Investing in safer alternatives to cigarettes will benefit public health – founder of UK company

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Jonathan Fell, founder of Ash Park, a UK based fund management company. (Photo from the World Nicotine Forum Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines – Investing in non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes will benefit public health, according to Jonathan Fell, founder of Ash Park, a UK-based fund management company.

Ash Park manages the Ash Park Global Consumer Franchise funds.

“I think the industry’s investment in harm reduction has a lot of benefits if we can move the discourse beyond this ‘Big Tobacco’ mental model and refocus the conversation on a more open conversation and watch this. what consumers want, “Fell told the 8th World Nicotine Forum June 17-18 in Liverpool, England.

“You can see that the market places a much higher valuation on companies that are moving away from combustible products. And of course, companies and their leaders are noticing that too and it is reflected in the incentive plans of a few of them, ”he added.

According to a recent statement, Fell gave Michael Russell’s second speech titled “Investing in Nicotine Innovation: Public Health Risks and Benefits”. There, he shared his ideas on tobacco harm reduction (THR), a strategy that aims to mitigate the impact of smoking on public health.

Innovative non-combustible alternatives, such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, and Swedish snus, are considered part of the THR.

In 2013, Fell, who manages long-term, high-quality investments in the consumer goods industry, led Deutsche Bank’s equity research group in London. In this role, he covered the tobacco and beverage industries, following previous stints at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Professor David Sweanor, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Health Law and Policy in Canada at the University of Ottawa, also participated in Michael Russell’s keynote address as a speaker.

He pointed out that technology had reshaped the tobacco industry, with more and more consumers turning to nicotine-based products considered less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

“We find that a considerable number of consumers are very willing to switch to these products, if the products are available, they have decent information. And the global cigarette market is approaching one trillion US dollars a year with over a billion users, ”Sweanor said.

Sweanor has been actively involved in tobacco and health policy issues since the early 1980s and has worked globally with many groups including the International Union Against Cancer, the World Health Organization , the World Bank and the Pan American Health Organization.

He has played a key role in setting many global precedents in tobacco control policy. He now focuses much of his tobacco and nicotine related efforts on harm reduction strategies.

“I think we need to study the industry. We have to look at the new players. We have to understand that this is a very dynamic situation, ”said Sweanor. “And we have to try to shape that through smart regulation, by having a smart discourse to see how we’ve transformed other industries like what’s currently happening with the auto industry, moving with internal combustion engines. “

“What happened to switch from unsanitary food to hygienic food, from snake oil to scientific pharmaceuticals? How did we transform all these other industries? What lessons can we learn from this? And what can we do by understanding how this industry works, but also by understanding who the industry is? What is the difference between companies that sell tobacco products and companies that sell alternative products? What is the difference between cigarettes and non-combustible tobacco products? What are the divisions between the different companies? Added Sweanor.

He noted, however, that there remained a lot of misconceptions about non-combustible alternatives.

“Much of the mainstream tobacco control thought vaping was a plot by Big Tobacco, these evil new geniuses, and it needed to be attacked. And the best thing we can do is attack these alternative products, ”he said.

“You don’t recognize that what they were doing was really protecting the cigarette market, that’s where these companies made massively higher profit margins on a sustainable basis. So it was a failure to grasp the reality of what was going on.

Sweanor said the easiest way to get companies to transform and do more would be to stop banning alternatives.

“There’s huge potential in all of these markets, you know, and anyone who thinks new technology can’t be acceptable in low- and middle-income countries has to understand what’s happened with smartphones. I mean, just remove the bans, get people to go in that direction, ”he said.

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