An alliance of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates in the Asia Pacific Region
^ To advocate for the rights of smokers and users of safer nicotine products (SNP) to have access and for public health officials and governments support and implement risk proportionate regulation in their countries.
^ To provide information and news on THR – what is it, why is it important and how individuals can get involved in the cause of reducing health harm from tobacco – through petitions, surveys and submissions.
Eliana Rubashkyn - The Honest to Goodness Science of THR
Eliana is Chief of Standards of VTANZ and a board member of UKVIA and works as a scientist in a pharmaceutical laboratory in Auckland, as researcher. She is an editor for the Harm Reduction Journal in the field of chemistry of addictions and nicotine replacement therapies. The experience of Eliana in the fields of pharmacology, health care, and tobacco harm reduction makes her a strong advocate for the right to health for all adults to make informed choices on their health.
Jena Fetalino - Dealing with the Media as an Advocate
Jena Fetalino, is, to borrow a publishing term, no “paperback” but a “hardcover” in the industry. Jena has a solid background in the publishing industry, joining Mosman Communications Inc. and MEDCOM International in 1992 as Founding President at the age of 28.
Foraying into PR was a natural, logical, even inevitable career consequence, and as the owner of her own public relations company in Manila she has been dealing with the media as an advocate for many years, initially championing the cause of the Philippine Community Fund through Mosman Cup which worked with the global media and got pharmaceutical companies to vaccinate children living in the Tondo garbage dumpsite. At the 2014 Stevie Awards for Women in Business held in New York, she was recognized as the Female Executive of the Year in Business Services – Global Category, a first for the Philippines. We are fortunate to now have her working alongside us in the THR advocacy community to present our voice to the global media.
Clive Bates - Who are WHO?
We are delighted to introduce Clive Bates, a global proponent of Tobacco Harm Reduction who describes himself as a versatile strategist, advocate and communicator who brings fresh insights, challenge and support to almost any field. His 30+ years of diverse domestic and international experience that has been equal parts private sector, public sector, and “third sector” allowing him to see risks and opportunities from many different angles. He has managed small, tight organisations and large government departments and specializes in good government, sustainability, energy, environment and public health, and will today bring a unique perspective of the inner workings of the WHO.
Samrat Chowdhery - The Role of Consumers in Policymaking
Samrat Chowdhery is the president of International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), a global consumer body comprising national consumer groups from over 30 nations, and director of Association of Vapers India (AVI). He will speak on the role consumers of safer nicotine products can play in shaping pro-harm reduction tobacco policies, the hurdles in their way and ways to overcome them. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Please submit your questions in the Chat Room during his talk.
Joey Dulay - What does Risk-Proportionate Regulation look like
Joey Dulay will discuss the question of What Does Risk-Proportionate Regulation Look Like? He works as both an advocate and directly on the front lines, operating Green Puff Electronic Cigarettes, Inc. which is one of the pioneers in the e-cigarette business in the Philippines. He is also the President of the Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association Inc.
Nancy Loucas - Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
Nancy Loucas is a passionate advocate of consumers having their voices heard in the narrative of their right to making informed choices about their lives, especially their health and wellbeing. She has been involved in the consumer tobacco harm reduction movement in New Zealand since 2014, when she co-founded Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (ACVA), the country’s first consumer-only advocacy organisation, which is registered as a Health Education Charitable Trust to “educate, advocate and inform” users of electronic cigarettes, and other SNP.
Her involvement in AVCA led to her involvement in the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) since its inception, serving as a member of the Steering Group, then as the first President of the Governing Board and as the Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator.
Once her tenure at INNCO was complete, she helped form the Coalition of Asia Pacific (Tobacco) Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), where she continues to serve as executive coordinator. CAPHRA is a grassroots, unfunded, voluntary coalition of THR advocates and organisations that provides the global THR community with a coordinated regional voice made up of consumers, medical professionals, and vendor associations. A group of scientists and researchers form the Expert Advisory Group to CAPHRA, all of whom are passionate about Tobacco Harm Reduction.
Stephanie developed strong communication skills running her own successful theatre company while studying and acting across Japan and the United States, including appearances in television shows on Netflix. She has redirected her skills, coordinating hundreds of volunteers in grassroots community and volunteer driven political and social justice campaigns. Stephanie has a deep commitment to supporting her community, volunteering and continuing to run campaigns on drug law reform in relation to child sexual abuse and increasing access to drug outreach programs. She is one of the convenors of Labor for Drug Law Reform in Australia, and the Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the Progressive Public Health Alliance which promotes the rights of vapers to the Australian government.
Jagannath Sarangapani is an industrialist who has for the past 28 years been managing his family’s business concerns in Hyderabad. Armed with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, the firm pioneered cellular plastics and insulated panels in India. He has been an ex-smoker for five years, having quit a 40-cigarette-a-day, 20-year habit thanks to vaping. No other previous attempts at quitting with cessation therapies worked. He firmly believes smokers need to retain the right to safer alternatives which help transition from smoking, and those who have switched should be allowed to remain smoke-free.
Clarisse Yvette P. Virgino - Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
A former local newspaper contributor, Clarisse started smoking in high school but has been vaping for almost a decade, having found it to be the best way to end her bad habit of cigarette smoking. She is juggling law school and paralegal work, alongside consumer advocacy in the field of tobacco harm reduction (THR). She intends to specialize in international public policy and human rights to further help and protect fellow consumers against arbitrary policies covering the use of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) or e-cigarettes, locally and around the globe.
She has been a panelist for Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020), talking about what consumers need and problems that consumers face. She was also a speaker for City Health Conference organized by Progressive Public Health Alliance in Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of The Vapers PH and the Philippine representative for the Coalition of Asia-Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).
Asa Saligupta - Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
A 37-year cigarette smoker who made the switch to vaping almost 10 years ago, Asa is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and presently works with a Probiotic and Herbal manufacturing company. In the THR space, he is a board member of INNCO, and a director and founding member of ENDs Cigarette Smoke Thailand, a consumer group that was founded a few years ago when vaping became illegal in the Kingdom. The group is a member of the CAPHRA network, and engages in a dialogue with the Thai government to stop using electronic cigarettes as a tool to create fear and instead set up an independent committee to seriously study the science, commercial aspects, and regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes like Hong Kong and many other countries, finding suitable control channels that will enable adult Thai cigarette smokers to find safer alternatives. Asa received his Master’s degree from Avila University, USA and has been a lecturer at Rajabhat University and Chulalongkorn University.
Fiona Patten - Expert Panel
Fiona Patten is a Member of Parliament for the Northern Metropolitan Region in Victoria’s Legislative Council, Leader of the Reason Party, and recognized as “Australia’s most effective legislator” having garnered respect from all sides of the political divide for successfully delivering legislative reforms that many thought impossible. She has been a trailblazing activist in the nation’s tobacco harm reduction cause and is leading the charge to push for progressive policy change.
David Sweanor - Expert Panel
David Sweanor is an adjunct professor of law, and chair of the advisory committee of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He helped spearhead the development of world-leading tobacco control initiatives in Canada starting in the early 1980s, and his global work has included litigation against cigarette companies, tax policy, contraband tobacco, litigation strategies, risk communication and the provision of less hazardous alternatives to existing products.
Terry Barnes - Expert Panel
Terry Barnes is an Australian policy analyst, political commentator and currently Fellow of the UK Institute of Economic Affairs. He has written and spoken extensively on excessive health regulation in Australia, especially in relation to Tobacco Harm Reduction. He also advises THR advocates working to ensure the regulatory environment accepts and not rejects disruptive innovations including vaping.
Gavin Ryan - Moderator
Gavin has worked in leadership roles in not-for-profit, private enterprise and Government, working for Ministers in both State and Federal Governments in Australia. Gavin has sat on various business and community boards, among them community health providers, running community campaigns to build positive outcomes and drive change in healthcare provision. This work has included stints in countries such as Timor-Leste and Fiji from 2006 onwards around community development and provision of basic healthcare, and Gavin continues to work with communities in Timor. Previously Gavin served on the board of the North Richmond Community Health Centre in Melbourne for several years, successfully raising over $20M to have new premises built for the Centre and working as part of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum toward drug harm reduction across Melbourne.
Since 2018 he has lead the Progressive Public Health Alliance, a not-for-profit Public Health organisation based in Victoria, Australia.
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