Experts and consumers gathered in Seoul last week to discuss risk-proportionate regulation in the region at the third Asia Harm Reduction Forum. The meeting was organised by Korean and Indonesian organisations; Korea Harm Reduction Association and Yayasan Pemerhati Kesehatan Publik (YPKP) Indonesia.
The Seoul Declaration calls on the Philippines, India and Thailand to move toward sensible regulation of E-cigarettes, heat-not-burn (HNB) tobacco, and snus. Currently vaping is essentially banned in Thailand, while India is set to move to a full ban in a matter of days and regulations in the Philippines are extremely onerous.
Hundreds signed the declaration which says: “Burning tobacco is the main cause of smoking-related diseases, not nicotine or inhaling vapor. Tobacco use causes at least one million deaths per year in the Philippines, and smoking causes the majority. E-cigarettes provide smokers with an option to get away from smoking and could hasten the demise of the cigarette. We should all want to see that”.
And also stated that: “Vaping is not smoking. It uses electronic devices to generate a nicotine-containing vapor without burning tobacco. Public Health England’s annual reviews of all available evidence have consistently concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95-percent less harmful than smoking. Millions of people have switched from cigarettes to these significantly safer products. Governments charged with protecting public health should welcome that, not discourage it.”