Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

November 9, 2020
A Call for Human Rights in Tobacco Harm Reduction: Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Foundation for Consumer Freedom Advancement (FCFA) is proud to join hands with a coalition of organizations dedicated to promoting a sensible policy approach to the global smoking issue. Together, we have penned an open letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Volker Türk, in light of the upcoming Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Our collective message emphasizes the undeniable human right to health, highlighting the urgent need for adult smokers to have access to safer alternatives. This aligns with the right to information, allowing individuals to make informed choices for their health. The letter insists that harm reduction strategies must be recognized as a cornerstone of this right, just as they are in drug policy.

Learning from Sweden’s Success:

We draw attention to Sweden’s successful harm reduction approach, which has led to one of the lowest smoking prevalence rates in the world. Unlike punitive or restrictive models, Sweden’s strategy empowers individuals through access to safer nicotine products and accurate information, demonstrating a marked decline in tobacco-related diseases.

We urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to:

– Advocate for harm reduction in relation to smoking as a legitimate strategy within the WHO FCTC.

– Prompt the WHO to reassess its stance on safer alternative nicotine products based on emerging scientific evidence.

– Support UN member states in adopting harm reduction policies consistent with the Right to Health.

– Facilitate the inclusion of consumer groups’ voices and experiences in the COP10 discussion.

– Ensure representation from the UN Human Rights Office at the WHO FCTC’s COP10.

This open letter is more than just a document—it is a catalyst for change. The FCFA invites you to become a part of this vital conversation. By understanding and sharing this message, you contribute to a future where public health and human rights go hand in hand.

Read the Full Open Letter

We believe that informed debate and public engagement are key to effecting positive change. Read the letter, share it within your network, and join us in advocating for a sensible, rights-based approach to tobacco harm reduction. 

Together, we can safeguard the Right to Health for smokers worldwide and strive towards a future where choices and health are in the hands of individuals, not constrained by inadequate policies.

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