Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 1

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tobaccoasia 23 WHO SAID WHAT? "It views electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as part of the problem, but in reality they are part of the solution – and the widespread uptake of these products is essential if there is to be any hope of meeting the commitment to reducing tobacco consumption by 30% by 2025 (UN commitments on reducing non-communicable disease)," Stimson futher stated. COP6 also adopted policy options and recommendations on economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing, and requested the convention secretariat and WHO to support the parties in their implementation of the adopted policy op- tions and recommendations. COP6 followed in the footsteps of the previous conferences and adopted the Moscow Declaration. The declaration calls on the Parties to strengthen international collaboration on tobacco control and attain a voluntary global target of 30% prevalence reduction by 2025. COP6 further stressed the promotion of ratification, ac- ceptance, approval, formal confirmation, and accession to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, includ- ing the establishment of a panel of experts to support the con- vention secretariat to provide technical and legal advice upon request, and listed the future key priorities for the convention secretariat as development and implementation of a communi- cations plan, finalization of the WHO FCTC information plat- form, and enhanced cooperation with key partners. In truth, many areas of regulations supported by the tobacco industry regarding strict prohibition of tobacco sale to minors, limits on public smoking, placement of warnings on tobacco product packaging, are similar to provisions of the FCTC. The tobacco industry also supports the development of tax and price policies to achieve public health objectives, provided that they do not result in increased illicit trade. But as the latest meeting in Moscow shows, the fact that there is no sound evidence to support extreme measures, advocated by WHO and the anti- tobacco lobby, has not stopped the extremists from perverting the spirit of the original treaty provisions. "In their zeal to demonize e-cigarettes, [the anti-smoking groups] have not only resorted to misleading and even lying to the public, but have done substantial public health damage. This damage comes in two forms. First, they have succeeded in convincing many smokers not to attempt to quit smoking. Second, they have succeeded in convincing about 50% of the public that smoking is not as hazardous as they previously thought." - – Dr. Michael Siegel, professor, Boston University School of Public Health

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