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Media – Press Releases – Papers


Global Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates criticise WHO’s exclusionary tactics at COP10
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) issued 24 January 2024  a sharp critique of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) for its exclusion of consumer groups and harm reduction advocates from the Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10). “CAPHRA argues that this exclusionary practice is in stark contrast to the successful, pragmatic approaches of countries like New Zealand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, which have embraced vaping as a harm reduction tool,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.  Read more …

A puff in the wrong direction – Australia’s misguided vape ban
In a controversial move that has left public health advocates and consumers in a cloud of disbelief, the Australian Government has decided to effectively ban vapes, a decision that flies in the face of harm reduction evidence and the rights of smokers seeking safer alternatives. “While the details of the new regulations are shrouded in smoke, reports suggest that Australians may now face up to $150 for a prescription to access vaping products,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA. Read more …


With Nancy Loucas: Policies in New Zealand and Australia
On September 20th, 2023, the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) entered its second day, and 2FIRSTS engaged in a conversation with Nancy Loucas, the Public Health Policy and Executive Coordinator for CAPHRA from New Zealand. Nancy provided an overview of tobacco and e-cigarette regulations in New Zealand and Australia, highlighting the differences in their approaches to issues such as youth smoking rates, new legislation, and the handling of black market tobacco.  Read more …

COP10 delegations must include consumers – CAPHRA
The member organisations of CAPHRA have written to their respective country FCTC delegations attending COP10 asking that each includes at least one consumer of safer nicotine products. COP10 will be held in Panama in November. It is hosted by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). CAPHRA executive co-coordinator Nancy Loucas says: ‘This exclusion of the consumer voice has been one of the main reasons for the misinformation, disinformation and failures of current tobacco control policy around nicotine – including vaping, snus and heated tobacco products.’ Read more …

UK study again proves vaping risks considerably lower
“Another day and another study proves vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking, yet the World Health Organisation continues its anti-vaping campaign at the cost of millions of smokers’ lives,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates). Her comments follow an independent review of scientific evidence out of the United Kingdom which shows vapers are exposed to much lower levels of toxicants, compared to smokers. Read more …

NZ’s smokefree in good hands with new health minister
“The appointment of Dr Ayesha Verrall as New Zealand’s Health Minister is good news for the country’s collective effort to achieve Smokefree Aotearoa 2025,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates). “Dr Verrall understands better than anyone that to eradicate the harm from combustible tobacco, viable safer nicotine products must be available for smokers to successfully make the switch,” says Ms Loucas. Read more …


Doctors’ association side-tracked during smokefree hearings
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) got completely side-tracked when presenting to Parliament’s Health Select Committee on the smokefree bill, says Nancy Loucas co-founder of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).  “Tobacco harm reduction advocates did warn MPs and officials from the outset that some may use the draft smokefree bill to try to relitigate the 2020 vaping legislation. The alarmist rhetoric by RNZCGP’s medical director served little use, did not reflect the facts, and much of his sentiment was well out of scope,” says Ms Loucas. Read more ….

WHO’s vaping Q&A an ‘absolute scandal’ – CAPHRA
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates has described the latest ‘question and answer’ section on the World Health Organization’s international website as an absolute scandal. Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA, says the only thing WHO gets right is spelling out what the acronym ENDS stands for: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. The rest, she says, can be completely quashed by science. Read more

Thailand’s health minister won’t stop legalization of vaping
“Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul may not support the legalization of e-cigarettes, but most politicians and the public do, with legal vape sales only months away,” says Asa Saligupta, Director of ECST (ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand). Mr Saligupta’s comments follow the Public Health Minister publicly claiming his Ministry will not support legalization during a meeting with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth). Read more

Malaysia set to lift ban on e-cigarette sales
Malaysia’s long-time ban on the sale of vaping products is set to end, saving thousands of lives every year, says leading local advocacy group MOVE (Malaysian Organization of Vape Entities).  Taking effect on 3 August, the regulation of vaping devices precedes the imminent legalization of vape sales. It follows years of campaigning by MOVE and other Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) supporters. Read more

Australian election campaign must debate vaping
Australian politicians who recognize the public health potential of vaping will be rewarded with votes, yet most remain too scared to promote the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool, says Nancy Loucas, Executive Co-ordinator of CAPHRA. “Australia’s political leaders need to pull their heads out of the sand,” Ms Loucas says. “Annually over 20,000 Australian smokers die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses and 2.3 million still smoke. Alarmingly, however, nobody wants to seriously fix successive governments’ failure to reduce tobacco harm.” Read more

Key countries refuse to back down against anti-vape philanthropy
It’s incredibly admirable that three key Asia Pacific countries are turning their backs on philanthropic colonialism which has seen too many smokers unnecessarily die over the past decade, says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA. Her comments come as the Philippines awaits presidential approval to regulate vaping while Malaysia and Thailand look to lift their failed vaping bans. Read more

Malaysia’s vaping approval delayed by politics
“Legislation to regulate vaping in Malaysia is pending parliamentary approval but frustratingly will now be delayed due to political instability and election campaigning,” says Samsul Kamal Ariffin, President of MOVE (Malaysian Organization of Vape Entities). “Malaysia’s Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin’s decision to regulate the vape industry is forward looking and highly commendable. Things were looking good but unfortunately the speed at which this bill will be approved is now directly related to what’s going on politically in Malaysia,” says Mr Ariffin. Read more

Survey proves non-smoking youth are not taking up vaping
Smoking among New Zealand’s young teenagers has fallen to its lowest levels in over 20 years, while very few non-smoking students take up vaping, according to a significant survey of secondary school students.  “Vaping rates might be up, but these are overwhelmingly young people who were smoking in the first place,” said Nancy Loucas, CAPHRA’s executive coordinator. Read more

Philippine President must act now & sign pro-vaping act
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates has written to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asking him to urgently sign the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law. Both the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives have ratified the harmonized version of the act which will regulate the use, manufacture, importation, sale, distribution and promotion of vaping and heated tobacco products. It now awaits the president’s signature or veto. Read more

Malaysia’s vaping regulation sends global message – CAPHRA
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health is making good progress, with its imminent legislation to regulate vaping globally important, says the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates. CAPHRA says considerable and effective advocacy from local consumer groups over recent years was key to the Government’s decision last year to legalise liquid nicotine and move forward with regulation. Read more


Advocates announce ‘Good COP, Bad COP’ awards
With the international tobacco control conference COP9 now over, Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates have handed out their ‘Good COP, Bad COP’ awards. The awards follow THR experts and consumer advocates organising a global livestream from 8 to 12 November during COP9 – the 9th Conference of Parties for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Dubbed sCOPe, the round-the-clock YouTube simulcast attracted significant attention, adding to increasing international pressure on the WHO to embrace safer nicotine products, not demonise them. Read more

Vapers praise Filipino Secretary for COP9 comments
Praise from Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates and vapers worldwide continues for Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr,  who recently told online delegates at COP9 – a key international tobacco control conference hosted by the World Health Organization – they must consider ‘evolving and latest scientific information’ if the global smoking problem is to be solved. “We salute his bravery at COP9 for promoting the Philippines’ balanced and evidence-based approach to safer nicotine products,” says Peter Dator, president of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member. “Opponents and officials have since done their best to discredit Secretary Locsin and disrespect our country’s democracy and sovereignty, but they have failed badly.” Read more

International pressure mounts ahead of COP9 conference
Just two weeks out from the World Health Organization’s COP9 conference on tobacco control, pressure is mounting on delegates from 182 member countries to push for a positive stance on Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR). The calls come as a significant round-the-clock global broadcasting event has been announced to take place during COP9. Dubbed ‘sCOPe’, the five-day livestream will see THR experts and consumers, from around the world, challenge and scrutinise the key conference. Read more

Global broadcast to counter secretive WHO conference
A significant round-the-clock global broadcasting event, featuring world-leading Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products, has been announced. Vowing they won’t be silenced, event organisers will broadcast throughout a key World Health Organization (WHO) conference on tobacco control. The Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will run from 8 to 13 November. It will be held online and behind closed doors. Read more

Thai Minister’s support for vaping ‘goes global’
Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, has told his local media that vaping is safer for people trying to quit smoking. He is also looking at ways vaping could be legalised in order to offer a less harmful alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. “Support for the Minister has gone global!” said Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).  “This should be a massive wake-up call for Thailand’s Government. He’s on the side of science and his calls have exposed the fact that Thailand has fallen well behind internationally when it comes to adopting effective Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) policies.” Read more

Survey proves Indian vaping ban a total failure
“This is the most significant independent survey we’ve seen coming out of India since its 2019 vaping ban. It shows an overwhelming call for the Government to lift the ban and regulate access to safer nicotine products,” according to CAPHRA’s Nancy Loucas.  Her comments follow the release of a ‘Survey of Current & Former Smoke-Free Product Users: India’ conducted by Povaddo – a firm specializing in global public opinion research. The survey was commissioned by consumer advocacy group, Fact Asia. Read more

Black Friday: Australia makes smoking so much easier
“Friday, 1 October marks the day deadly cigarettes become a lot easier to obtain in Australia than safer nicotine vaping products,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has expanded its prescription-only model with customs to clamp down at the border. This means no more personal importation of nicotine vaping liquids, via overseas websites, without a doctor’s prescription. Read more

Philippine survey confirms huge support for vaping
“The Philippine Senate will be on the right side of the people when it approves the most progressive vaping legislation in Asia Pacific,” according to Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).  Her comments follow the release of a survey conducted by ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants. ‘A Survey of Attitudes Among Adult Tobacco & Nicotine Users in the Philippines’ was commissioned by consumer advocacy group, Vapers PH. Read more

WHO busted for manipulating key tobacco conference
The World Health Organization has been badly caught out ahead of the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in November. COP9 organisers declared months ago there would be no discussions or decisions around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products at COP9. That work would be delayed until COP10 in 2023, they said. Read more

Philippines Must Thoroughly Investigate Bloomberg’s Billions
Since late 2020, Philippine lawmakers have been examining the former-mayor-turned-so-called-philanthropist Michael Bloomberg’s financial influence on tobacco control policies. In an October 2020 hearing with the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency was exposed for taking funding from two Bloomberg-backed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the Union and Bloomberg Initiative. In December, two Philippine Representatives filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the funding. Read more

Hong Kong must regulate not ban vaping – experts
An esteemed group of Asia Pacific medical and scientific professionals and researchers has written to Hong Kong Chief Executive, Hon Carrie Lam, concerned that Hong Kong is set to ban safer alternative nicotine products such as vaping. ‘We recently came across media reports highlighting that Hong Kong will move forward to deliberate on a bill which seeks to ban the importation and sales of all alternative nicotine delivery products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products,’ wrote the Expert Advisory Group of CAPHRA. Read more

Asia Pacific Declaration fights for 600 million smokers’ lives
“September marks the start of the secret season. It 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,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates. Her comments come as the 13th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (APACT) takes place virtually from Bangkok, Thailand on 2, 3 and 4 September. Read more

Research untangles web of foreign NGOs’ interference in Philippine policies
New research by the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates has confirmed that at least seven Philippine NGOs were among those which received millions of dollars from the anti-tobacco Bloomberg and Gates foundations to lobby the government for a ban on vaping in the country. Coming on the heels of a House probe on foreign money influencing the Department of Health and the Food and Drugs administration without transparency and proper audit, CAPHRA outlined the money trail that go to lobbying for vested-interest policies devoid of any public disclosure and accountability. Read more

WHO under fire for refusal to accept & promote vaping as safer alternative to smoking
“One American Journal of Public Health article is proving to be a watershed moment in the vape debate. It has singularly pushed the World Health Organization to the complete outer when it comes to considered international opinion and research,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates. Read more

Vapers unite to fight WHO’s relentless lies
Panellists on the latest Advocates Voice have passionately pleaded for fellow vapers and Tobacco Harm Reduction champions to stick together and support each other in the fight for over one billion lives globally. The call comes as anger deepens about the World Health Organization’s blatant and baseless lies on nicotine vaping – the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool and proven to be 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes. Read more

Leading advocacy groups unite to humanize tobacco harm reduction movement
With the goal of creating the world’s largest collection of successful vape stories, two leading consumer advocacy groups have launched the site. Already boasting nearly 14,000 testimonials, the site demonstrates growing anger from across the globe that evidence is being ignored and many people’s right to choose safer alternatives is being denied. Read more

NZ vape flavour ban only penalises adults keen to quit smoking
New Zealand’s vape flavour ban for general retailers will sadly cost lives, making it harder for adults desperate to quit smoking, says the country’s leading consumer vaping advocacy. With the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act passing last year, general retailers such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores can now only sell three flavours – mint, menthol and tobacco. Read more

WHO ‘is condemning millions of smokers to certain death’: CAPHRA
“The WHO is condemning millions of smokers to certain death by denying them the right to safer alternatives. With biased evidence and bad science, its latest report evokes moral panic. The Advocates Voice will expose it for what it is,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA.  The latest episode of The Advocates Voice (TAV 8) follows the World Health Organization (WHO) releasing its eighth annual report on the global tobacco epidemic last month. Read more

WHO’s latest report against vaping completely compromised
The World Health Organization’s just-released ‘eighth annual report on the global tobacco epidemic’ is sadly more proof that billionaire foundations are more influential on the WHO’s public health guidance than leading international scientific evidence, says Asia Pacific’s leading Tobacco Harm Reduction consumer advocacy group. Read more

Otago study sends mixed messages on best quit smoking tool
A University of Otago study that claims the transition from cigarettes to vaping is not as straightforward as many think is not helpful to the many Kiwis desperate to quit smoking, says one leading Tobacco Harm Reduction advocate. Read more

Philippines Senate to lead region with progressive vaping laws
“The world is watching as the Philippines Senate looks set to approve the most progressive and risk-proportionate vaping legislation in Asia Pacific. We’re hoping other countries in the region will then follow their lead,” says Nancy Loucas. Read more

Increasing abuse against THR advocates revealed during live discussion
A full and frank international panel discussion revealed public attacks on Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates are increasingly personal, derogatory and defamatory. Hosted by Asia Pacific’s CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) the 11 July discussion is available to view on Here.  Moderated by CAPHRA’s Nancy Loucas, TAV 7 included public relations expert and Medical Observer publisher, Jena Fetalino (Managing Director of JFPRC, Philippines). She believed the abuse levelled at THR advocates and the industry reflected just one thing. Read more

Vaping panel to delve deep into lies, bullying
The seventh episode of The Advocates Voice (TAV 7) premieres at 6pm Hong Kong Time – 11am GMT – Sunday 11 July 2021. Headlined ‘the battle between innovation and bully tactics’, the international panel will explore a global web of anti-vape lies. The TAV 7 panel includes 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). TAV 7 will be led by public health expert, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos. Read more

WHO’s attempts to link vaping to COVID, discredited
The World Health Organization’s attempts to link vaping with COVID-19 have been completely discredited by a significant study out of the United States, says Asia Pacific’s leading Tobacco Harm Reduction consumer advocacy group. Research by the Mayo Clinic published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, titled ‘Electronic Cigarette Use Is Not Associated with COVID-19 Diagnosis’ involved nearly 70,000 patients. The study concluded that e-cigarettes ‘do not appear to increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection’. Read more

Concerns about youth vaping already well addressed
Media stories about youth vaping are deeply concerning but significant changes have been made in the past year with more coming,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). Her comments follow a story on Maori television show, The Hui. It investigated ‘the uptake of vaping amongst rangatahi (younger generation), which is leading to stand-offs at home and stand-downs at school.’ Read more

Registrations grow for Asia Harm Reduction Forum 2021
Interest is building ahead of the 4th Asia Harm Reduction Forum (AHRF). This year, as a virtual event, it promises to be dynamic gathering of global Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates with significant developments to discuss. Organised from the Philippines, registration and participation for the 28 June forum is being strongly encouraged by CAPHRA. Read more

October’s vaping ban sees Australia lag even further behind
Asia Pacific’s leading Tobacco Harm Reduction consumer advocacy group has lashed out at the Australian Federal Government for making it increasingly harder for Australia’s 2.3 million daily smokers to quit cigarettes. “Australia is miles behind many others in the Asia Pacific region, and the UK, when it comes to acknowledging vaping’s key role in beating tobacco. Australia is sadly kowtowing to the World Health Organisation, rather than accepting compelling international evidence,” says Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator for CAPHRA. Read more

Cigarette smuggling will worsen if vaping not promoted
If the Government’s smokefree action plan does not adequately elevate nicotine vaping as the much safer alternative, then cigarette smuggling will become a bigger problem at New Zealand’s border, says a leading Kiwi Tobacco Harm Reduction advocate. Her comments follow a media investigation which revealed Customs is currently seizing around 125,000 smuggled cigarettes and 155 kilograms of loose tobacco every month. Read more

Attacks on vaping, politically timed
Alarmist media stories on vaping are politically timed to inflict the most damage on a practice that’s saving thousands of New Zealanders’ lives, claims a leading Tobacco Harm Reduction advocate. Her comments follow a frontpage nationwide newspaper story, headlined ‘Vaping – at 10’. “Why don’t we see ‘Smoking – at 10’, ‘Drinking – at 10’, ‘Drugs – at 10’ media stories? It’s all about vaping, which is ironic given it’s the least harmful,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). Read more

Vape flavour petition dismissed despite mounting evidence
Fifteen months after a Parliamentary petition supporting ongoing access to vape flavours closed, and nearly a year after it was referred to the Health Select Committee, it has finally been reported and ruled on with the official response described as woeful.  Petition organiser, Nancy Loucas, who is co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), said the whole process has been incredibly disheartening, with 17,357 Kiwis who signed the petition dismissed outright despite mounting evidence. Read more

Time for enforcement not education on vape purchases
Reports that minors are still able to purchase vape products from some convenience stores is deeply concerning, says New Zealand’s leading consumer vaping group. “The overwhelming majority of vape retailers are responsible, requesting age identification, and only selling to those who can prove they’re 18 years or older. It’s disappointing then when media stings reveal a few retailers continue to break the law,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). Read more

Experts warn leaders on WHO’s baseless vaping guidance
The Expert Advisory Group of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates has written to Asia Pacific’s Health Ministers and Secretaries expressing their deep concern about the World Health Organisation’s latest Tobacco Product Regulation Report (TobReg). CAPHRA’s EAG warns that WHO’s study group is not acting in public health’s best interests by recommending bans on all aspects of vaping that are the cornerstone of its effectiveness. Read more

Lies about vaping will be confronted this Sunday
A fresh round of mistruths about vaping in the media lately will be dealt with head on during a live panel discussion of vaping advocates and experts on Sunday, 6 June. The Advocates Voice, or TAV, has a growing following among Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) supporters and the public. Sunday’s episode will be simulcast on CAPHRA’s Facebook page at Questions from viewers to the panel are encouraged. Read more

World Vape Day Estimates Show It Was Bigger Than Ever: CAPHRA
World Vape Day was an unprecedented success with social media engagement about the annual global celebration up considerably, says the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). “The social media analytics for World Vape Day are impressive. It enjoyed huge growth in the number of postings, followers, and positive comments. Without doubt, #WVD21 gained much more traction than 2020’s event,” CAPHRA’s Nancy Loucas said. Read more

WHO’s latest tobacco report – an ‘epic fail’ for public health
Asia Pacific’s leading tobacco harm reduction advocacy group, CAPHRA, is deeply disturbed by the World Health Organisation’s recently released ‘Tobacco Product Regulation Report’. It says WHO’s negative and obstructive approach towards safer nicotine vaping products continues to impact smoking cessation rates, costing lives globally. Read more

‘Historic’ bill to regulate vaping in Philippines heads to Senate
A bill that regulates the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs) has passed its third and final reading in the Philippines’ House of Representatives. It will now go to the Senate. According to consumer advocates, barring any undue outside influence, there the bill will be approved into law. Read more

Tobacco harm reduction key as Asia home to over half smoking-related deaths – report
Consumer advocates and tobacco harm reduction (THR) experts called on the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments in Asia and the Far East (A&FE) to allow smokers to choose safer alternatives, following the latest report that more than half of global smoking-related deaths occur in the region. They made the statement during the launch of the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) report held by public health agency Knowledge Action Change (KAC) and the Association of Vapers India (AVI). Read more

Group warns Asian countries against ‘philanthropic colonialism’
A regional group of consumer advocates denounced what it called “philanthropic colonialism” perpetuated by well-funded foundations to mislead many countries in Asia and the Pacific into adopting restrictive policies against vaping and heated tobacco products (HTPs) which in effect deprive smokers of safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes. The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said western charities like Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation were pouring millions of dollars to discredit tobacco harm reduction—a public health strategy that encourages the use of safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes such as e-cigarettes, HTPs, and Swedish snus. Read more

Regional petition implores WHO to respect consumer rights, end lies
Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific region are launching a petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and end lies against innovative nicotine products which may only exacerbate the smoking problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Stop lying to us and only provide guidance based on sound scientific facts, methodologies and principles,” the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) and other consumer advocacy groups said in the Right2Switch petition which would be launched during the 2021 Voices4Vape webinar on March 21 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (HKT). Read more …  The petition can be viewed at

Ban on safer nicotine products in LMICs to inflame smoking epidemic – Asian consumers
Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific region warned that a blanket ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in low- and middle-income countries, as proposed by an anti-tobacco non-government organization funded by Bloomberg, will only inflame the smoking epidemic and result in higher death toll from smoking-related diseases. The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) issued the statement in support of a report released by the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) that tobacco harm reduction (THR) alternatives like e-cigarettes and HTPs would help, and not hinder, the aims of global tobacco control. Read more

Consumers to tackle tobacco harm reduction amid pandemic in V4V webinar
Consumers and advocates of safer nicotine products in the Asia-Pacific region will tackle the need for effective public health policy to address the smoking epidemic using the same science and principle to contain Covid-19 in an online seminar to be held on 21 March 2021. The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) and other consumer advocacy groups are holding the 2021 Voices4Vape webinar at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (HKT) with discussions mainly revolving around the question, “If governments trust the science on COVID, why are they not trusting the science of THR?” Read more

Asian Consumers Hail UK Report Showing Vaping is Better than NRT
Asia-Pacific consumers and users of safer nicotine products welcomed the latest report by Public Health England showing that vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes is better than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in stopping smoking. The latest scientific assessment by Public Health England provides a solid proof that e-cigarette, as a tobacco harm reduction tool, is also the most effective means to quit smoking combustible cigarettes, according to CAPHRA. Read more

Submit in support of Kiwi vapers and businesses this lockdown
Auckland’s many smokefree supporters and vapers should use this latest lockdown, and wet weather, to submit on the Ministry of Health’s draft vaping regulations and support Kiwi businesses, says a leading tobacco harm reduction advocate. “Never waste a lockdown, and that includes Auckland’s snap lockdown. Sadly, as a country we’re miles off achieving Smokefree 2025 but if we don’t get these vaping regulations right, we never will,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). Read more ….

CAPHRA warns against grant-for-policy scheme of Bloomberg
A regional group of tobacco harm reduction (THR) advocates cautioned governments of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) not to succumb to the ploy of vested interest groups dangling money in exchange for policies that restricts and even ban alternative nicotine products which has been found to be much better options for smokers than cigarettes. The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said some public health experts have in fact raised concern over the activities of groups such as Bloomberg Philanthropies in offering grants or technical assistance to influence the formulation of policy and decisions of regulatory agencies on tobacco control, especially in LMICs. Read more

Still time to follow the evidence on vape flavours – petitioner
The leading vaping advocate says all is not lost because now the Ministry of Health has now opened submissions on its draft vaping regulations. Limiting vape flavours to just three for general retailers, such as service stations, has still to be confirmed ahead of the proposed 11 August 2021 implementation timeframe. “We believe the proposal to limit flavours is counter to the views of experts – the Ministry of Health and Hapai Te Hauora – and will not help achieve Smokefree 2025… We know vapers quit smoking with fruit and dessert flavours, not tobacco, menthol, or mint flavours, as they are not looking for a cigarette taste but to move away from cigarettes,” Ms Loucas wrote in her supplementary submission to the select committee. Read more

Bloomberg donation to Philippines FDA may have violated US laws, say experts
International public health policy experts called for a deeper investigation on the receipt of funds by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration from the anti-tobacco Bloomberg foundation to determine whether it violated both the Philippine and United States laws. Dr. Joel Nitzkin, a US physician who was cross-trained in public administration, cited the need to shed light on the filing of a resolution by two Filipino congressmen last month calling for a congressional probe on the Philippines FDA’s acceptance of foreign funding from Bloomberg in possible breach of the 1987 Constitution and several laws. Read more

WHO asked to stop peddling lies about vaping and COVID-19 risksThe Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop peddling lies about the risks of contracting Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes. In a 103-page white paper, CAPHRA said the vaping/COVID link is the latest dangerous lie being spread by the WHO as part of its anti-smoking agenda. The group noted that the WHO, in its quest to rid the world of smoking, has once again sought to deliberately prevent millions of adult cigarette smokers from getting access to safer vaping products. Read more

WHO’s Latest Error: The Link Between Vaping and COVID
Over the last few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has made a grotesque number of tragic mis-steps that have cost lives all around the world. Most recently they have been supporting the statement that vaping and smoking lead to contracting COVID-19. According to a report from The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), their review of global medical research into the relationship between vaping and contracting COVID-19 has shown no such relationship, and in its quest to rid the world of smoking the WHO has once again sought to knowingly and deliberately prevent millions of adult cigarette smokers from getting access to safer vaping products. Download paper here

Consumer groups slam Bath study for ignoring evidence
Consumer groups have criticized a study produced by researchers from the University of Bath in the UK for ignoring scientific evidence in its methodology and for resorting to discriminatory labeling that undermines the efforts of tobacco harm reduction organisations. The Association of Vapers India (AVI), which pushes for less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes, protested the tactic employed by researchers from University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) and sent a formal letter to the journal that published the study about the Twitter activity around the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Read more

Amended vaping law takes effect in New Zealand
The Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020, which the 52nd Parliament passed into law in August 2020, took effect on 11 November 2020 with several guidelines to be enforced over a 15-month period. Under the law, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products will remain available and accessible to some 200,000 vapers in New Zealand and to adult smokers who want to switch to less harmful alternatives as long as they follow the regulations and restrictions whose implementation will be phased until February 2022. Read more

Philippine Senate asks FDA to follow enabling laws in drafting vapes, HTP guidelines
The Senate asked the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow the enabling laws in drafting the guidelines for the regulation of heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in the country. In the recent Senate deliberations on the budget of the Department of Health (DOH), Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed concern that the FDA was going beyond the enabling law in preparing the implementing rules and regulations for HTPs and vapes. Read more

FDA asked to stop receiving money from foreign private groups
Two leaders of the House of Representatives have filed a resolution urging the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop accepting money and return all the funds they received from foreign private groups such as The Union and Bloomberg Initiative. Read more

Bloomberg grant casts doubt on University of Bath study
Consumer groups and public health experts have raised concern over the quality of a recent study produced by researchers from the University of Bath in the UK over the speculative method it employed without using any scientific evidence in labeling tobacco harm reduction advocates. Read more

Donors distort WHO’s tobacco control policy, say experts
Consumer groups have accused the World Health Organization of being used by big pharmaceutical companies, charity foundations funded by billionaires, and state-controlled tobacco companies to perpetuate cigarette trade by driving less harmful alternatives to the black market, leaving more than a billion smokers exposed to serious health risks from smoking.  Read more

Thai consumer group refutes study linking e-cigarettes to addiction
A consumer group in Thailand has disputed the findings of a study which claimed that nearly two-thirds of e-cigarette users have become addicted to the product. Mr. Maris Karanyawat, representative of e-cigarette user network End Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST) and the Facebook page “What is e-cigarette”, said the findings of the study conducted by 38 researchers contradicted what was happening in many countries where e-cigarettes have actually helped smokers quit.   Read more

What exactly is Voices4Vape and why it is important for consumers to participate in public health policy
Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific are holding a webinar on 26 September 2020 to encourage countries in the region to acknowledge tobacco harm reduction (THR) as a human right and discuss the merits of smoke-free nicotine products as much safer alternatives to cigarettes. There is much power in the consumer experience that needs to be shared globally and that was one of the main reasons that CAPHRA decided to go ahead and hold our own webinar, to educate and engage with our fellow comrades in arms, because knowledge is power and should be shared. Read more

Things that make you go hmmmm….
The World Health Organisation has been under a lot of pressure recently; first with the issuance and eventual revision of its Q&A Detail on E-Cigarettes and then with the Coronavirus outbreak in China that is spreading globally. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on the WHO FCTC and the implications of the Q&A detail and the “WHO global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco use 2000-2025.” that was issued in December 2019. The main concern on all information and advice relative to E-cigarettes coming from the WHO is that does not coincide with scientific research and the reason for that being the case. Read more ….

Ombudsman asks government to include citizens’ voice on Thailand e-cigarette policy
The Office of the Ombudsman has asked relevant government agencies to listen to the voice of the public objectively in deciding on whether the ban on electronic cigarettes in Thailand should be lifted or extended. Representatives of the Ends Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST) and administrators of the Facebook page “What is e-cigarette” attended the August 17 meeting at the Office of the Ombudsman to tackle the petition questioning the ban on sales and import of e-cigarettes. Read more