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World Heart Federation supports call from the global respiratory community

03 Feb 2022

The World Heart Federation (WHF) officially endorses the joint statement issued by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies on the implications of Philip Morris International’s acquisition of Vectura Group plc.

The tobacco industry has a long history of systematic and deliberate interference in health and regulatory policies, prioritizing profits over human lives. On that account, WHF recognizes that the acquisition of Vectura by Philip Morris International sets a dangerous precedent.

Tobacco, as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, contributes to nearly 17% of all cardiovascular disease deaths worldwide. WHF believes that health and scientific organizations, as well as journals, have a duty to act in the interest of public health. As such, we oppose further acquisitions of healthcare companies, especially those related to cardiovascular health, by the tobacco industry.

WHF has recently adopted and implemented a conflict of interest policy, prohibiting all prospective speakers and delegates funded by the tobacco industry or its front group from attending WHF meetings and congress. We urge governments to fully implement Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in order to protect the health of their populations from the vested interests of the tobacco industry.

The World Heart Federation remains committed to achieving a tobacco-free world and will do its utmost to prevent potential ventures of the tobacco industry into the cardiovascular sphere.