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Vaping advocates sign Manila Declaration

Leading Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates from around the world have signed and released ‘The Manila Declaration 2022’.

The declaration aims to provide information and evidence that has not been included in any guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to signatories and delegates of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on safer nicotine products.

With only one year to go until COP10, the signatories demand the WHO FCTC and its country delegates follow the science and evidence around THR.

The Manila Declaration makes clear that consumers continue to be marginalised, ignored, denigrated, and attacked, with their choices restricted and rights denied, negatively impacting their health and lives.

It states that safer nicotine product consumers, and those currently smoking, ought to be the principal beneficiaries of enlightened, science-based regulatory frameworks, allowing them to access life-saving technologies.

The signatories declare that: ‘An individual’s right to health is recognised as a fundamental human right; Smoking causes the vast majority of tobacco-related death and disease; Vaping is dramatically safer than cigarettes and has helped millions quit smoking; Harm reduction is at the core of international treaty obligations; Bans serve only to protect the cigarette industry; and that public health and governments’ credibility is at stake’.

It concludes that ‘it is criminal to allow a product that is known to kill people with certainty to be sold liberally on the free market, and ban or restrict safer alternatives for adults who smoke.’

In November 2023, Panama will host WHO’s 10th FCTC Conference of Parties (COP10). The key global meeting will see delegates discuss and make recommendations on safer nicotine products.

The Manila Declaration was signed and released after the Fifth Asia Harm Reduction Forum (AHRF 2022) on 28 October in the Philippines. To view it, visit:

“Advocates are more determined than ever to ensure the proven THR approach to tobacco control is adopted by more countries. The Philippines has recently lifted its vaping ban and other Asian countries are set to follow, but we’ve got to keep the pressure on. Cigarettes cannot win,” says Nancy Loucas,Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates).

Nearly eight hours of forum footage is now available on the AHRF 2022 YouTube channel at:

About AHRF 2022

The Asia Harm Reduction Forum is a non-profit and interdisciplinary organisation that empowers and enjoins individuals, communities, and the government to make informed health-related decisions through accessible information, engaging discussions, and a supportive environment. Its mission is the promotion and protection of overall public well-being by encouraging the integration of harm reduction in the creation of health policies and programmes.

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