Two United Nations Conferences of Parties (COP) took place last week—both with the ostensible goal of saving lives. But the contrast couldn’t be starker. While COP 26 involved myriad relevant stakeholders and focused on transparency in seeking to address the climate crisis, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) COP 9, meant to address smoking-related harms, ended up once again being closed to the public, with any dissenting opinions excluded.
This is a massive problem, because COP 9’s recommendations—which on this occasion included pledging millions to strengthen traditional tobacco control measures—affect millions of people. [...]