streamed over days one and two. At the time of writing the videos were accessible via the COP10 homepage. We posted the full transcripts here: 1, 2, 3.

In this article we post the individual statements which we think are interesting, with a brief explanation of why we have included them. Are there any other statements you think we should include? Let us know.

Armenia – asks for harm reduction to be considered:
“we believe that alternative methods of reducing the negative health
impacts of smoking should be considered on the firm basis of scientific research and
conclusions in order to take informed decisions on how to minimize the harm of
smoking within that particular segment of our society.”

Link to statement, here

Canada – no mention is made of harm reduction, conflicts with the national policy?
Link to statement, here

El Salvador – asks for further studies and information to analyse the impact of novel products
Link to statement, here

Guatemala – raises a point of order over how consensus is reached at COP
Link to statement, here

Guyana – calls for a ‘serious and evidence-based discourse on harm reduction’
Link to statement, here

New Zealand – states that their national approach ‘involves a considered implementation of evidence-based harm reduction measures’
Link to statement, here

Philippines ‘we emphasize the importance of a tailored multi-sectoral approach to FCTC implementation, acknowledging Article 1D of FCTC, varying national context and priorities, and domestic legislation.’
Link to statement, here

St Kitts and Nevis ‘‘the tobacco control community should not reject the idea of harm reduction per se but we should learn from the best practices of proven public health oriented measures while preventing the tobacco industry from hijacking that important term’, calls for a working group to be established
Link to statement, here

United Kingdom – no mention is made of harm reduction, conflicts with the national policy?
Link to statement, here

COP10FCTC LIVE Day 2/3 #COP10news #THRworks

COP Live Days 2 & 3 update #1

At the time of writing the Journal for today had still not been published. It should appear here, eventually:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10/Journals/index.html. (Edit: here it is: https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-3-en.pdf)

Live streaming of the country statements
Yesterday was Day 2 of FCTC COP10 in Panama. Tobacco harm reduction advocates were pleased to see some transparency brought to the proceedings, with the continued live streaming of the country statements at item 5 (videos are on the COP10 website). As with Day 1, there was no indication given of when the live streaming would start, but we were nonetheless pleased when it finally started blaring out of our devices.  

Yesterday we published a transcript of Day 1’s live streamed session, you can find that here. We hope today to publish a transcript of Day 2. Highlights were St Kitts and Nevis, Armenia,  El Salvador, the Philippines. The United Kingdom’s statement was disappointing, and seemed to go against assurances that minister Andrea Leadsom had made to MPs,  just a few weeks ago. We’ll bring you more on those country statements another time. 

GATC updates (why not spend some Bloombucks on a better website?)
The official propaganda mouthpiece of COP, GATC, is finally chucking out some semi informative articles. It’s just a shame that their newly revamped website is impossible to navigate. Despite Parties having the decision making powers, the tone of the GATC updates is of irritation. GATC – an unaccountable and unelected NGO – sounds annoyed that Parties might not do as they wish them to do. Of course, GATC knows best! And, those pesky Parties will keep trying to mess with the agenda! 

DAY 1

Oh, the irony……

We only had a few agenda items to get through today, notably adopting the agenda, and even that proved to be extremely difficult. Day 1 of COP10 started off with Parties proposing to merge agenda items in an attempt to be more efficient. While in reality, the discussion had the opposite effect and consumed valuable time. We all witnessed the frustrating impact of time spent discussing issues with no productive outcomes. Today was very instructive on how the rest of the week should not be conducted.

From ‘DAY 1’ https://gatc-cop10-bulletin.my.canva.site/day2#orchid-and-dirty-ashtray

This smug ASH update is also blatant about the NGO’s mission to influence Parties: 

February 6, 2024 – A typical day at the Conference of the Parties begins very early and ends very late, and today was no different.

At 7:00 AM, ASH begins by meeting with our civil society allies to discuss strategy for the day. Starting at 9:00 AM, we attend meetings with country Parties. The official Committee meetings begin mid-morning and run late into the evening. ASH is here to listen, take notes, engage with Parties and civil society partners, and occasionally make interventions to advocate for our priorities.

Will Parties relinquish control to the Expert group (Articles 9 & 10)?

A ‘day 2’ update in the GATC COP bulletin is written by tobacco controllers Deborah Arnott and Rob Cunningham.. The point of the article is to ‘urge’ Parties to give away some of their powers.  

“One of the critical decisions Parties will make this week is whether to approve the creation of an Expert Group for Articles 9 and 10…”  

Here is what Clive Bates wrote about that proposal:

Commentary on the Annotated Agenda (V2.3) Clive Bates, Counterfactual, taken from page 5

And, this is taken from GSTHR’s Briefing Paper on the COP10 agenda:

Taken from: The FCTC COP10 Agenda and supporting documents: implications for the future of tobacco harm reduction

The propaganda machine chugs on

Having denied Observer status or even entry to the public gallery to thousands of members of the public and grass roots advocates, we see a continued attempt at COP to show that ‘civil society’ supports what the unaccountable NGOs want at COP10. 

The groups involved are listed at the bottom of this letter: 
https://ggtc.world/knowledge/sustainability-and-human-rights/global-youth-voices-statement-october-2023

As with the Participants list, Bloomberg funding is obvious – but we don’t have time to research whether that applies to absolutely all of them. What is clear though is that GATC has played a leading role in assembling them:

“Our organizations have been building their capacity with the help of Global Center for Good      Governance in Tobacco Control resources and support since 2020”
Taken from: https://gatc-cop10-bulletin.my.canva.site/day2#global-youth-voices-what-brought-us-to-cop10

We see that Global Youth Voices will be joining the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) for a side event on Thursday.  

Why do these people have more of a right to attend COP10 than those with lived experience of using nicotine? 

Awards 

It wouldn’t be COP without bribes awards! 

Global Tobacco Index Integrity award
GGTC (not GATC, but forgive yourself if you get them confused) has awarded this to Brunei:

As an advocate points out, this is despite smoking prevalence rates in Brunei having been stuck at 16% since 2000:

A reminder that FCTC’s COP is no longer about reducing smoking. 

Dirty Ashtray / Orchid awards

GATC has been busy dishing out their notorious awards:


https://gatc-cop10-bulletin.my.canva.site/day2


https://gatc-cop10-bulletin.my.canva.site/day3

It is outrageous that the GATC – an unaccountable NGO – can seek to influence proceedings in this way. We hope that other parties will not take note. 

Do read this excellent article from Philstar on the Orchids and Ashtrays: Absurdity at its worst

“It’s simple: if a COP party or member-country sticks to the agenda and closely aligns itself with the WHO FCTC’s proposed policies, they are given an Orchid Award. On the other hand, if a country ventures to speak about tobacco as a positive force economically or attempts to present proven science on less harmful alternatives to smoking, then they are given the odious-sounding Dirty Ashtray Award.”

Unofficial COP10 events 

The Segundo Foro Latinoamericano Nicotina y Reducción de Riesgo took place yesterday, watch that here: 
https://www.youtube.com/live/-K2RVE4yZMs?si=kdrNk98UIreRvYHS

Skip Murray’s Twitter thread for the Good COP fun later today:
https://twitter.com/imaracingmom/status/1755160790754070996

Day 2 of Good Cop from the TPA:
https://www.youtube.com/@ProtectingTaxpayers

Day 2 of Good Cop from Regulator Watch:
https://regulatorwatch.com/brent_stafford/day-2-good-cop-bad-cop-day-2-regwatch-live/

COP10FCTC LIVE Day One #COP10news #THRworks

COP Live Day 1 update #2

We have now generated a transcript from the livestream video of the opening session – LINK to ‘COP10 opening session transcription’. Please note that it is unedited and might contain errors. The video itself is still accessible on the COP10 homepage – look for ‘Live streaming’. 

Statements made by some of the Parties yesterday – EU, China, New Zealand, the Philippines, the UK (disappointing!) – are especially interesting to read. Those statements appear towards the end, so scroll down.

COP business resumes today with this general debate, starting at 10 a.m. : 


(taken from the annotated agenda)  

Also see Journal 2 for today’s COP10 business: 
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-2-en.pdf

Keep a watch on the ‘Live streaming’ section on the COP10 homepage, in case there is more streaming today.  

And…

Also now underway in Panama: Segundo Foro Latinoamericano Nicotina y Reducción de Riesgo (Second Latin American Nicotine and Risk Reduction Forum)

Also, TPA’s summary of the first day of their Good COP event: is now out:
https://www.protectingtaxpayers.org/e-cigarettes/opening-day-of-good-cop-live-in-panama/

And, Tobaccoharmreduction net will be putting out daily updates during COP week: 
https://www.tobaccoharmreduction.net/updates

DAY 1 UPDATE #1

Welcome to COP Live, where Copwatch will be reporting on FCTC COP10 – AKA The Bloomberg Convention on Tobacco Control

We’ll begin with a reminder that the decision makers at COP are the national governments – not the FCTC Secretariat, not the Bureau, not the NGOs, not the journalists.  

However, you could be forgiven for forgetting that – so far COP10 is a Bloomberg fest.  

Here’s some of what we observed of COP10 on Day 1, from our position firmly outside the tent.  

The five hour delay

The opening session in Panama was to be livestreamed, from 10.00am ET.  However, without any official explanation, the livestream didn’t start until 5 ½ hours later.

Why so late?  We can only guess that the exclusion from COP of democratically elected congressmen from Brazil, and the involvement of the Brazilian ambassador, had something to do with it.  We imagine that Panama would not welcome a diplomatic incident with Brazil.  

For more on that see this article from https://olajornal.com.br/:

https://olajornal.com.br/deputados-representantes-do-governo-do-rs-aguardam-credenciamento-na-cop10

“The expectation is to return the accreditation by the end of the day. A meeting on the evening of this Monday, 5th, between state deputies Marcus Vinícius de Almeida (PP), Edivilson Brum (MDB), Zé Nunes (PT) and Silvana Covatti (PP) and ambassador Carlos Henrique Moojen de Abreu e Silva seeks to detail the demands and the search for participation in COP10.” 

(Google translate, from here)

Watch this video from El Mono Vapeador, filmed before security guards ejected him from the Convention Centre.  Includes an interview with some of those trying to get admitted to COP.


El Mono Vapeador after being ejected by security guards at #COP10

The delay in the livestreaming even confused people inside, with the director of Expose Tobacco retweeting Copwatch (Expose Tobacco does not like Copwatch!).

The official proceedings

We will bring you more on the opening session in a later update.
The video for the livestream is still up, on the COP10 homepage – look for ‘live stream’ towards the bottom. We are watching it now – the statements from national delegations are likely to be the most interesting part of the proceedings.

The Secretariat put out this press release, when COP finally opened:
https://fctc.who.int/newsroom/news/item/05-02-2024-global-tobacco-control-conference-opens-in-panama

The updated participants list for COP had been published much earlier:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Additional%20documents%20-%20Diverse/fctc-cop10-div-1-en.pdf

As was the Journal for Day 1:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-1-resumed-en.pdf

The Bloomberg Convention on Tobacco Control

Copwatch had already sounded the alarm that a significant proportion of the accredited Observers are Bloomberg funded NGOs.  

It is even worse than we thought.  

There’s a Bloomberg Stasi detail:

Bloomberg is supplying astroturf too:

And, of course, the expected propaganda:

The GATC (formerly FCA) is putting out daily propaganda bulletins. So far we haven’t seen anything which could be classed as ‘news’.   

The Conference of the People

In contrast to #COP10, the TPA’s #GoodCOP event did start on time. You can catch up on the excellent discussions on the TPA’s YouTube channel and the RegWatch channel. Skip Murray’s excellent Twitter thread is worth looking at too. 

Keep an eye on the #GoodCOP page for the agenda for their discussions later today:

https://www.protectingtaxpayers.org/cop10/

That’s all for now.  We’ll finish with our short message to delegates:

Delegates – you are representing your countries. You are the decision makers at COP. We trust you to look behind the propaganda. We trust you to read the official documents, not just what the official NGOs are saying. We trust you to do the right thing for people who smoke and who need access to safer nicotine products to improve their health.

COPWATCH #COP10 articles

Here is a list of Copwatch’s #COP10 articles, listed with the most recent first.

5 – 9 February 2024
Copwatch live
Copwatch live reports during COP10 week

8 February 2024
Interesting country statements made at #COP10
Countries gave statements during agenda item 5 at COP10. These were live streamed over days 1 & 2. In this article we post the individual statements which we think are interesting, with a brief explanation of why we have included them.

4 February 2024
#COP10 is here!
“The official event takes place in the Panama Convention Center. There are also unofficial events taking place, notably the Good COP event. Here we give you information about the official and unofficial events.”

26 January 2024
#COP10 – full steam ahead
“The propaganda assault on safer nicotine products and those who advocate for them is at fever pitch. Bloomberg has poured a lot of money – ‘Bloombucks’ – into attacking tobacco harm reduction and journalists for hire are working overtime to smear anyone who speaks up for it.” 

10 December
#COP10 Catch Up
“Quite a bit happened with COP10 since we last posted. Here we bring you up to speed.
Copwatch had been reporting since April that there was a problem with the contract to put on COP10.”

7 November
Even bigger big trouble in little Panama
“The upshot is that, with less than 2 weeks to go, the WHO has booked a convention centre in which to hold COP10 but has no-one to organise it. Delegates may be arriving in Panama City all dressed up but with nowhere to go.”

3 November
FCTC: Does it work? #COP10
“This supplementary document does a far better job than the ‘main document’(10/4) in describing progress made against the ultimate objective, which is to reduce death and disease from smoking.”

31 October
Another anonymously-written WHO paper is misleading Parties to #COP10
“Two weeks ago, Copwatch drew attention to an anonymously-written paper designed to gaslight Parties at COP10 about disposable vapes. There is a similar attempt at gaslighting going on with a second document in the same series, this time on nicotine pouches.”

27 October
Human rights alert at #COP10
“The FCTC Secretariat is working behind the scenes to impose a narrow view on human rights and tobacco within the UN system and amongst countries (the Parties to the Convention).” 

25 October
A vaper’s call to the delegations to #COP10
“Here we publish a powerful plea from a vaper in the Philippines to the delegates who will be meeting at COP10 in Panama next month.”

23 October
FCTC budget: nice work if you can get it
Here Copwatch brings you what you need to know about the COP10 documents relating to the FCTC budget. This covers three documents:  FCTC/COP/10/17, FCTC/COP/10/18, FCTC/COP/10/19 Rev.1

16 October
The WHO publishes anonymously-written papers designed to gaslight Parties at COP10
Copwatch has detailed many instances of the WHO and FCTC Secretariat playing fast and loose with evidence or cherry-picking research to suit its anti-harm reduction agenda. It is unscientific and shameful but nothing we have not seen before. But two new reports, on disposable vapes and nicotine pouches, have been published on a separate page to the main COP10 menu which seem specifically designed to mislead COP10 delegates based on nothing more than opinion.

10 October
COP10 documents guide: FCTC/COP/10/4
“Produced by the Convention Secretariat, the subject for the report is ‘Global progress in implementation of the WHO FCTC’.”

28 September
Alternative reading list for #COP10 delegates 
COPWATCHERS will notice that tobacco harm reduction is absent from the official documents, with no consideration given to the opportunities offered by safer nicotine products.   Here we have compiled a list of articles to round off the COP10 delegates’ education.

24 August
#COP10 documents guide: FCTC/COP/10/9
“Having airily skipped over the yawning chasm of missing research that they were supposed to have gathered on heated tobacco in just four pages, the FCTC/COP/10/9 document then spends the rest of the 18 pages discussing what bans and restrictions should be put in place.”

18 August
More trouble in little Panama
“In June, Copwatch mentioned, in passing, that a series of nationwide protests and blockades had taken place in COP10 host country, Panama, recently. Cost-of-living concerns, mistrust of government officials, poverty, inequality and corruption have led to much discontent.”

7 August
#COP10 documents guide: FCTC/COP/10/7
“The one where the WHO denies quitting smoking is quitting smoking, and other daydreaming”

3 August
The WHO releases new report on the ‘tobacco epidemic’ and how to maintain it
“Cynical people (unlike those at Copwatch, of course) might assume that there is some cherry-picking going on for inclusion of evidence for the report, while Bloomberg’s anti-nicotine minions are given pay-to-play access to write it”

31 July
The road to FCTC #COP10
“Going from the agenda we can expect a fully packed discussion on substantive items. Readers will remember that COP9 was virtual and that although discussions were tortuous (refresh your memory with our COP live reporting), there was no discussion on ‘substantive items’. This in person COP10 in Panama promises to be a proper bun fight – and we just wonder whether the allotted week will be sufficient.”

29 June
Big trouble in little Panama
“The World Health Organization is often criticised for incompetence in a number of its policy focuses, not solely for its calamitous, head-in-the-sand position on lower-risk alternatives to smoking. But in the practice of handing awards to its buddies, it can only be described as a triumphant global expert”

6 June
Yet another murky WHO meeting
“No-one outside of the WHO FCTC bubble will be allowed to view this latest secret meeting, nor do we expect to see published minutes.”

1 June
Consumer groups challenging the WHO FCTC – Who will be next?
“WHO appointees to the FCTC Bureau and Secretariat have always thrived under the cloak of secrecy they cleverly weaved around preparations for COP conferences. They have been mostly unchallenged when ignoring evidence on the effectiveness of safer nicotine and peddling their anti-harm reduction agenda to member delegations. But it appears consumer groups all around the world are alive to their antics this year.”

9 May
April – victory month for harm reduction
For the first time in UN history the notion of harm reduction appeared in the politically negotiated UN resolution on drug policy. Until then harm reduction had only been mentioned in the context of HIV/AIDS. The resolution adopted at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council mentions a harm reduction approach among other health responses and underlines that support for harm reduction is not qualified as being subject to national legislation.

3 May
Introducing the authors of the COP10 agenda – the FCTC Bureau
“Copwatch decided to investigate by looking at the make-up of the FCTC Bureau, the body which will be writing the agenda. It would be preferable if they published their November and March meeting minutes so we could read the plans first-hand but, as Copwatch reported previously, it seems their typewriter is still at the repairers.”

25 April 
The WHO meetings that never are or were
“Although we know that this GTRF meeting is taking place in India this week, that is all we will ever know. It seems that the WHO has only two rules on the matter. The first rule is that they do not talk about GTRF. The second rule is: they DO NOT talk about GTRF!”

20 April
Who is the new WHO French guy?
“the WHO’s new head of policy on tobacco and nicotine has shown he is incapable of understanding quantitative research, is willing to massage scientific data to hide inconvenient facts, refuses to listen to consumers, and is ideologically opposed to vaping despite its track record of reducing smoking rates in his country.”

11 April
Panamanian party poopers?
“The last Copwatch post reported on Dr. Reina Roa, who has accepted an award from Bloomberg Philanthropies and is now being investigated by Panamanian authorities for “administrative irregularities” over what is a clear conflict of interest in her role as an “independent” adviser to the Ministry of Health.”

3 April
Where’s Bloomby? Check the atlas
“The latest target of Bloomberg’s ongoing programme to influence government policies in low and middle income countries is Panama. Yes, the Panama where COP10 will be held later this year. That Panama.”

23 March
We had a dream….
“Yet again, we will hear whining that there are no safer alternatives to smoking, and that tobacco and nicotine products should be banned. Just not the cigarettes.”

1 March
Where are the FCTC Bureau meeting minutes?
“The second meeting of the FCTC Bureau took place at the end of November 2022, but here we are at the start of March and the minutes of their last meeting have still not been published. Has their typewriter broken?”

1 February
Key milestones for COP10
We provide a graphic of the key milestones leading up to COP10, and opportunities for engagement.

10 February
Is the FCTC’s website now a Bloomboard?
“Yet another day, yet another connection of Bloomberg with the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.”

#COP10 is here!

Here is COPWATCH’s guide for COP10 week. Check back as the week goes on, we are planning to publish regular COP Live updates. Those will be announced via our Twitter/X account: @FCTCcopwatch 

#COP10 is on from Monday 5 February to Saturday 10 February The official event takes place in the Panama Convention Center. There are also unofficial events taking place, notably the Good COP event. Here we give you information about the official and unofficial events.  

Anyone can get involved in #COP10 on social media – the official hashtag is #COP10FCTC

If you are not attending the official event you might still want to read the Information kit for delegates to the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Intended for delegates new to FCTC COP, it is clearly written and informative about some of the procedures.  

Also, Clive Bates has produced this: FCTC COP-10 – a survival guide for delegates 

And, GSTHR produced this overview of COP: The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the Conference of the Parties (COP): an explainer (updated April 2023)

Timetable

Here are the ‘working hours’ for COP10


Taken from Guide for Participants, FCTC/COP/10/DIV/2/Rev.1

What sessions will be livestreamed? 
You probably know that FCTC COP is secretive and closed. So, most of the action takes place away from the public gaze.  However, sessions at the beginning and end are expected to be livestreamed. This provisional agenda (FCTC/COP/10/1) uses asterisks ( * ) to mark which sessions the Bureau recommends should be livestreamed:


Asterisks in the provisional agenda mark which sessions the Bureau proposes should be livestreamed, in the opening session.

The graphic below has appeared on the COP10 homepage. We assume that clicking on it on the page will take you to the live streamed sessions:

The COP10 agenda 
One of the first tasks of COP will be to adopt the agenda. Here is the Provisional agenda annotated (FCTC/COP/10/1), which is listed on the Documentation – Main documents page

Good to read alongside the agenda…
Clive Bates’ ‘Commentary on the Annotated Agenda’
COPWATCH has critiqued several of the official COP10 documents, see our directory of COP10 articles for those.
GSTHR: The FCTC COP10 Agenda and supporting documents: implications for the future of tobacco harm reduction

COP side events
The official COP side events and who is organising them are listed here:
https://fctc.who.int/publications/m/item/cop10-side-events

Official journal
Journals are published daily, here:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10/Journals/index.html
The Preliminary journal is already available:
https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-preliminary-journal-en.pdf

GATC COP bulletins
The Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (formerly the Framework Convention Alliance) will be putting out daily bulletins. Although not an official record, the GATC is very much on the inside, so those bulletins will be worth reading. They are again planning to dish out daily Orchid and Ashtray (stigmatising, much?!) awards. Many commentators view those as intended to shame Parties to fall in line with what the Secretariat wants.   

Copwatch was very proud to get an award at COP9 – admittedly it wasn’t given to us by the FCA – maybe this time? https://tobaccoreporter.com/2021/11/21/activists-hand-out-good-cop-bad-cop-awards/

Unofficial events
TPA’s GOOD COP/BAD COP is on from Monday 5 – Friday 9 February


From the organisers:

“The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is organizing a rapid response and fact checking conference in Panama City, Panama as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meets for their biennial Conference of the Parties (Bad COP) to discuss tobacco-related issues. TPA’s event “Conference of the People (Good COP)” will bring in experts and consumers, often ignored by WHO, to be heard during the discussion of tobacco and tobacco harm reduction.”

In contrast to FCTC COP10, all the Good COP sessions will be livestreamed and will feature experts in the field of tobacco harm reduction.  

The agenda is here – but it is subject to change, as the organisers will be responding to news coming out of COP.  

 

GOOD COP BAD COP will be livestreaming on the TPA’s YouTube and posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X

Also, Brent Stafford at RegWatch will be doing a live broadcast at the end of each day (4pmET) on his channel and streamed on Twitter/X

You can sign up to TPA’s daily digest email here:
https://mailchi.mp/90773cc4ebb2/good-cop-daily-digest

Another unofficial event:
Segundo Foro Latinoamericano Nicotina y Reducción de Riesgo (Second Latin American Nicotine and Risk Reduction Forum) Tuesday 6 February.

Organised by Rauder this takes place at Hotel Las Américas Golden Tower Panama. You can sign up via Eventbrite here

That’s all for now! Follow us and #COP10FCTC on Twitter/X to join in the #COP10 conversation and follow the developments throughout the week. Our COP Live updates will appear here.

#COP10 – full steam ahead

The propaganda assault on safer nicotine products and those who advocate for them is at fever pitch.  Bloomberg has poured a lot of money – ‘Bloombucks’ – into attacking tobacco harm reduction and journalists for hire are working overtime to smear anyone who speaks up for it. This media manipulation will be familiar to advocates but still raises eyebrows – it’s arrant hypocrisy when the Bloomberg funded media attacks advocates for perceived conflicts of interest.    

Read on for more COP10 news since our last update.

BAN BAN BAN!  🔨

WHO is going further than ever in recommending that countries ban safer alternatives to smoking. A press release published on 14 December recommends that: 

‘Any government pursuing a smoking cessation strategy using e-cigarettes should control the conditions under which the products are accessed to ensure appropriate clinical conditions and regulate the products as medicines’

Vapes are effective because they are consumer products; that is fundamental to their success in helping people to quit smoking. We don’t know of any medicinally licensed vaping products. So WHO is now calling for countries who have legalised vapes to ban them.  

Check out too what Rüdiger Krech, WHO’s Director for Health Promotion said on 16 January in a press briefing – watch here from 22.50 in: 
https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k1f/k1fpinodpy

Here’s a clip:

And, TikTok has this video with Krech saying it’s good news that 1.25 billion people still smoke. The quiet bit said out loud? 

Happily, some of WHO’s disinformation is being challenged, at least one of their tweets has earned a Community Note. 

More trouble in Panama over the $5million hosting of COP10 🍿

Not only is there dissatisfaction over the Panama government spending $5million on the contract, a complaint has been filed over how the contract was awarded.  It has been revealed that the contract was not put out to tender and there is now an official complaint.   Read more on these links:

Cuestionan contrato directo de $5 millones para eventos sobre tabaco (They question a $5 million direct contract for tobacco events – Google translate)
https://www.critica.com.pa/nacional/cuestionan-contrato-directo-de-5-millones-para-eventos-sobre-tabaco-664394

Panamá no sale de un escándalo para caer en otro (Panama does not emerge from one scandal to fall into another – Google translate)
https://www.laverdadpa.com/panama-no-sale-de-un-escandalo-para-caer-en-otro/

We have reported several times on the controversies surrounding Panama’s hosting of COP10, see our COP10 articles list if you are interested in reading more. 

And, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) recently put out a press release stating that ‘delegates from 183 countries are expected, with about 1,900 people (1,200 for the COP and 700 for the MOP)’.  

Official documents

Participants list

Back to Bloomberg – do check out the participants list, published after the de minimis session. There’ll be a big Copwatch thumbs up👍🏽for anyone who can identify how many of the Observers are funded by Bloomberg – we can see it’s a lot but we don’t have time to research the full list. In contrast, not one organisation which speaks on behalf of people who use nicotine has been granted observer status. And, we are hearing that applications from the general public to attend the COP open sessions are being rejected, including from tobacco growers in Brazil:

‘In October, the Minister of Agriculture, Carlow Fávaro (PSD), had confirmed to parliamentarians that the Brazilian government would grant access to the event to representatives of the population. However, those who registered on the official website of the World Health Organization had their application rejected without official justification’. (Google translate)

See: Deputies are denied registrations for COP10: “We need a voice in decisions”
https://www.gaz.com.br/deputados-tem-inscricoes-negadas-para-cop10-precisamos-de-voz-nas-decisoes/

What makes it even worse is that WHO is evidently familiar with the concept that those most affected should be involved in decisions which affect them. In 2021 they produced a manual entitled ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’  #NoExcuse 

Information kit for delegates
The Secretariat has produced this information kit for delegates: https://fctc.who.int/publications/i/item/information-kit-for-delegates-to-the-conference-of-the-parties-to-the-who-framework-convention-on-tobacco-control

Delegates should also read our Alternative reading list for #COP10 delegates

And, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that Copwatch has delved into lots of the COP10 official documents over the past few months, check out our article list here:
COPWATCH #COP10 articles

UK Parliament debate

Andrew Lewer MP moved the motion on COP10 to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in a backbench debate on 18 January. The video is here and the Hansard (transcript) is here.

All MPs speaking called for a minister to attend as part of the UK COP delegation. Many MPs were concerned that the UK COP delegation might agree with policies which contradict domestic ones.

“In Panama, I want to hear the Minister using their power and the UK’s authority to stand up for solutions that work. I want the Government to stand by these arguments. NHS policy papers, the Khan review and ASH show that allowing people to make smaller changes leads to longer-term change. If we use our position as one of the FCTC’s largest financial contributors, our voice should be heard. I urge the Government to lead, and the Minister for Primary Care and Public Health to join COP10 as part of our delegation.”
Virendra Sharma MP

For more see: Sticking to its Guns, Tobacco Reporter

Media is warned off COPWATCH

It was brought to our attention that COPWATCH was mentioned in the ‘Media workshop in lead up to global tobacco treaty intergovernmental negotiations (COP10/MOP3)’, held on 23 January. Apparently it was said that although there is no proof that the tobacco industry funds us, it is strange that we go along with what the tobacco industry is doing.  

We would like to put the record straight. No one funds COPWATCH. We are part of the proud global movement of grass roots consumers advocating for people who smoke to have access to products which can improve their lives. That movement has had many successes worldwide in resisting over regulation which would take life saving products away from the people who need them. We have been advocating for safer nicotine products for a long time, long before any of the tobacco industry. In fact, some of the tobacco industry is just saying what we said first. And, by no means is all of the industry pro tobacco harm reduction – just look at China Tobacco. 

That’s all for now. We’ll leave you with some reading – an excellent letter from the Association of Vapers India, calling upon their delegation to use COP to learn from the positive experiences of nations which are open to tobacco harm reduction: 

https://twitter.com/vapeindia/status/1750156566031204532/photo/1