Media – Press Releases – Papers

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).

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.

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). The petition can be viewed at https://change.org/v4v-petition

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.

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?”

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

WHO asked to stop peddling lies about vaping and COVID-19 risks

The 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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