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Dora Dolt in the Philippines

WHO representative Dr Ranti Fayokun demonstrated an almost unbelievable level of ignorance about vaping when presenting to a Philippines senate hearing

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Dr Ranti Fayokun Scientific Adviser at the UK Department of Health Toxicology Unit at Imperial College London and a National Capacity Scientist for the World Health Organisation. She presented to a Philippines senate hearing and, in one slide, demonstrated how ignorant or reckless with the truth some people can be.

“A revealing and particularly embarrassing experience that I will remember forever,” was how Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos described Fayokun’s presentation.

A number of speakers were present to deliver their opinion on vaping and how the Pinoy government ought to be approaching reducing tobacco-related harm. This wasn’t Fayokun’s first rodeo; she has travelled the world to share platforms with people who know what they’re talking about. It’s what made her slideshow even more ridiculous because she is either choosing to ignore facts or is purposefully lying.

Andrew Da Roza spoke before Fayokun took her turn. He told the audience of how vaping is orders of magnitude safer than smoking, how the approach in the U.K. leads the world and how bans only serve those who profit from black markets – a message similar to the one he delivered to legislators in Singapore [link].

“Apparently they are marketing to children,” she said, pointing to the most imbecilic slide a public health official has ever used. “I want you to just look at this slide and tell me if this is something that would appeal to you – because, obviously, they are not just marketed towards adults. They are marketed towards young people.”

In the bottom left of the screen is the image “My First Vape”. The image was created by designer Adam Padilla, head the BrandFire US-based branding agency, as a joke. It doesn’t exist. The image became a viral sensation in 2017 – and fooled many people – but nobody with a serious interest in vaping or harm reduction believed it was a genuine product. Nobody it seems apart from Fayokun.

In the top right of the screen is an image depicting children’s TV cartoon Dora the Explorer having a good old vape. There isn’t a single Dora the Explorer vape product on the market, nor has there been an episode where Dora vapes. A number of images were created when the actress who does the character’s voice was suspended from school in 2016 for vaping in the private school’s toilets.

“They use attractive names” and “fanciful colours”, continued Fayokun. Precisely what names and colours would be acceptable for Fayokun and the World Health Organisation?

This witless soul has laid bare the ignorance and stupidity running to the heart of the anti-vape agenda. This fact-free approach to debate and discussion is the direct opposite of what proper science is and should be.

POTV has written to Dr Ranti Fayokun, no reply has been received as of 16th December.


  • Philippines senate hearing agenda - [link]
  • Philippines senate hearing, Philippine E-cigarette Industry Association Facebook – [link]
  • Dora image created by Kindland – [link]
  • Dora the Explorer suspended from school, POTV, 2016 – [link]
  • My First Vape, POTV, 2017 – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

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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