EDMONTON, TORONTO and BOSTON, Monday, December 26, 2022 /CNW/ - Civil society organizations are hailing the expulsion of tobacco giant Philip Morris from Canada's major government-backed COVID-19 vaccine collaboration, Medicago Inc. Majority owner Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has removed Philip Morris as a secondary investor. The news follows the rejection of Medicago's Covifenz vaccine by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March due to the corporation's tobacco industry ties.
"Tobacco corporations, vaccines and governments don't mix well and we applaud the expulsion of Philip Morris from the Medicago collaboration," said Les Hagen, executive director of ASH Canada. "Tobacco industry products are responsible for over eight million deaths annually worldwide and tobacco corporations are desperately trying to whitewash their terrible public image by investing in the health sector. However, the control of one pandemic should not come at the expense of another. We are relieved that Canadian governments have washed their hands of this unethical and embarrassing collaboration with a tobacco giant." READ MORE
Vaping for a day and tossing it away is all the rage. Electronic cigarette sales have boomed in recent years, with single-use, throwaway devices growing in popularity, particularly among youth in some countries such as the United States and United Kingdom. This new, trendy face of the tobacco industry — touted for creating a smoke-free, but not tobacco-free, world — carries a heavy, and yet unquantified, environmental burden.
A recently published probe by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that 150 million disposable vapes are tossed out every year in the U.S. alone. Amounting to five every second, this consumption produces vast amounts of e-waste, sending up to 30 metric tons of lithium to U.S. landfills annually — enough to provide batteries for around 6,000 electric vehicles. Lithium is a vital ingredient in rechargeable electronics, including laptops and cellphones. READ MORE
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