As part of a funding scheme by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg allegedly aimed at reducing tobacco use globally, a big chunk is directed “at reducing tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs),” which ironically is the exact opposite of what this movement has been accomplishing.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced it would be putting $420 million towards reducing tobacco use globally, $280 of which will be allegedly going towards helping LMICs fight tobacco use. However, the anti-tobacco harm reduction (THR) strategies encouraged by the group are well documented to stall smoking cessation rates.
In response to Bloomberg’s announcement, a press release by the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) had explained that given the group’s hostility towards tobacco harm reduction products, vape advocates sadly expect further anti-science misinformation campaigns against harm reduction. And whether as part of an intentional attack or a well intentioned but misinformed campaign, this money is expected to do far more harm than good.
In fact the Bloomberg press release specified that $140 million would go towards fighting teen vaping in the US, yet it failed to mention that a previous $160 million grant was aimed towards banning vape flavours. This is considered tragic when countless peer reviewed studies and smoking cessation experts keep reiterating that flavours are crucial in motivating adults smokers to switch to the safer alternatives.
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