World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Explosive Research Busts Billionaire’ Bullying In Asia Pacific

New research has revealed the anti-tobacco Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates foundations have funnelled millions of dollars into Asia Pacific non-government organisations (NGOs) to lobby their governments to ban vaping and discredit consumer advocacy groups.

“We are shocked but not surprised. We know American-based billionaires have long been unduly influencing tobacco control policymaking, but we didn’t have the hard evidence of the money trails. Now we do and it’s very disturbing,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

Leading Tobacco Harm Reduction advocate, Clarisse Virgino, who’s also the Philippines’ CAPHRA representative, released the explosive research. It has since been reported on extensively in the Filipino media and has now gone global. To view the full findings:

“They’ve been caught out badly - applying bullying tactics to unduly influence sovereign nations’ public health policies. Completely dismissing compelling international scientific evidence, their dirty money and interference means Asia Pacific’s 600 million smokers continue to have either limited access or no access to safer nicotine products,” says Ms Loucas.

The research shows that over the past decade millions of dollars have been given in grants to seven NGOs in the Philippines from various tobacco control and public health think tanks that are funded through Bloomberg’s philanthropy. With no transparency or accountability, an anti-vaping crusade has been engineered to try to undermine Filipino policies on regulating the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool.

Peter Dator, President of adult consumer advocacy group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, says the NGOs greed does not help the crippling smoking epidemic in the Philippines. Rather, their selling out only makes it worse.

“It is very disappointing that several NGOs received millions of dollars from foreign entities to lobby the Philippines government to ban vaping. Sadly, these organisations do not have the public’s interest at heart. They are just being manipulated. The good news is they’ve wasted their money, as our Senate is about to positively regulate vaping,” says Mr Dator.

The research also finds similar strategies by the billionaire foundations, NGOs and charities to influence public health policies and demonize the work of tobacco harm reduction advocates in Australia, Malaysia and Pakistan.

"This research shows that corruption and conflicts are widespread. In fact, globally, hundreds of millions of US dollars are being spent by billionaire-backed charitable organizations and pharmaceutical companies to force an anti-vaping agenda onto unsuspecting countries,” says Ms Loucas.

Furthermore, tied to the billionaires, the likes of big pharma are using their charitable organizations to attack vaping while marketing their own less effective smoking cessation products, she says.

Fortunately, their money hasn’t influenced everyone. In fact, the Asia Pacific region has seen several countries in recent years deliver progressive and successful tobacco harm reduction policies.

“Nonetheless, it’s outrageous that big American money and influence continues to demonize both advocates’ work and safer nicotine products. Their egos and arrogance are costing millions of lives in Asia Pacific each and every year,” says Ms Loucas.

“Vapers PH has fought tooth and nail to help Filipino smokers quit their deadly smoking habit. Unlike the several NGOs who received millions of dollars from foreign groups, our only motivation is for smokers to successfully quit or make the switch to safer alternatives. This research only hardens our resolve to keeping fighting,” says Mr Dator.

Ms Loucas says confirmation of the American billionaire meddling in the Asia Pacific comes at a bad time for the World Health Organization and its regional supporters hellbent on demonizing vaping.

September sees the 13th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (APACT). The WHO’s South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) is also holding its regional conference with the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) following in October.

“Like the billionaire foundations and the corrupted NGOs, these conferences also oppose access to safer, smoke-free alternatives for those who cannot stop using deadly combustible cigarettes. The proven health policy of Tobacco Harm Reduction saves lives. Sadly, however, the lies will continue to be peddled for as long as the American money keeps coming,” says Nancy Loucas.

Now live and boasting nearly 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at that urges the WHO to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>

Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>