INNCO is a non-profit alliance of 32 independent volunteer-led Member Organisations worldwide.
The International Network of Nicotine Consumers Organisations (INNCO) was given approval to become established following a majority vote at a meeting of national consumer advocacy groups during a tobacco harm reduction conference in 2016. The intention was to create a global movement for tobacco harm reduction and ensure that the people who speak for the rights of harm reduction have a seat at the table in global forums on tobacco and nicotine usage. Our role is to encourage and enable support and cooperation across our network around the world, together with engaging in targeted national and regional-level projects to significantly reduce the number of people who die from smoking-related illnesses.
INNCO was formally registered in Sweden as a non-profit organisation in July 2016, and currently established in Switzerland and Denmark as a non-profit organisation.
INNCO is focused on empowering consumers of low-risk alternative nicotine products, through its member organisations, utilising research, education and advocacy, so they can be actively engaged in the pursuit of tobacco harm reduction worldwide.
- That we are recognised as legitimate stakeholders to be consulted in the formulation of any policies, laws, and regulations which impact on the modification, availability, taxation, or prohibition of low- risk forms of nicotine.
- Promote a globally accepted framework which acknowledges the public health benefits of low-risk forms of nicotine use based on evidence-based quantitative and qualitative science that is the foundation for risk-proportionate public health policies involving alternative nicotine products and their consumers.
- Shape public guidance and advice on the comparative risks of safer alternative nicotine use to ensure this is aligned with the principles of harm reduction.
- Work cooperatively with others to further global efforts towards the adoption of rights-based, risk-relative and balanced harm reduction strategies as a legitimate human right in a broader context.
Why our Work Matters
We are a global community of people who have switched from using combustible and other dangerous forms of tobacco to using safer nicotine products (SNPs) and are passionate in their belief in enabling people who smoke to have affordable access to SNPs and accurate scientific information on their use. We defend the rights of 110+ million consumers of safer nicotine products and 1.3 billion people, a significant number of whom live in LMIC countries, who are currently using toxic tobacco products. We believe adults who smoke or consume tobacco in one form or another and have been unable or unwilling to quit deserve to know the truth about tobacco harm reduction.Safer alternatives include nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, prescription inhalers, pouches, nicotine vapes, snus, and heated tobacco products.
Almost all of us have lost a loved one to smoking. Each of us have experienced significant health improvements when we stopped smoking and switched to safer nicotine alternatives. This is neither a game nor a personal affectation. Access to harm reduction is a human right, a social justice imperative, and an issue of life or death.
We therefore consider it imperative that all global discussions centred on the regulation and public information regarding SNPs should include the people who use them — We deserve to be consulted and heard. We demand that our experiences are validated. Nothing about us – without us!
About our Funding
INNCO’s Secretariat (but not our Member Organizations nor Governing Board) is supported by a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), which was established two years after INNCO. FSFW is a US non-profit 501(c)(3) private foundation with a mission to end smoking in this generation. FSFW accepts charitable gifts from PMI Global Services Inc. (PMI). Under FSFW’s Bylaws and Pledge Agreement with PMI, FSFW is independent from PMI.
In addition to the FSFW grant we have also received in-kind contributions and small donations from individuals who share our common goals.
Background – how our funding works
After e-cigarettes had been in the market for almost ten years, with increasing success, this consumer-driven technology became an investment opportunity for tobacco companies. Because of this, several began acquiring previously independent e-cigarette companies to their portfolio. As a result of this venture, tobacco companies focused their efforts on migrating to what became scientifically proven a harm reduction approach which could potentially replace their business and cause a drastically reduced burden to public health.
When the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World was created in 2017, INNCO and consumer advocates applauded the reality that a tobacco company had finally realised that they had a social responsibility and was willing to fund efforts to counter the significant public health burden of combustible tobacco.
The decision to accept funding support from FSFW was approved in 2018 and again in 2019 following a majority vote at the General Assembly of INNCO member organisations in Warsaw. Prior to accepting the grant, our Governing Board and Secretariat conducted a verification process and were satisfied that the Foundation had incorporated robust safeguards to maintain full autonomy from their funders.
We established that acceptance of funding from FSFW did not contravene WHO-FCTC guidelines — FSFW’s 501(c)3 status and the pledge between FSFW and PMI precluded this. We do not believe that the arrangement creates a conflict of interest because neither our Governing Board nor member-organisations are direct financial recipients. INNCOs Governing Board is directly responsible for overseeing and directing the activities of INNCO’s secretariat – significant projects and expenditure must first receive the approval of the General Assembly.
We accepted funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World because we fundamentally agree with the Foundation’s purpose and mission statement and considered that doing so would be of real benefit to our organisation. The FSFW grant has been integral in developing INNCO into a professional global organisation. We have had great success over the last 4 years in spreading knowledge and disseminating balanced science in an increasingly hostile nicotine harm reduction related environment.
INNCO is entirely independent of its funders and is transparent about funding. Our mission, purpose, and goals are driven solely by our Members and our Governing Board.