The U.K. Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) will host a discussion today on the impact of the World Health Organization’s ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 21 in the Netherlands.
The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the FCTC, where all parties to the FCTC meet biennially to review the implementation of the convention and adopt the new guidance. For the first time since leaving the European Union, in November 2021, the U.K. will send a delegation to the COP.
According to the IEA, COP9 poses a significant threat to the U.K.’s approach to harm reduction policy. “The WHO is increasingly, and against the clear evidence, positioning itself as an enemy of vaping,” the think tank states on its website. “The U.K. is a world leader in tobacco harm reduction, and a significant reason for this is our comparatively liberal approach to vaping products and e-cigarettes.”
Participants in the IEA forum will discuss who represents the U.K. at COP, how decisions are reached, the impact of these decisions on the U.K.’s harm reduction progress and the country’s 2030 smoke-free target, among other topics.
Speakers includes IEA Director General Mark Littlewood (chair), Matt Ridley (vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping), Christopher Snowdon (IEA head of lifestyle economics) and Louis Houlbrooke (NZ Taxpayers Union).
The discussion can be followed live on the screen or here.