The GFN, first held in 2014, focuses on the impact of new nicotine delivery systems and lower-risk alternatives on nicotine science, public understanding, and regulatory landscape. The conference, held annually since 2014, focuses on "Tobacco Harm Reduction – Here for Good" and covers topics like misinformation, tobacco industry transformation, and regulation's role in tackling smoking. It features discussion panels, a film festival, and a keynote address by Michael Russell Oration. The forum encourages debate and exchange on contentious issues, but requires participants from smoke shop and vape shop to obtain express permission and informed consent before collecting data.
Consumers Gather at a Conference
At the Global Forum on Nicotine in Poland, consumers and vape advocates discussed the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and new solutions urgently needed to tackle smoking worldwide. The outcome is uncertain, but vapers have a significant role to play and advocacy with their political representatives is essential.
- banning open system vaping products,
- e-liquid flavours except tobacco, and
- nicotine salts in eliquid vaping products.
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The WHO also demands that countries treat vaping and heated tobacco products the same as combustible tobacco. The proposal also includes taxation at the same rate as cigarettes, banning smoking-related use, placing graphic health warnings on packaging, adopting plain packaging, and banning vape advertising, promotion, and sponsorships.
What ensued was a combination of hope mixed with a sense of a key battle in the war. An overpowering sense is that this is going to be a key battle, a Custer’s Last Stand, a Light Brigade charge, a final assault on the Death Star, or even Peter Griffen vs. the chicken. What isn’t clear is whether advocates and vapers will be left on the winning or losing side.
It’s easy to paint the WHO and Michael Bloomberg as the Nazis manning the emplacements at Normandy with their lies and misinformation, and the consumer advocacy organisations acting as the combined forces of the Axis powers, storming the beaches with evidence and facts.
If there’s one thing we can take from recent history it’s that the good guy doesn’t always win. And, pushing film analogies to the point of tears, The Empire Strikes Back culminates with Dark Bloomberg on top and the Rebel Alliance in tatters – the end of Avengers Infinity War has Thanos Bloomberg clicking his fingers.
The World Health Organisation's Pyrrhic victory may be a Pyrrhic victory, as lying and wreaking havoc on officials' confidence could ultimately leave the organization mortally wounded. This raises questions about whether the organization's future could be a return to the Jedi or an Avengers Endgame.
What are our chances?
The Philippines' experience of Bloomberg entities attempting to bribe officials into anti-harm reduction legislation was revealed, but was eventually undone by advocates and consumers. Politicians were influenced by evidence in favour of vaping.
Organisations may be barred from observing the COP proceedings, but they will still attend and urge governments to include consumers in their delegations.
Independent experts in tobacco harm reduction can remind conference parties of their commitment to the FCTC and inform them about the scientific evidence. The voice of vapers is crucial, and must be heard by local politicians and the government.
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If you want to know what you can do, read the article Consumers Issued A Call To Action about the New Nicotine Alliance's appeal.Vape shops near me - look no further we have it all.