The first virtual Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) hosted talks from health experts and scientists on public health, vaping and tobacco control.
The conference normally takes place in Warsaw, Poland, but this year, organisers were forced to hold the event online due to the ongoing pandemic.
The event focused on the need for the 1.1 billion smokers to gain easier access to safer, regulated nicotine products such as e-cigarettes in an effort to reduce tobacco harm.
Discussions were varied but there were a number of vape-focused talks from professionals such as the impact of the misattribution of the EVALI lung crisis to nicotine vaping instead of illicit THC.
There was also a focus on the moral panic of youth vaping taking priority over the health of a billion adult smokers.
Speaker Professor David Sweanor of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, said:
“Consumers in many countries including Sweden, Norway, Iceland and now Japan have shown they move to alternatives to cigarettes when they get an option to.
“Imagine what would happen if people get access to a broad range of low-risk alternatives to cigarettes, if they get information on relative risk, and if they’re nudged toward those options through intelligent, risk-proportionate regulation?:
“The opportunity we have is to fundamentally change the course of public health history, relegating cigarettes to history’s ashtray.”
Usually, GFN is funded by registration fees but this year the organisers bore the costs operating an open door policy.
Consumers, policymakers, academics, scientists and public health experts all took part alongside manufacturers and distributors of safer nicotine products.
The organisers believe that fostering discussion and engagement from all stakeholders involved in tobacco and nicotine use, control and production it is the best way to enact true, sustainable change both industry practises and public health outcomes.
Videos of discussions are available at GFN2020
Source: Global Forum on Nicotine
Image source: GFN Twitter