Politics & Campaigns

Advocacy Burnout Webinar

Consumer group INNCO is hosting a webinar on Advocacy Burnout on March 3rd, at 19:00 GMT

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Consumer group International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) is hosting a webinar on Advocacy Burnout on March 3rd, at 19:00 GMT. The webinar will discuss strategies to address burnout in the fields of tobacco harm reduction, drug harm reduction, and human rights advocacy.

INNCO’s webinar “Are you feeling Burnout?” will feature 5 expert speakers:

  1. Charles A. Gardner, Ph.D. Developmental Neurobiologist, Executive Director of INNCO with 25 years of experience in global health, former Senior Advisor to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF
  2. Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance who is described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts
  3. Nick “Grimm” Green, Harm Reduction Advocate and Content Creator with more than 85 million views on digital platforms
  4. Eli Rubashkyn, Human Rights Activist and Chemist, with more than 12 years of combined experience as a scientist, chemist, pharmacist, and intersex human rights advocate, and
  5. Nancy Loucas, Public Policy and Consumer Advocacy Mentor, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA, a coalition of grassroots consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organizations in the Asia Pacific region

Thousands of people who used to smoke and now use safer nicotine alternatives have been working as unpaid volunteers for up to 10 years or more, advocating for the rights of people who use safer nicotine and constantly battling the daily barrage of disinformation funded by biased foundations and non-profit organisations.

In this online event, expert speakers will discuss strategies that have been used to deal with Advocacy Burnout in other fields, including drug harm reduction, and human rights advocacy. They will explore how relevant those strategies may be to the tobacco harm reduction (THR) field, such as:

  • How to keep all THR discussions civil, respectful and evidence-based
  • How to maintain your passion to save lives, even while constantly being accused of working for “the devil” (industry)
  • How to shift public opinion that has been entrenched by years of well-funded paternalistic utilitarian “white truths'', exaggerations, lies-by-omission-of-context, and flat-out lies
  • How people who use safer nicotine can use their own lived-experience to challenge the daily assaulted on that lived-experience by politicians, journalists, philanthropists, non-profit organisations, and professional societies... without losing their cool (or losing their minds)
  • How to avoid compromising your wellbeing or becoming overwhelmed while doing advocacy for tobacco harm reduction, drugs harm reduction, and human rights

"Many ex-smokers who quit with safer nicotine have been ‘tireless’ advocates for safer nicotine alternatives for over a decade. But the bad news keeps coming. Drug harm reduction advocates faced exactly the same problem: Advocacy Burnout. Advocates on the side of ‘good and light’ get tired. I feel it. You feel it. Let's talk about it", says Charles Gardner, Ph.D., Executive Director of INNCO.


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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