Vapour products association shines spotlight on ninth conference of the parties

Vapour products association shines spotlight on ninth conference of the parties
Vapour products association shines spotlight on ninth conference of the parties
  • VPASA to hold webinar to discuss COP9 concerns
  • Association highlights the WHO’s dictatorial tobacco control policies


Ahead of the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) will be hosting a webinar to highlight the industry’s position on topics that will be covered at the conference.

“The Conference of the Parties is an extremely important event in that it will ultimately decide on wide-sweeping regulations for the vapour products industry. Despite this, the industry has no involvement whatsoever in discussions or decisions,” says Asanda Gocyi, CEO of VPASA.

“The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention and all countries who are ratified to the Convention will be required to implement the decisions on domestic legislation that will be taken.”

Along with many other associations on harm reduction and tobacco control, VPASA has concerns about the WHO’s decision-making process when it comes to tobacco control policies, specifically where it applies to harm-reduced alternatives such as electronic vapour products (EVPs) and electronic nicotine delivery systems/electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS) that are not tobacco products. Currently, the WHO’s position on EVPs and ENDS/ENNDS is similar to that of tobacco products, which, say harm reduction experts, fails to understand the risk-reduced benefits of the former.

As such, VPASA will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, 2 November, ahead of the COP9, which takes place from 8 to 13 November in Geneva, Switzerland. The webinar will host leading independent experts in the fields of health and public policy, such as Health Professions Council of South Africa President Dr Kgosi Letlape, UKVIA Director John Dunne and New Zealand behavioural scientist Dr Marewa Glover. Topics that will be discussed include:

  • WHO’s decision-making process,
  • South Africa’s adoption of WHO’s position without interrogation,
  • The need to ensure extensive engagement with all parties related to EVPs and ENDS/ENNDS and who will be affected by vaping regulations,
  • Why the needs of vapers and smokers must be prioritised, and
  • What the WHO’s regulations could mean in terms of South Africa’s own supreme law, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

“This webinar will further open discussions on the pitfalls of unfairly concluded international treaties for domestic policies while bringing attention to best practice from across the world, which has proven successful and could work in South Africa,” concludes Gcoyi.

To register for the webinar on Tuesday, 2 November, click here.