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The Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum was established for one goal: to help create a smoke-free world.

Talk about grand illusions.

The forum recently initiated international feedback on the development of a Smoke-Free Index, which would be updated on an annual basis. The proposals called for by the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum included tactics to analyze the marketing and sales efforts of tobacco companies to eventually achieve the forum’s ultimate end goal. The group will work in concert with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, according to news-medical.net.

“Senior global health leaders have started to acknowledge the importance of tobacco industry transformation and what this means for how we engage in building solutions,” Foundation for a Smoke-Free World President Dr. Derek Yach said. “It is long overdue that tobacco companies use their leverage in the market to assert greater influence on each other to act far more decisively to end the use of combustible cigarettes globally.”

The Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum was formed in 2017 by Philip Morris International. The tobacco and vaping giant funded the group’s establishment and lured Yach to lead its development.

And, no, Yach insisted he has not “gone over to the dark side.” When Yach accepted the role, critics called the organization a sham. After all, why would Philip Morris subsidize a platform to put itself out of business?

Yach defended his position.

“I am not naive enough to believe that Philip Morris is doing this because of the warm fuzzy feeling that they want to lower the death rates,” Yach said. “No. What they want to do is have a product that is less risky and that makes them profits.

“That is the beginning and end of it.”

The foundation intends to form a group of stakeholders to study data and develop metrics for industry insiders and lawmakers will be able to comprehend. Yah seeks to interview additional credible research organizations to help formulate the initial index, news-medical.net reported.

Grand illusions, indeed.

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