“COP26 is all about following climate science and environmental evidence. However, COP9 is set to ignore compelling international science and completely dismiss significant human evidence.”
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is currently being held in Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021. Tobacco harm reduction experts are of course aware of the importance of this event. Yet, they do hope it will not overshadow the equally important World Health Organization’s FCTC, which has sadly become renowned for ignoring scientific evidence with regards to smoking cessation.
Despite some evidence to the contrary, the WHO had recently announced that no discussions related to safer nicotine alternative products would be taking place at this year’s FCTC COP9. To this effect, a major round-the-clock global broadcasting event: sCOPe, has been organized to take place during the length of the convention, with the aim of scrutinizing the event.
sCOPe: giving vapers a seat at the table
sCOPe organizer Nancy Loucas of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) explained that too much is at stake to let COP9 fly under the radar while its environmental counterpart distracts the world’s attention. “sCOPe will spotlight the motives and actions of COP9 participants and its ‘Ambassador for Tobacco Control’, American billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Together, they’re on a reckless, misinformed, and misguided crusade against nicotine vaping.
“Smoking kills eight million people every year, yet the WHO continues to actively campaign against safer nicotine alternatives such as vaping. Countries attending COP9 must force the WHO to back the evidence,” she added.
COP9 should take a leaf out of COP26’s science-based approach
sCOPe panellist and Director of ECST (ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand), Asa Saligupta, said that the Geneva-based tobacco control conference should take a leaf out of Glasgow’s climate change conference book. “COP26 is all about following climate science and environmental evidence. However, COP9 is set to ignore compelling international science and completely dismiss significant human evidence. Vaping is saving millions of ex-smokers’ lives and can save many more if readily and legally available as an alternative to cigarettes. Safer nicotine products must be embraced, not demonised.”
sCOPe will be simulcast on YouTube at https://bit.ly/3aWBPxi and on Facebook from 12.00pm Hong Kong Time on Monday, 8 November.