Praise from Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates and vapers worldwide continues for Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr, who recently told online delegates at COP9 – a key international tobacco control conference hosted by the World Health Organization – they must consider ‘evolving and latest scientific information’ if the global smoking problem is to be solved.
“We salute his bravery at COP9 for promoting the Philippines’ balanced and evidence-based approach to safer nicotine products,” says Peter Dator, president of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member. “Opponents and officials have since done their best to discredit Secretary Locsin and disrespect our country’s democracy and sovereignty, but they have failed badly.”
Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates), says it’s pleasing to see top Filipino politicians rally around Secretary Locsin, with the global vaping community also voicing its strong support via social media.
“In a world where smoking causes eight million deaths every year, Secretary Locsin has done everyone a huge favour. Telling COP9 about the success of ‘far less harmful novel tobacco products’ and the Philippine Government’s political support for them was music to the ears of the millions who’ve successful quit deadly cigarettes, via vaping,” she says.
During COP9 – the 9th Conference of Parties for the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – Ms Loucas organised a global livestream, featuring world-leading THR experts and consumer advocates.
Dubbed sCOPe, the five-day YouTube simulcast attracted a significant audience globally, adding to the increasing pressure on the WHO to embrace safer nicotine products, rather than pushing to ban them.
“How can we trust the WHO and the FCTC when they are afraid of science? In this age of fake news and alternative facts, it is important for governments to take a stand for the facts and know how to sift through the propaganda. This is what Secretary Locsin did at COP9, and I join the Philippine Cabinet and Congress in commending his actions,” says Mr Dator.
To view Mr Dator’s message to COP9 delegates visit: https://youtu.be/g0pYPmRXxM8
Secretary Locsin’s speech at COP9 and other key moments will be analysed during a post-sCOPe wrap-up and discussion. sCOPe’s COP9 awards will also announced. It will be broadcast at https://bit.ly/30v701b from 6pm (Hong Kong Time) or 10am (GMT) on Wednesday, 17 November.
CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org, and add to the more than 14,000 testimonials available.
For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit