COP8 fails to bring parties together on the crucial risk/benefit question

COP8 closed its doors in Geneva with governments struggling to regulate e-cigarettes due to the lack of scientific proof on potential risks or benefits.

Some delegates to the eighth Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) expressed the view that vaping products are less risky than traditional cigarettes and that the WHO should release more evidence.

Collectively, the 181 parties demanded sound scientific evidence about the safety of e-cigs – which the WHO tends lumps together with traditional cigarettes in its recommendations – so they know how to move forward with future policies. Some said national governments rather than intergovernmental bodies should develop measures to ban or regulate novel products and delivery systems.

A lack of consensus killed off a proposed amendment for regulatory frameworks on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship to cover all tobacco products, including heat-not-burn (HnB) devices and e-cigarettes.

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