Delon Human’s FCTC COP10 Insights – Day 5
COP10 wrapped up on February 10th, with the member states mainly focusing on FCTC Article 18, concerning the protection of the environmental impact of combustible tobacco cultivation, manufacture, consumption and waste disposal. A missed opportunity was the failure of COP10 to appoint a workgroup on “tobacco harm reduction strategies”, an integral part of Article 1(d) of the FCTC. The governments of several Caribbean countries urged parties to formally appoint such a workgroup, to “learn from the best practices of proven public health oriented measures”.
Similarly, COP10 failed to facilitate genuine multi-stakeholder engagement. Again, the “invisible” stakeholder group at COP10 was the 1,1 billion adult cigarette smokers worldwide. While the inclusion of youth groups in COP10 should be welcomed, Sweden, which is on the cusp of becoming smoke free, has shown that it is possible to prevent young people from starting to smoke while also helping adults find a safer path away from traditional smoking.
COP10 was again about exclusion and non-differentiation of tobacco risk and harm. Yet, combustible tobacco-related disease, disability and premature death remains by far the world’s most significant health problem, killing 8 million people per year. As Sweden has shown, sensible tobacco harm reduction measures have the ability to save millions of lives. For COP11, let’s continue to advocate for inclusion, engagement and proper science-based risk differentiation, for responsible and effective policymaking.