Greek Cardiologist Konstantinos Farsalinos (December 2016).

Premiered on CAPHRA’s (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/caphraorg, and headlined “The battle between innovation and bully tactics,” the international panel explored the unfortunate global web of anti-vape lies.

TAV 7 was led by Farsalinos but encouraged viewers to interact and ask questions. In a release ahead of the event, CAPHRA’s Executive Coordinator, Nancy Loucas, said that the aim of the event was to uncover the truth. “Billionaire philanthropists are using their money to influence the World Health Organisation (WHO) – and in turn governments who rely on their guidance regarding tobacco policies. It’s a sophisticated global web of lies. Dr Farsalinos and the TAV panel will uncover the truth.”

She added that corrupting the public and academic narrative through funding research and influencing the media is unacceptable. “To think that vaping – the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool – is being demonised in such a systematic, global way needs to be fully exposed,” said Loucas.

Philanthropic colonialism

Similarly, earlier this year CAPHRA warned Asian countries against “philanthropic colonialism” by western charities like Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which are pouring millions of dollars towards initiatives that aim to discredit tobacco harm reduction.

The phenomenon was brought to the forefront by last year’s Bloomberg case, when two members of the Philippine House of Representatives were forced to suspend public consultations on vaping and heated tobacco products, due to the Philippines FDA accepting a grant from the Union and Bloomberg Initiative.

“The Union co-manages the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program, which awards funds to projects delivering high-impact tobacco control interventions in low- and middle-income countries,” said Rep. Estrellita Suansing, during a virtual consultations’ session, which took place on October 8th 2020.

The TAV 7 panel included leading Asia Pacific THR consumer advocates: Asa Saligupta (Director of ECST – ENDs Cigarette Smoke Thailand, Mirza Abeer (Director of ASAP Pakistan – Association for Smoking Alternatives in Pakistan), and media expert Jena Fetalino (Director of JFPR Philippines).

Experts Warn Asian Leaders Against WHO’s Misguided Vaping Guidance

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.