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Top Ten “Tobacco” Influencers

GlobalData reveals its Top 10 “tobacco influencers” on Twitter in the second quarter of 2020…but most of them are advocating for vaping and tobacco harm reduction

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Intelligence company GlobalData says “the world is becoming more complex, uncertain, and fast-moving than ever before, our mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative.” It has identified the Top Ten influencers on Twitter in the second quarter of 2020 but has conflated advocating for tobacco harm reduction with promoting tobacco use.

GlobalData says it was formed in 2016, “following the consolidation of several well-established data and analytics providers, with heritage leading back over 50 years.”

GlobalData is keeping a “Tobacco Alternatives Influencer Network Platform” and logging the 190 “experts and their discussions pertaining to the emerging trends, pain areas, [and] new fields of innovation”.

Through whatever metrics its analysts use to decide such things, GlobalData declared Charles Gardner, Director at the Foundation for a Smoke Free World (FSFW), to be “the top tobacco influencer”.

GlobalData says: “Vaping supporter Johnny Twovapes emerged as the next top influencer among tobacco experts with an influencer score 76. He tweeted largely about the benefits of vaping, which plays an important role in preventing tobacco-related issues.”

The full list contains nine vapers or advocates for vaping, all of them tweet information about tobacco harm reduction. Only Scott Gottlieb, when he was Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, could be accused of promoting tobacco use. GlobalData can’t lay claim to the American definition of tobacco products (that bizarrely include vape products) as it is based in London and listed on our stock exchange.

  1. Charles Gardner: Saving lives by ending consumption of toxic tobacco is my goal
  2. Johnny Twovapes: Vaping ends smoking harms. Advocate Harm Reduction
  3. Greg Conley: President American Vaping Association, Harm Reduction and Vaping advocate
  4. Alison Boughner: THR Advocate, SCVA Secretary, Marketing and Communications for EcigCharleston
  5. Scott Gottlieb: ex-Commissioner of the FDA, sits on the board of Pfizer
  6. Phil: Vaper and non-smoker since March 2014
  7. Jim McDonald: Smokers invented vaping and have the right to choose harm reduction, Vaping 360
  8. Alex Wodak: Drug law reform doctor in Australia. President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
  9. Andrew Thompson: Ex-smoker/current vaper and THR advocate
  10. Alan Beard: NNA Associate, occasional contributor to vapersorguk, blog -

The organisation says that vaping became the top trend in “tobacco related conversations” as the COVID-19 pandemic hit – presumably driven by anti-vape activists lying to smokers and vapers about the danger of vaping. It also correlated with World Vape Day, “which was celebrated on 30 May by millions of vapers across the globe to raise awareness on e-cigarettes or vapes and encourage smokers, who are unable to quit smoking to switch to safer nicotine products.”

FSFW’s Charles Gardner told Planet of the Vapes, “I regard this as an odd niche area to for a data mining company explore...despite the 7 million deaths per year caused by toxic tobacco products."

Planet of the Vapes has approached GlobalData, asking about the motivation to run this data dive, if any billionaires funded it, and the decision to title them "tobacco influencers". GlobalData has not replied at time of writing.



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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