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Anti-alternative tobacco report slammed by experts

Jack Burton

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Anti-alternative tobacco report slammed by experts | Thaiger
PHOTO: GazetteHealth

A recent report titled “Today’s Teens, Tomorrow’s Customers” published by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance is being slammed by the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates and global health experts, who have dismissed it as “​naïve” and “harmful.” Nancy Loucas, CAPHRA’s executive director, described the report as a product of perception by a group that is funded by industry, including pharmaceutical interests that “justifies its existence by creating a teen ‘epidemic’ in order to remain relevant.”

Loucas says the report published by SEATCA for World No Tobacco Day can no longer deny the effectiveness of tobacco harm reduction and reduced-risk products such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products and powdered tobacco, in making smokers switch. The report argues that “banning the manufacture, importation, promotion, distribution, sale and use of these products is still the most comprehensive approach” to regulating the non-tobacco products.

Loucas says the argument that “e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are being used to entice a teen to take up vaping and potentially smoking” is the opposite of what happens in countries when smoking rates are on the decline. She noted that even the World Health Organisation, after months of criticising harm reduction and reduced-risk products, recently came out with a theme report on World Vape Day. The report states that “while it is expected that the use of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems in these groups might increase their health risks, non-pregnant adult smokers who completely and promptly switch from combustible tobacco cigarettes to unadulterated and appropriately regulated EN & NNDS alone might reduce their health risks.”

David Sweanor, a Canadian lawyer who has worked in global public health efforts on tobacco for over 30 years, said the SEATCA report “shows extraordinary levels of naïveté about consumers, nicotine, the tobacco industry and the history of successful efforts to reduce risks for a vast array of other products and services.” He feels the report diminishes “an unparalleled opportunity to save millions of lives and to relegate cigarettes to the ashtray of history.”

“Inhaling cigarette smoke is extraordinarily toxic, resulting in over 20,000 global deaths daily. We have known for decades that the harm is from the smoke, not the nicotine. And we now have viable ways to give the nicotine people need or want without the inhalation of the toxic products of combustion.”

“To see this situation as a reason to protect cigarettes by banning safer alternatives rather than using these safer products to attack the cigarette business is breathtakingly ignorant. It would be like dealing with a cholera epidemic by seeking to ban clean water or dealing with automobiles by banning safety features.”

“I am shocked by just how counterproductive a paper they have produced. One might think novices in the field would seek advice from people like me. In this case, they not only failed to do that but defamed me. They clearly have an agenda, and it is advantaging the cigarette business rather than public health.”

CAPHRA is an alliance of consumer organisations from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand that aims to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult consumers to access and use products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

SOURCE: pressat

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

7 Thai dogs find a new home in California

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7 Thai dogs find a new home in California | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai dogs are always looking for loving homes.

7 stray dogs from Thailand have immigrated to the United States as one California woman attempts to rescue as many Thai dogs as possible. Melissa Bacelar is the owner of The Wagmor Luxury Pet Hotel and Spa, along with its offshoot pet adoption service, Wagmore Pets. Located in Studio City, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles bordering Hollywood, the pet hotel just checked in the 7 Thai dogs.

They were street rescues that the Soi Dog Foundation helped prepare for their move to America. Soi Dog Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping stray dogs and cats, is based in Phuket and operating throughout Thailand. They have recently been hosting vaccination and neutering on Koh Samui.

Following 2 days of air travel across the world, the dogs are settling into their new country, safely landed in Los Angeles. Melissa has a passion for rescuing dogs from Thailand because of the tough life they lead here, and the tragic end many face. Some die on the streets, others are poisoned or bludgeoned when they become burdensome to people in the area, while others are slaughtered and sold for meat.

“The dogs on the street often end up in different meat markets in the area; they’re just dying on the streets. So it’s important to get them out of there and find them homes.”

These 7 dogs have escaped that dark fate and have been rescued, rehabilitated, trained and vaccinated by the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand. Melissa is hopeful that they will find new homes easily as they are fully prepared and ready for adoption. The Thai dogs are surely looking forward to starting their new lives as American dog citizens.

SOURCE: MSN

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Chon Buri: 141 new Covid-19 infections, 54 linked to nightlife

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Chon Buri: 141 new Covid-19 infections, 54 linked to nightlife | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Clubs are spreading Covid-19 in Chon Buri and throughout Thailand

Chon Buri now has 264 confirmed Covid-19 infections this month after the Chon Buri Public Health Department announced that today brought 141 new infections. Many of the new cases stem from exposure from evening entertainment venues. 54 of the new cases are from an outbreak cluster at the Flintstones Pub in Mueang Chon Buri, bringing the total number of Coronavirus cases linked to that one pub to 90. Other infections were found in Chon Buri area venues including Class 99 Pub, Bone Pattaya, Na Pa, Symphony Pub, plus cases from nightclubs in Bangkok and Samut Prakan. 5 of the infected people were actually from other provinces who came to Chon Buri for treatment, while over 60 cases are still being investigated to determine their source.

The infections that were identified locally are:

  • 53 in Mueang Chonburi
  • 30 in Banglamung
  • 8 in Si Racha
  • 7 in Panthong
  • 4 in Panat Nikhom
  • 3 in Ban Bueng
  • 1 in Nongyai
  • 6 from other provinces

Another 2,410 tests have been administered from contact tracing the infections, but results have not been announced yet. Some are suspected to be infected, while others are just proactive cautionary testing for people who may have been exposed in or around the entertainment venues listed above. While the Thai government has shut down all bars and nightclubs in 41 provinces including Chon Buri, local officials are also reminding people to follow Covid-19 precautions. They are requesting everyone in Chon Buri wear masks, maintain social distancing, and avoid crowded places. Officials want to avoid a panic, but do want people to be vigilant to prevent an even bigger outbreak.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Krystal Club Thonglor25 is one of many high-end clubs where Covid-19 spread

The current surge in Covid-19 infections now looks to be spread in large part by Thailand’s colourful nightlife, with more than 500 people contracting the more contagious UK variant (B117) of the Coronavirus. The government responded by closing all bars and entertainment venues in 41 provinces, but it may be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic. Many people now are critical, pointing to the first and second wave as harbingers of how the party nightlife can so easily transmit Covid-19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, partiers in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area began testing positive for Covid-19 last March. The Public Health Ministry instructed everyone to follow safety measures to prevent a big outbreak. The area is well known to be a hotspot for Bangkok’s wealthy elite and powerful with its multitude of high-end luxury clubs and bars.

A normal night has thousands of people roaming the streets into the late hours of the evening. But after infections started spreading, all nightlife was closed until July when Thailand overall had gained some control and contained the Coronavirus more successfully than most countries. In fact, it would be months before any new infections were diagnosed in the area.

While it’s commonly known that the next wave of Covid-19 in Thailand started mainly from migrant workers and low wage market workers, even the second round of infections was proliferated by people enjoying the nightlife around Thailand. There was a case of a woman in the North who went to several bars before knowing that she had contracted the virus in January, and, when the details of her bar-hopping were released, many customers of a bar she attended in Chiang Mai had already contracted Covid-19 as well. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Techin “DJ Matoom” Ploypetch held a lavish all-night party in a luxury hotel in January. Facing criminal charges for violating Covid-19 restrictions, he has recovered from the virus himself but the party became a spreader event. None of these nightlife outbreaks stopped people from pouring back into the club scene as soon as it reopened in February.

Now Thailand is facing a massive shutdown with the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 inescapable. One major factor in the rapidly spreading infections is trendy evening entertainment venues around Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya among other areas. A 35-year-old man who contracted Covid-19 reported he had been partying in Thong Lor the month before. Testing clubgoers from bars and entertainment venues in the area revealed an outbreak of Covid-19 infections.

Krystal Club Thonglor25 gained attention as powerful politicians and the wealthy elite that frequent the club so often it’s nicknamed “Government House 2”. 1/3 of Thailand’s cabinet ministers are currently self-isolating and it was rumoured that the Transport Minister had gotten C0vid-19 from visiting the infamous Krystal Club, though rumours were later dispelled.

But growing anger has emerged towards the upscale party-going set, with the hashtag #thonglorpub trending across social media since Wednesday, and many people complaining as the country closes down entertainment venues for the next two weeks and maybe facing further lockdown procedures.

The bar and club scene is a hotspot for Covid clusters since social distancing and mask-wearing are rarely enforced, in poorly ventilated rooms with throngs of tightly packed people. A list has emerged of high society hot spots where anyone in attendance in the past few weeks is being requested to get Covid-19 tests right away after customers at each has tested positive for covid.

  • Krystal Club Thonglor25
  • Bar Bar Bar,
  • Ekamai Beer House,
  • Emerald Thonglor13
  • Dirty Bar
  • Bottoms up Thonglor
  • AINU Hokkaido lzakaya & Bar
  • the Cassette Music Bar Ekamai
  • 63 Music House Ekamai

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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