The Philippines Department of Health made it clear it wants to disassociate itself from the delegation.
Basing its arguments on sound scientific data, the Philippine delegation described vaping and heated tobacco products as “salutary” and “source of good” during the recent 9th Conference of Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Leading the panel of Philippine officials, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called on the World Health Organization “to regain the momentum” of tobacco control and consider “evolving and latest scientific information” in solving the global smoking epidemic.

However, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) was horrified and said that “there is no good in tobacco” and that “giving misleading information that dilutes the risks of tobacco products and undue recognition to tobacco industries, including those of vapor products and heated tobacco products, is harmful.”

“The statements made by the Philippine delegation negate the very principles of the WHO FCTC and undermine the progress the Philippines has made to curb tobacco use,” added the DOH, whilst making it clear that it wants to disassociate itself from the delegation.

COP9 key moments analyzed during a post-sCOPe discussion

Meanwhile world praise from Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates and vapers continues for the brave Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary and his team. “We salute his bravery at COP9 for promoting the Philippines’ balanced and evidence-based approach to safer nicotine products. 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,” said president of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, Peter Dator.

Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates), Nancy Loucas, said that witnessing the global vaping community voicing its strong support towards Locsin has been rewarding. “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 said.

Secretary Locsin’s speech at COP9 and other key moments have been analyzed during a post-sCOPe wrap-up and discussion, which was broadcast at from 6.00pm (Hong Kong Time) or 10.00am (GMT) on Wednesday, 17th November.

The WHO Can’t Afford to Get Wrong Again – Yet It Is!

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.