COP10 Panama Threatens Vaping Once Again

COP10 Panama is approaching. The event is another fortunate opportunity for the average Joe to fund our technocratic overlord’s never-ending appetite for lavish dinners, five-star hotels, and obstructing harm-reduction products that could save millions of lives.

With the provisional agendas released, it’s time to look on with horror at what the World Health Organization (WHO) has planned 

What is the WHO FCTC, and what is COP10?

WHO FCTC stands for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. For anyone in the dark, it’s basically a way for the international community to tackle problems associated with smoking around the world.

COP stands for Conference of the Parties. In this context, the “Parties” are countries signed up to the WHO FCTC directives. These directives influence regulations and programs to help governments battle smoking.

The above is a gross simplification of a complex mix of bodies that influence national tobacco control policy. If you want to take a deep dive into FCTC and COP10, the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) has a comprehensive explainer that you can read here.

What is up for discussion at COP10

COP10 takes place in Panama City, Panama, between the 20th and 25th of November. It’s worth mentioning that the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) follows shortly after (the 27th to the 30th) in the same place. The MOP3 is focused on the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

Here are copies of each provisional agenda:

The agendas don’t provide direct information on what is up for discussion. For that, you have to track down the various referenced documents. However, one thing is for sure: The WHO’s demented agenda against alternatives to cigarettes will continue. 

An excellent document by the New Nicotine Alliance underlines some of the liberties the WHO wants to take. 

A few of the proposed bans under discussion at COP10 include the following:

  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), i.e., most e-cigarettes
  • E-liquid flavours, except for tobacco
  • E-cigarettes with adjustable voltages
  • Restricting or banning nic salts

The proposals are both absurd and terrifying. But it actually gets worse and more dangerous. The WHO is also planning an Orwellian language war to help them in their insane quest to reduce access to harm-reduction products.

They want to

A) Redefine vapour as smoke so that they can regulate vaping like cigarettes.

B) Pretend that switching to safer, healthier alternative tobacco choices is not the same as quitting cigarettes.

These measures are scarcely believable. I implore you to read the document for yourself. The New Nicotine Alliance has come with receipts so you can track down which COP10 reports and documents contain this war on not just vapers but language itself. 

Other problems with COP10

That’s all bad enough, but there are bigger problems with COP10 that we need to talk about. For starters, the decisions made around the table are highly influential on smoking policy. In short, they affect smokers all around the world. 

Despite this, press accreditation is really hard to get. It requires a 60-day application alongside proof of no connection with the tobacco industry or related groups. So that rules out a lot of people with a strict interest in harm reduction.

What’s more, even NGOs have trouble getting access unless they have a track record of whistling the WHO’s discordant tune. 

How are harm reduction advocacy groups meant to have a say? How are members of the public meant to know what’s being decided for them? How can the press hold these unelected delegations to account? Is this the democracy I’m always hearing about?

The contradictions at the heart of COP10

Perhaps the most egregious element of COP10 is the thinly veiled contempt these “representatives” have for the ordinary person. They prance around cosplaying as evidence-based purveyors of democracy. But they wall off the meeting because they’re paranoid that anyone with a commercial interest in tobacco or nicotine might be able to counter the myths, half-truths, and nanny-state anti-science agenda they’re pushing.

And yet, when it comes to the crunch, the WHO takes money from Michael Bloomberg to promote his bizarre Puritan ideology that essentially suggests that people are too stupid to take care of themselves or to make good decisions.  If they cared about us, or public health, they wouldn’t be obstructing harm reduction products based on their paymaster’s prejudices. 

Never forget that these people do not care about or represent us. They don’t care about science, democracy, or representation. They’re not interested in our opinions or stories about how alternative nicotine products have helped us live healthier lives. And they don’t care that smoking-related illness disproportionately affects the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. 

They see us as children who can’t be trusted to make decisions about our health. We can’t let them get away with it. Take the time to write to your representative to make your voice heard.