Voices4Vape provides a background to Tobacco Harm Reduction advocacy in the Asia-Pacific region. The objective in our V4V webinar was to inform and engage, and we believed we achieved that.
Noted THR experts such as David Sweanor, Clive Bates and Fiona Patten shared their experiences and their knowledge throughout the webinar, and we thank them and all other presenters and participant, featured below, who gave so generously of their time.
We ask 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.
We assembled some of the world’s leading experts, who brought their own experience, expertise, and unique perspectives to bear.
The Honest to Goodness Science of THR
Eliana works as a scientist in a pharmaceutical laboratory in Auckland, as researcher, is an editor for the Harm Reduction Journal in the field of chemistry of addictions and nicotine replacement therapies. Eliana is Chief of Standards of VTANZ and a board member of UKVIA.
Dealing with the Media as an Advocate
Jena has a solid background in the publishing industry, joining Mosman Communications Inc. and MEDCOM Int’l in 1992 as founding president at the age of 28. as the owner of her own public relations company in Manila she has been dealing with the media as an advocate for many years,
Who are WHO?
Clive Bates is a global proponent of Tobacco Harm Reduction who describes himself as a versatile strategist, advocate and communicator. He specializes in good government, environment and public health, and will bring a unique perspective of the inner workings of the WHO
Topic: The Role of Consumers in Policymaking
Samrat is a seasoned journalist with stints in mainline newspapers in India. He leads the consumer movement for lower-risk alternatives in the country and is involved in tobacco harm reduction advocacy. He is president of International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO).
Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
Stephanie 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.
Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
A 37-year cigarette smoker who made the switch to vaping almost 10 years ago, Asa presently works with a probiotic and herbal manufacturing company. Asa received his Master’s degree from Avila University, USA and has been a lecturer at Rajabhat University and Chulalongkorn University.
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.
Topic: What does Risk Proportionate Regulation look like?
Joey 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.
Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
Jagannath 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 safer alternatives.
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”. She has been a trailblazing activist in the nation’s tobacco harm reduction cause
Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
Nancy is a passionate THR advocate and
executive coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific (Tobacco) Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). 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).
Consumer Advocacy 101, Panelist
Clarisse is juggling law school and paralegal work, alongside consumer advocacy in the field of tobacco harm reduction. She plans to further help and protect fellow consumers against arbitrary policies covering the use of ENDS or e-cigarettes.
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.
Gavin has worked in leadership roles in private enterprise and government, working for ministers in both State and Federal governments in Australia. Since 2018 he has led the Progressive Public Health Alliance, a NFP public health organisation based in Victoria.
We need to unite globally as one, in order to let our voices be heard. As consenting adults, we have every right to choose the way we live our lives, including alternatives to help ourselves create a smoke-free world. WHO, we’re not invisible. If you think we are, you’re dead wrong about it!
Vaping and other forms of smoking alternatives, which have been scientifically proven to be less harmful, are a godsend for those who find it impossible to quit. As consenting adults, we have every right to choose the way we live our lives, including choosing alternatives to quit smoking.
A solution to the world’s smoking problem is already here, we just need the WHO to listen.
We understand that going against a global body such as the WHO may seem daunting, but take a look at their history and tell us if that’s an organisation that should be in charge of worldwide health guidelines, such as tobacco harm reduction efforts.
We need to unite globally as one and let our voices be heard. Join #voices4vape to ensure a smoke-free world for all!
Recognise that vaping is dramatically safer than cigarettes and has helped millions quit smoking. Over 10 years of scientific research now points to the fact that Safer Nicotine Products are at least 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco and has successfully helped millions of people globally switch off the deadly alternative. #ScienceRules
Recall that harm reduction is at the core of international treaty obligations. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control defines ‘tobacco control’ as ‘a range of supply, demand and harm reduction strategies that aim to improve the health of a population’.
Regulate rather than ban. Policy makers must recognise the relative risks of Safer Nicotine Products in comparison to combustible tobacco and dangerous oral tobacco products and regulate according to those risks, instead of outright bans.
Rethink dogma. The use of Safer Nicotine Products should be encouraged, with an understanding by policy makers that choice and access are the key to their successful use to eliminate deadly tobacco. Use of SNP is not Smoking and should not be identified as smoking in policy, taxation or restriction. #FactsNotFiction
Regulators must recognise and balance the harm to adults when formulating policy to protect youth. The banning or restriction of flavours and calls for higher taxation on Safer Nicotine Products will result in a return to the product that will inevitably harm and most likely kill adult smokers. Studies have shown that youth that live with adult smokers are more likely to become smokers themselves and continue the cycle of harm and death. #WHOShouldCare
Our right to health is recognized as a fundamental international human right. Realise that smoking causes the vast majority of tobacco‐related death and disease. #HarmReductionisAHumanRight
We, the people, demand that regulators and policymakers –
One of the greatest challenges that vaping faces is the spread of lies and disinformation that paint an inaccurate and ugly picture that has no basis in science or truth. Whoever has the largest voice in the media wins. Period. This makes the challenge of dealing with the media all the more important in the race to spread factual information into the court of public opinion.
The influence of the World Health Organization over the Tobacco Harm Reduction cannot be understated, as it is their word that heavily influences the decisions made by governments around the world. As we have seen from their dreadful performance during the COVID pandemic, they are often incorrect, with deadly consequences for thousands of people, and indeed, their stance on Tobacco Harm Reduction is at odds with their very own written mandate. As the Chinese General Sun Tzu said, to win a battle or a war you must know your enemy, and we are honoured to welcome a global expert on the subject of dealing with the WHO.
Asking governments to create sensible Tobacco Harm Reduction legislation means taking on deeply entrenched interest groups, often operating within the governments themselves. It is no secret that many Asian nations own their own cigarette manufacturing industries, which generates handsome profits and taxes. These are the same governments that have have pledged to eradicate smoking, and to add to the hypocracy many, have demonized vaping.
I was able to quit cigarette smoking in just a month and now i’m no longer using nicotine based eliquids. Thanks to the vaping industry i was able to improve my health
Chris – Philippines
I stopped smoking immediately (cold turkey) and switched to vape. I believe that this is a healthier alternative since I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes everyday.
Ara – Philippines
Choosing the lesser evil is still my choice and that is my right.
Alan – Philippines
I have been suffering from Asthma, i have been smoking for the past 15 years, six months back i switched to vaping and never had asthma attack since then. Vaping really helped me out in quitting smoke.
Umar – Pakistan
Smoked for 16 years and the only thing that got me off them was vaping, after trying everything my doctor could give me Without vaping id still be smoking, spending god knows how much on something that in the end would kill me
Selby – New Zealand
I was a smoker for 41 years, tried lots of methods to stop, started using an e-cig in October 2015, have not smoked tobacco since then.
Jenny – New Zealand
My husband was a heavy smoker prior to vaping. When he was introduced to vaping, he stopped smoking cigarettes and eventually, quit vaping too! It has been 4 years since his last cigarette and 3 years since he stopped vaping. I do not vape, but I believe that everyone has the right to a less harmful alternative to smoking.
Daphne – Malaysia
Vaping is the healthy way to quit smoking tabacco. This is my 3 years experience in vaping.
Amer – Malaysia
Best harm reduction nicotine product in the market!
Andrew – Ireland
Let’s stop the tobacco lobby sponsored genocide across the world!!!
Prit – India
I quit smoking after 15 years thanks to vaping in one day its been 200 days am totally smoke free i support vaping it saved my life.
Kaizaad – India
Having been a smoker for over 20 years at an average of 40 cigarettes a day, I can definitely say that switching to vaping is the only smoke cessation tool which helped me quit and i have tried them all. nicotine patches, de addiction pills, nicotine chewing gum and nicotine lozenges,
Jagannath – India
I could never quit smokin.g. Because of vaping, I quit smoking instantly. My health has significantly improved since the switch. I can breathe more easily and have improved stamina and energy. Vaping is the best way to quit smoking.
Apurva – India
I smoked for 13 years, then i heard of vaping, and i stopped smoking immediately as soon as i got my first vaping device.
Tino – Finland
Vaping is the best thing that has happened to me in 8 years, I feel so much healthier. Playing ball and other sports with kids are much more easily doable after I managed to quit smoking.
Joona – Finland
Whether any ban on vaping is an indication of innocence, ignorance, or corruption doesn’t matter; the result is a direct assault on the health (and freedom) of individuals.
Marion – Canada
Vaping is the only method that worked for me, and helped me finally get away from tobacco cigarettes. I was a 30 year plus, 2 package a day smoker prior to trying vaping as a safer alternative. 95% safer if not more as endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain.
Jackie – Canada
Over 3 years smoke free after 24 years trapped by the addiction of death thanks to vaping. I’ve never felt better, I’ve never smelt better, I’ve never been able to breathe better. Vaping saves lives, no butts about it!!
Rob – Australia
Vaping saved my lungs and possibly my life. I am getting fitter, breathe better, taste and smell better. 100% win!
Yvonne – Australia