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International

Factasia.org

Factasia.org (www.factasia.org) is a Hong Kong based non-government organisation which promotes e-cigarettes and campaigns for its use. A long time tobacco industry representative, Heneage Mitchell is one of the founders of Factasia.org. While it claims to be an independent group, it is funded by Philip Morris International and Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA).[1] Accordingly, it represents “adults in Asia who choose to enjoy smoking or other related forms of consumption of nicotine.”

Although it claims that it “does not work for the tobacco industry” its views are consistent with tobacco industry views in that it opposes tobacco tax increases and repeats the well-known industry line – “sensible regulation”. It explicitly aims to lobby on behalf of tobacco growers, distributors and retailers.[2] Among the activities of Factasia.org is to lobby politicians to support its cause.

[1] Factasia.org; Our Supporters. http://factasia.org/our-supporters/

[2] Factasia.org to lobby for smokers’ rights. http://www.tobaccoreporter.com/2013/11/factasia-org-to-lobby-for-smokers-rights/

 

International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA)

The International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) is a tobacco industry front group sponsored by, among others, BAT, Philip Morris International and Imperial Tobacco Group. On the surface it claims to champion the rights of farmers, but in reality it fronts tobacco industry interests and opposes effective tobacco control measures. In 2012, the ITGA focused on rallying farmers to oppose the adoption of the report on FCTC Articles 17 & 18 at the 5th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP5). Its main strategy was to mobilise farmers to protest by providing them misleading information and creating fear that their livelihoods will be threatened.

The group has been instigating farmers by holding regional forums, in Malaysia in March 2012 and the Philippines in September, releasing false information in press statements, and attempting to undermine the legitimate process of the COP.

ITGA’s Asia website claims that in many countries and regions tobacco is the local economy. In reality, in Asian countries tobacco growers generally raise other crops too, so tobacco acreage forms a minute part of total agricultural land, averaging less than 0.2 percent: Malaysia- 0.17 percent, Philippines – 0.19 percent, Thailand – 0.2 percent and Vietnam – 0.19 percent. For more information on the ITGA.

 

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