ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL HARM REDUCTION 2018 MANIFESTO

INNCO’s Asia-Pacific Member Organisations have created and released their 2018 Harm Reduction Manifesto which aims to provide their members, public health and regulatory authorities with consistent information, guidelines and robust, honest evidence on safer nicotine products and the principles of tobacco risk
reduction.

There are currently six INNCO member organisations in the AP Region representing Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippine’s, India, Australia and New Zealand with Indonesia and Singapore, hopefully, joining shortly. These organisations held their inaugural regional meeting in Bangkok in December 2017 to discuss regional issues and devise a coherent strategy on how best to address the problems of misinformation that are being used to justify restrictions and draconian legislation on safer nicotine products such as Electronic Liquid Vapourisers (ELV’s), and Snus. This document, borne of that meeting – outlines, explores and challenges the prevailing unfavourable dialogue from government health ministries, public health “experts” and WHO
FCTC delegates regarding safer nicotine products.

Government’s policy on tobacco harm reduction in the Asia Pacific region continues to been the focus of international news stories on an almost daily basis. At the end of January in Malaysia, pharmaceutical enforcement officers and police swooped on virtually every independent vaping supplier in Malaysia seizing e-liquid containing nicotine and business records of vendors, in a seeming pre-election show of “authority”. As of the 1st of February a new Tobacco Act came into force in Singapore which bans the use of ELV’s and, in Thailand, government officials have have recently stepped up airport searches, both at arrivals and departures – confiscating vaping equipment and vapers facing possible arrest. Singapore, Taiwan and India are all moving closer to imposing a total ban and despite listening to evidence from the world’s foremost experts, and the Australian Minister of Health decided to ignore their advice and maintain the current ban on nicotine in e-liquid.

INNCO’s Asia Pacific organisations have decided to address the issues and arguments with a scientific, evidence based approach in order to open up dialogue in the region, and hopefully, allow dialogue to begin (or continue) in the region towards proactive, harm reduction-based policies and codes of practice in the region. This document can be found on our website: INNCO Asia Pacific Harm Reduction 2018.

Click here to download a pdf of this press release