The Manila Declaration – 2022
The aim of this declaration is to provide information and evidence that has not been included in any of the guidance publicly provided by the WHO to signatories and delegates of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on safer nicotine products (SNP).
It is intended that this Declaration will assist with pragmatic and objective policy discussions, decisions and regulations that are risk proportionate and will greatly assist the aim of reducing the harms of combustible and unsafe tobacco products globally as is the founding intent and aim of the FCTC Treaty.
We, the consumers of safer nicotine products and, those adults who currently smoke, ought to be the principal beneficiaries of enlightened, science-based regulatory frameworks allowing us access to these life-saving technologies. Instead, we continue to be marginalized, ignored, denigrated and attacked, our choices restricted, our rights denied and our lives and health negatively impacted by the continuing failure of WHO and its funders to follow its own mandates or to consider the science.
Science *is* about innovation and progress, especially when it comes to human health. The COVID-19 pandemic, EBOLA and Monkeypox is showing all of us that we must think in an innovative and pragmatic manner to protect and save human lives.
We respectfully demand that the WHO FCTC and its country delegates follow the science and evidence around tobacco harm reduction.
We, the undersigned, do declare that:
● An individual’s right to health is recognized as a fundamental international human right. Founded upon the non-derogable right to life, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) affirms that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family.”
● Smoking causes the vast majority of tobacco‐related death and disease. Burning tobacco is the main cause of smoking-related diseases, not nicotine or inhaling vapour.
● Vaping is dramatically safer than cigarettes and has helped millions quit smoking. Vaping is not smoking. It uses electronic devices to generate a nicotine-containing vapour without burning tobacco. Governments charged with protecting public health should welcome that, not discourage it.
● Harm reduction is at the core of international treaty obligations. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control defines ‘tobacco control’ as ‘a range of supply, demand and harm reduction strategies that aim to improve the health of a population’.
● Bans serve only to protect the cigarette industry. Governments should regulate e-cigarettes to maximise the benefits of low-risk alternatives while minimising the likelihood they will be used by youth or non-smokers.
● Public health and the Government’s credibility is at stake, they should avoid being perceived as promoting the interests of cigarette and pharmaceutical industries and people who smoke should not be forced to choose between deadly cigarettes and marginally effective nicotine replacement therapies.
Within scientific circles, it is acknowledged and accepted that what causes harm in tobacco use is the combustion of leaf tobacco and the chemical reactions of the additives that form the negative health effects of tobacco.
● The WHO FCTC approach to smoke-free alternatives is not only outdated but is making fertile ground to create an even more insidious and very real public health crisis.
● With a global black market there will be negative consequences that may well include a global NCD epidemic of illnesses and deaths.
● It is a violation of the human rights of all smokers and current users of safer nicotine products, to ban or restrict access to these products and it goes against the mandate of the WHO FCTC Article 1 clearly outlines a two-pronged approach to the global tobacco crisis that includes a harm reduction approach.
It is criminal to allow a product that is known to kill people with certainty to be sold liberally on the free market and ban or restrict access to safer alternatives for adults who smoke.
If you believe in this declaration as fervently as we do here at CAPHRA, please show your support and complete the form below. Your information will NOT be used for any other purpose other than to show your support, and others like you, for THR and the principles that will be highlighted at the AHRF.