“September marks the start of the secret season which sadly sees supposed ‘tobacco control experts’ playing up to their puppet masters and denying Asia Pacific’s 600 million smokers’ access to safer nicotine products,” said CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas.
Held earlier this month, the 13th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (APACT) held a line up of speakers renowned for their irrational stance on THR. “APACT has wheeled out a totally predictable programme and line up of speakers who share an irrational and untenable position against safer nicotine products such as vaping. Also, in common is that many, if not most, are longtime Bloomberg grant recipients or indirect beneficiaries. Preaching to themselves in their echo chamber, they continue to ignore all the science and the harm they are causing consumers,” explained Loucas.
While currently, from the 6th to the 10th September, the World Health Organization’s South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) is holding its regional online conference, with the Western Pacific for their Regional Office (WPRO) following suit between the 25th and the 29th October.
The Asia Pacific Declaration
To this effect, the 11 member organisations of CAPHRA have now signed The Asia Pacific Declaration, This calls upon public health experts and governments in Asia coming from WHO SEARO and WHO WPRO designated countries, urging them to prioritize public health over funds.
‘We are extremely concerned that decisions are being made in various conferences and regional meetings that are not considering the body of scientific evidence that proves the benefits of safer nicotine products’, reads the Asia Pacific Declaration.
Funding towards anti-vaping lobbying exposed
Meanwhile, research by CAPHRA in the Philippines, has just exposed the funding of lobbying to ban vaping by foreign Non-Government Organizations, such as anti-tobacco Bloomberg and Gates foundations.
Similarly, a recent investigation report by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability in the Philippines, on the questionable funding to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from Bloomberg, called for a full-blown investigation to determine the extent of Bloomberg foundations’ interference.
While, a broader inquiry issued by the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping Inquiry (APPG) earlier this year, criticized anti-vaping groups funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, for striving to stunt tobacco harm reduction (THR) strategies in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).