Across Asia Pacific, an estimated 5 million adults vape, with most of them being former smokers who have either quit smoking completely or have cut down significantly using their preferred devices and liquids. In almost every case, they did so against the advice and in defiance of the highly restrictive, disproportionate regulations and bans that continue to be imposed on safer products.
The smoking and unsafe tobacco use pandemic has been going on for at least 50 years, and claims 20,000 people per day globally. It rages on despite being something that can be easily addressed through effective public health policy. The cause is the use of toxic tobacco products as a way of obtaining nicotine. The enormous harm associated with nicotine is almost entirely due to the way people get it rather than the nicotine itself.
Meanwhile, the world is battling another pandemic, COVID 19, which has ravaged economies, destroyed lives and compromised health agencies and systems across the globe. The Covid-19 pandemic has focused global attention on the need for rational measures to reduce risks, effectively treat those afflicted and develop vaccines. This is entirely consistent with longstanding public health goals of reducing risks wherever they are found, and the importance of empowering people to improve their health.
The Question then, is: “If governments trust the science on COVID, why are they not trusting the science of THR?”
This webinar will give an overview of the current status of tobacco harm reduction across Asia Pacific, and provide testimonials from those who dared to follow their own lead to be smokefree. There will also be a panel discussion on the handling of the smoking pandemic that kills over 8 million people a year globally and how it differs from the way governments have been dealing with the COVID pandemic.
Our objective is to inform and engage, and there are 4 separate ways to do that:
1. During any of the sessions we invite and encourage you to ask questions via the chat box. Our presenters will try to answer as many as possible;
2. Join our newsletter mailing list and stay connected;
3. Send us an email to introduce yourself;
4. Take our online survey here, tell us about yourself and your relationship with vaping.
And finally, we are asking everyone for help in signing a petition that will be presented to the World Health Organization asking for them to recommend to their member countries that they immediately work on introducing sensible legislation to legalize and regulate vaping as part of their obligation to Tobacco Harm Reduction, which is a basic human right that many governments currently prohibit.
All times shown are Hong Kong Standard Time (GMT+8)
Julie Woessner graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1986. Ms. Woessner, a retired lawyer, has been involved in tobacco harm reduction advocacy since early 2009 and has been an active member of CASAA (The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) since its inception in 2009.
CASAA is one of the founding members of INNCO and is a US-based public health and education nonprofit which engages in policy advocacy in the U.S. involving legislative and regulatory matters to protect access to low-risk alternatives to smoking and mobilizes its 250,000+ members to do the same.
Ms. Woessner was appointed to serve on CASAA’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was elected to serve as its Legislative Director in 2013, President of the Board 2014-2018, and served as Executive Director from 2014 to 2017 before assuming her role as Director of National Policy.
She held the position of President of the Governing Board of INNCO from 2018, and transferred to the position of interim Secretary General of the Secretariat in 2020.
Andrew da Roza is a qualified addictions psychotherapist. Andrew practices motivational interviewing, solution-focused brief therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy to help clients identify their values, goals and strengths to enact positive change in their lives.
Certifications and Accreditations
Currently, Andrew is Chairman of We Care Community Services, and sits on the Board of the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association.
Jena Fetalino is a Philippines-based PR practitioner who has earned the respect and enjoys the trust of local and international clients in executing excellent and enduring campaigns and advocacies at par with or even exceeding exacting standards of full-service or institutional agencies. Ms. Fetalino runs a tight ship that makes big waves for a startup agency.
The lady PR skipper runs an elite, select crew capable and competent enough to navigate through big waves, high tides, dire straits, and rough seas for clients/customers.
Because of her deep and long immersion in publishing (20 years), she has acquired a broad grasp of media’s demand for legitimate, credible stories and reconciling them with clients’ core content requirements. At 28, Jena launched a publication for health professionals, The Medical Observer, that bested TIME and Newsweek magazines in the Best Front Cover category at the Society of Publishers in Asia Award in 2002.
As a business executive, she was adjudged Female Executive of the Year in Business Services – Global Category in the 11th STEVIE AWARDS FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS held in New York on Nov. 14, 2014.
As a communications practitioner, she deftly navigates simultaneously and alternately the distinct but not too distant waters of PR and publication and brings the goods safely to port for clients and principals.
Communicating has never been a breeze and smooth sailing.
Nancy is a passionate THR advocate who co-founded Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) New Zealand in 2015 to legitimately fight for the right to vape and have that choice available for all smokers. She is also the executive coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific (Tobacco) Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) where she applies her experience in THR advocacy to guide and mentor consumer advocates throughout the entire Asia Pacific region (and beyond).
Nancy has a diverse skill set, with experience in scientific research administration (grants, proposals, journal article writing), corporate IT administration and community organisations that have advocated for and supported the rights of youth, the elderly and people in crisis.
She runs a management consultant company, Paraclete Associates Limited, to guide and mentor advocates in their efforts globally. (Paraclete is Greek for Advocate).