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Dive into a world of impactful insights as we unpack the most compelling takeawys from the first quarter of 2024 GFN News!


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Clive Bates: Well, it's quite possible that the UK wanted to get its decisions out before COP10 so it could discuss them at COP10. I mean, many of the delegates at COP10 and the WHO will welcome any sense in which the UK has reversed its pro-harm reduction policy, because in many ways the UK was seen as a holdout against the WHO orthodoxy which is fundamentally wrong and flawed right from top to bottom. But what this will allow them to do is to have a much more comfortable COP, where it looks as though everybody's coming on site to decide that vaping is generally not a good thing or it comes with all these unwanted risks.

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Brent Stafford: Janine, do you think tobacco control has become the new Big Tobacco?

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Janine Timmons: I will speak to what I said earlier. Where's the parade? There's no celebration that so many people are quitting smoking by vaping. There's not a parade. There's not a tuba. There's no confetti. There's nothing. In fact, they just continue to dig to try to find the worst thing possible, which tells me... At first I have to sit back and think, well, why are they doing this? Oh, because if there's no smoking, they've done their job. Pat yourself on the back. You've done an amazing job. And take credit where credit is due and move on. But they're not.

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Nancy Loucas: Where does one start when thinking about COP 10? We, as a whole, people who are harm reduction advocates, the main issues were postponed to 2025. That's good. But watching that and seeing the way those people at the dais were responding to countries that wanted to discuss harm reduction and wanted to promote it, that was very disheartening and it made me angry. Honestly, it made me angry because harm reduction is intrinsically part of what they're supposed to be doing.

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Martin Cullip: Nicotine for some reason there's this stigma around it and that that's where the the the whole thing seems to fall apart if they could realize there are different ways of just prescription products from from helping you to quit smoking and if you continue to use nicotine it's not really that much of much of a big thing if they could get that into theirs it should be a simple enough concept but it seems that politicians don't understand it but if they could just get that concept into their heads then perhaps we could have many more countries that embrace reducerous products. I mean, we're seeing in the EU that the Netherlands and Belgium, I think, are planning to ban nicotine pouches. And yet they're foregoing a very good opportunity to help more smokers quit. Sweden recognizes that and it did very well in 1995 to make sure that it didn't have to fall into EU prohibitions on those products because it's a natural experiment across Europe and Sweden is winning by a country mile. Why other countries don't understand this, I don't know.

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Arielle Selya: So if you look at trends of youth smoking, young adult smoking, even older adult smoking, smoking is declining faster than we would have expected 10 years ago. And so that's a huge effect. Anything that reduces smoking rates is definitely a win for public health. It's hard to exactly attribute that to e-cigarette use. It could be due to other tobacco control efforts, but consistently in the US and in several other countries across different regulatory environments, what we see is that in the groups that are uptaking e-cigarette use the most, they have the largest declines in smoking to the extent that it's sort of unprecedented in many cases.