COP10, the key tobacco control meeting, is postponed to 2024 due to security issues in Panama. This gives snus and nicotine alternative advocates a chance to influence global tobacco policies.
The biennial gathering of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) member states, known as COP 10, has been unexpectedly rescheduled to 2024. But the reasons are not related to tobacco or smoking. Originally planned for November 20-25, 2023, in Panama, the postponement is due to security concerns in the host country. This includes political unrest and allegations of corruption within the organizing consortium.
COP meetings: an arena for policy making and advocacy
COP meetings, characterized by their closed-door nature, are pivotal in shaping global tobacco policies. The 183 Parties to the FCTC align their national laws and regulations with the decisions made at these meetings. Notably, the United States, while not a signatory to the FCTC, participates in the COP meetings as an observer.
Anticipating the agenda: focus on nicotine products
The previous meeting, COP9, was conducted virtually in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key discussions on vapes and other low-risk nicotine products, which were deferred from COP9, are now expected to be central to the agenda of COP10. Anticipated policy proposals at COP 10 are expected to focus on broad nicotine product regulations. This could significantly impact products like snus and nicotine pouches.
COP10 – a challenge for snus advocacy and representation
The FCTC Secretariat’s practice of granting observer status predominantly to anti-tobacco organizations has historically influenced the development of restrictive policies. This approach often overlooks the perspectives of nicotine consumer groups. This includes advocates and users of snus and nicotine pouches.
Snusforumet’s role in global tobacco policy
For Snusforumet and its community, this exclusion from policy discussions at COP 10 underscores the need for increased advocacy and representation. It highlights the importance of ensuring that the voices of snus and nicotine pouch users are heard and considered in the global dialogue on tobacco and nicotine policy.
Seizing the moment for snus advocacy in 2024
For Snusforumet, the postponement of COP10 represents a crucial opportunity. The new dates for COP10 in 2024 are yet to be confirmed. This time can be utilized to prepare and strategize effective advocacy for snus and other reduced-harm nicotine products. The delay also presents a window to engage more actively with policymakers and stakeholders. This highlights the role of snus in harm reduction and public health.
“The COP10 delay to 2024 is a key moment for promoting snus and nicotine pouches globally. Our success in Sweden shows they reduce smoking. We’ll use this time to strengthen our case for snus as a safer choice in tobacco policies,” says Patrik Strömer, Head of Swedish Snus Manufacturers