Monday, October 8, 2018

When the New York Times reports about COP8

Sheila Kaplan wrote for the New York Times a long article about what happened at COP8. She mentions "many delegates interviewed at the convention' but she omits to say that the press (including herself) was evicted from the said convention at the very beginning when a proposal by the Canadian delegation to have the sessions open to the press and interested observers was voted down in favor of a complete closed doors policy, except for two press conferences. Apparently, she took no offense at being evicted that way and did not consider it important enough to be shared with the readers of the NYT. The unintended consequence of this lack of access seems to be that she reported a lot about the events organized by big tobacco companies outside of the conference center. I found regrettable that she did not devote more than a few lines (and no link) to the long document No fire, no smoke, the global state of tobacco harm reduction, to sort of dismiss it right away as some sort of PR production paid by Philip Morris:
"A group of people stood outside the convention hall handing out a glossy report titled “No Fire, No Smoke: Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction.” It was written by Knowledge-Action-Change, an organization that receives funding from the Philip Morris Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Its message: There is “a third way beyond quit or die.”
I suggest that you watch on YouTube the report given by the vaper advocates of INNCO who were also prevented to attend. They take very seriously the possibility to access e-cigs and other alternate nicotine delivery tools because they do believe, from personal experience, they can improve their health and maybe save their lives by providing them with a way to quit smoking combustibles. 
I have asked Health Canada for the text of the proposal by the Canadian delegation to have the sessions open to the media and the public and the arguments presented to refuse it.
My kudos to them for being the only ones to stand up for transparency and freedom of information, freedom of the press, guaranteed by the article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see the interpretation by UNESCO). The World Health Organization seems to have a very different conception of the right to free information.

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