Reported in the Manila Bulletin (1), “misinformation and attacks from well-funded international non-government organizations are among the key obstacles to the adoption of tobacco harm reduction and mitigation of deaths from smoking in low and middle-income countries, according to health policy experts.”
The newspaper cites Dr Sree Sucharitha, who explained that there appears to be a lack of “political will” in India to embrace tobacco harm reduction in the same fashion as the United Kingdom. With 300 million users of various forms of tobacco, the need for safer alternatives couldn’t be more pressing and yet politicians and doctors have a “lack of awareness about tobacco harm reduction and the application of tobacco harm reduction as a main strategy in clinical practice”.
Kenyan advocate and campaigner Joseph Magero added: “The second challenge we have is inadequate policies support, which is driven by misinformation and also lack of research. The third challenge we’re facing is a lack of support from WHO and FCTC. And then the last one is, of course, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and what they’re doing here.”
The Antz are a well-funded ideological machine, receiving instructions and support from billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The consequences have been disastrous for low and middle-income countries who have suffered from bans and restrictions on accessing safer nicotine alternatives to tobacco.
Not only this, but the actions of the Antz have included attempts to demonise vaping in the eyes of children in America, effectively targeting them with “kid-friendly flavors, cartoons and images”, according to Professor Brad Rodu.
“Anti-vape organizations are running pervasive information campaigns that inundate youth with cartoons and other hip images, photos of kids vaping, and attractive illustrations of vape flavors. Anti-tobacco forces are actually encouraging kids to try e-cigarettes by underscoring how easy it is to use the products, the array of available flavors, and the enticing nicotine buzz that accompanies their use,” he writes (2).