Vaping is a disruptive industry which threatens more than US$700 billion in tobacco revenues and US$250 billion in tax revenues. It’s inevitable there’s going to be opposition to vaping.
For decades, tobacco companies have secretly created funded and orchestrated independent-sounding front groups to undermine proven public health policies around the world. From casting doubts on the health harms of tobacco use to lobbying governments to roll back measures designed to drive down rates of tobacco use, front groups like the World Vapers’ Alliance have long been the foundation of Big Tobacco’s playbook.
Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK and worldwide, causing at least 15 different types of cancer.
It appears Big Pharma Company Pfizer has been funding at least one European anti-vaping organization for a number of years allegedly pumping in millions of Euros.
Nothing wrong with that you might think, however Pfizer now has former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb on its board of directors and also manufactures stop smoking medicines and products.
One of those medicines is of course Champix, which as I reported last year has a number of serious side-effects including depression and suicidal tendencies.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how vaping has hit the bottom line of Big Pharma companies’ profits, and therefore using, shall we say ‘dirty tricks‘ to target all things vape, may lead smokers looking to quit to opt for medication rather than e-cigarettes…
Apart from possible killer drugs like Champix, Pfizer of course also manufactures the Nicorette line of stop smoking aids such as patches – gums and of course ‘flavoured’ nicotine mist sprays.
A recent study showed that e-cigarettes were twice as likely to help smokers quit compared to patches, gums and sprays – something Big Pharma and indeed Big Tobacco has known for years.
As hard as this may be to believe, the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries are in bed together. Since 1984 they’ve operated under nicotine marketing partnership agreement. The once-secret documents evidencing their agreement are many and suggest that neither is permitted to directly attack the other’s products.
The partnership’s purpose is to keep you in the family, to ensure your purchase and use of their nicotine. While it’s their objective to keep you handing them your money to satisfy your dependency’s wanting, I hope it’s your dream to permanently arrest and silence it, and defy them.
WHY BIG PHARMA AND PUBLIC HEALTH ARE LYING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF VAPING
Major pharmaceutical companies and public health activists are among the leading culprits spreading disinformation about the health risks of e-cigarettes.
Vaping advocates say the cost of FDA approvals will bankrupt an industry that might vastly improve public health. This spring, a major study from the Royal College of Physicians, the British equivalent of the Office of the Surgeon General, found e-cigarettes to be 95 percent less harmful than cigarettes.
But many Democrats in Congress have long opposed unregulated vaping devices, which leave out tobacco itself and its carcinogens and instead vaporize flavoured liquid containing nicotine, which is derived from tobacco. Foes call e-cigarettes an enticement to children that could prove a “gateway” to tobacco although there is no evidence to suggest this!
Drug companies favouring the FDA rules—usually big backers of Democrats—have huge sums invested in prescription smoking-cessation drugs, covered in many cases under the Democrat-passed Affordable Care Act, which they helped shape. They now face stiff competition from readily available e-cigarettes. Similarly, tobacco companies, left flat-footed by the growth of the upstart vaping market, also support the FDA rules as they look to shore up market positions in both tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Big Pharma squares up to vaping association in the parliamentary ring in the UK
One of the tactics used by tobacco companies to weaken or prevent advances in tobacco control is by giving gifts to those who could influence the passage of tobacco control laws. Such gifts include dinners and tickets to popular events, which aim to build positive relationships with decision makers, and influence their understanding and voting behaviour on tobacco regulation.
Official records of the British House of Commons and the House of Lords, and government department transparency registers, show that British politicians have been recipients of tobacco industry gifts and hospitality.
Throughout 2019 it was found that tobacco companies actively tried to influence policy and used illicit cigarette trade and harm-reduction products as pretexts to approach policymakers, even more so than they did in 2018. They also found more high-profile instances of conflict of interest among politicians.
300 UK deaths a day related to tobacco!
Almost seven million people smoke in the UK and every single day over 300 people die from disease caused by tobacco.
Why is tobacco industry funding a special case?
Tobacco firms lobbied politicians in Scotland in ‘breach of WHO treaty’
Big Tobacco’s Investments in and Acquisitions of Pharmaceutical Companies
The global tobacco market size was estimated at USD 849.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 867.6 billion in 2022.
The tobacco industry did not let the pandemic hamper its operations. In fact, the industry was one of the few that actually benefited from the pandemic, with Phillip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco (BAT), two of the largest players in the market, generating revenues as high as US$82 billion and US$35 billion in 2021, respectively.
The stay-at-home orders were one of the key factors that drove the industry’s growth, which, coupled with pandemic-related anxiety, resulted in many consumers stockpiling products such as cigarettes. Additionally, governments in various countries across the globe deemed tobacco products as “essential” commodities during lockdowns, which further boosted sales.
The global tobacco industry produced almost six million metric tons of tobacco in 2020. The leading producer of tobacco worldwide is China, which produced over a third of the global amount in 2020. Other major producers were Brazil and India. The leading tobacco company worldwide was the British American Tobacco, generating about 33 billion U.S. dollars in net sales in 2020. With just under 30 billion U.S. dollars in sales, Philip Morris International was the second leader among tobacco companies around the world that year. (Source: Statista)
Advocates fighting tobacco epidemic in developing countries face intimidation – new study
Tobacco Industry People
History of Interference by the Tobacco Industry and its Allies during COP and MOP
British American Tobacco: Dirty Deeds in Africa
Influencing Science: Creating Doubt about Scientific Evidence
Companies, labour unions, trade associations and other influential organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington’s legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house. We’ve got totals spent on lobbying, beginning in 1998, for everyone from AAI Corp. to Zurich Financial.
Top Lobbying Firms
Who is spending the most to influence government policy?
Which lobbying firms are bringing in the most cash?
Which industry groups spend the most?
Top Lobbyist contributors
How much are foreign interests spending on influence?
The two largest cigarette makers, Altria and Reynolds American, hired a combined 30 federal lobbyists to secure legislative and regulatory victories in 2017. And the two have consistently pumped millions of dollars into candidate coffers in the last four election cycles. The National Institute on Money in State Politics used its Similarity Tool to identify donors that had similar contribution histories as Altria and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Electronic cigarettes give smokers a nicotine fix without the stink, tar, fire or carbon monoxide of real cigarettes. They may be a cheap, healthy way to help smokers quit.
So, I’ll give you three guesses which industry is behind the global push to clamp down on e-cigarettes.
If you assumed concerned doctors or “consumer-rights advocates” are the driving force for regulation in Europe and the U.S., then you haven’t been paying attention to the way profit and politics interact.
If you said Big Tobacco, close, but no cigar. Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorrillard all jumped in the e-cig game in the past two years. They’re not opposing regulation (the big guys rarely do), but they’re pushing back on the most onerous rules.
Big Pharma is the real foe of e-cigs, and Big Government is their weapon of choice — on both sides of the pond.
Based on the calculations of the finest statistical minds in the world and the World Health Organisation, they have predicted that by 2025, 27 years from now, 500 million people worldwide will die of tobacco-related disease. That’s a numbing figure. It is too large to take in, so let me put it in other terms for you. That’s a Vietnam war every day for 27 years. That’s a Bhopal every two hours for 27 years. That’s a Titanic every 43 minutes for 27 years.
If we were to build for those tobacco victims a memorial such as the Vietnam wall, it would stretch from here a thousand miles across seven states to Kansas City.
And, if you want to put it in terms per minute, there’s a death every 1.7 seconds, or about 250 to 300 people, since I began to speak to you this afternoon.
How an American tobacco giant is quietly investing big money in hundreds of political races across the nation
Big Tobacco is funding the anti-smoking lobby – but leaked documents reveal the real reason why
An archive of 14 million documents created by tobacco companies about their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, scientific research and political activities, hosted by the UCSF Library.
Government puts tobacco interests above a billion lives
Big Pharma & Big Tobacco: A Tale Of Two Deadly Scandals
What have the tobacco and pharma industries got in common?
U.S. TOBACCO LOBBYIST AND LOBBYING FIRM REGISTRATION TRACKER