Podcast - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

Global Health Perspectives 

An ongoing series of conversations with experts in global health about how smoking sits at the nexus of many major health issues. 


Episode 40: James Glassman

James K. Glassman serves as Chair of the Commission to Reignite the Fight Against Smoking. The Commission and its staff will launch a report that offers facts, analysis, and recommendations aimed at reinvigorating a noble effort that has stalled. Mired in an outdated paradigm, it has been superseded by new technology, new ideas, and new concerns for neglected communities. The Commission will also recommend a set of actions to accelerate an end to adult smoking and other toxic tobacco use.

We value any comments or ideas on what you’ve heard, email us at podcast@smokefreeworld.org 

Portrait of a man.

Episode 39: Anupam Manur

Professor Anupam Manur explores how India’s complicated relationship with the tobacco industry and weak government enforcement of policy is causing a national public health crisis.

Episode 38: Balkan Smoke with Professor Mary Neuburger

Former FSFW Derek Yach participates in Q&A with author Mary Neuburger to discuss her book, “Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria”.

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera.

Episode 37: Cother Hajat

As a physician and epidemiologist, Cother Hajat focuses on chronic disease risks. Cother discusses gaps in health infrastructure and evaluates the quality of a tobacco harm reduction study. 

Episode 36: End of Year Recap

Former FSFW President Derek Yach recaps the highlights from the podcast series and looks to the future with lessons learned in 2020. The topics covered include how COVID19 pandemic intertwined with smoking and the efforts to improve access to cessation and harm reduction. 

Portrait of a man holding an award.

Episode 35: Bengt Wiberg 

Swedish Snus is considered one of the safest ways to consume nicotine. The use of Snus comes with a distinct stinging sensation on the inner lip that many find unappealing. Bengt Wiberg speaks about the implications of his invention that removes this barrier from an effective tobacco harm reduction product: 

Portrait of a man.

Episode 34: William 

William Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor and coauthor of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. William discusses the state of tobacco farming in Malawi, his incredible story, and how to inspire young people to innovate new ideas for the future.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 33: Harry Shapiro

Harry Shapiro discusses the worldwide demand for tobacco harm reduction and unpack some of the findings from the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction’s Burning Issues report. Harry Shapiro is the Director of DrugWise and head writer/editor of Burning Issues.  

Portrait of a man.

Episode 32: Michael Cummings

Michael Cummings is recognized worldwide as an expert in the field of tobacco control and frequently serves as an expert witness in legal proceedings against cigarette manufacturers. Dr. Cummings discusses the role of capitalism in tobacco control policy and the Tobacco Transformation Index™

Portrait of a woman smiling at a podium.

Episode 31: Elise Rasmussen

Elise Rasmussen is the founder and president of the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF). Elise unpacks some of the highlights from this year’s virtual GTNF and discuss the value of creating a space for open dialogue.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 30: Karl Fagerström

Scientist Karl Fagerstrom discusses the use of harm reduction products in smoking cessation therapy and misperceptions about nicotine. Karl recommends that the new generation of harm reduction scientists “stay close to the data.” 

Portrait of a man.

Episode 29: Dr. Sudhanshu Patwardhan

Dr. Sudhanshu Patwardhan is a British-Indian, UK licensed Medical Doctor, passionate about helping people quit risky tobacco. Dr. Sudhanshu and Derek discuss the lack of global inclusion of smoking cessation services, how medical education professionals lack vital information about nicotine, and the potential of tobacco harm reduction technologies to improve the lives of millions of people. 

Portrait of a man.

Episode 28: Daniel Malan

Daniel Malan assistant professor of business ethics at Trinity College Dublin discussed his new report, “Contradictions and Conflicts,” and asks the question, “can governments that own 10% or more of at least one tobacco company be impartial when addressing the health and wellness of their people?”

Portrait of a man.

Episode 27: Tony Leon

Tony Leon is an accomplished author and the ex-leader of the South African Parliament Opposition. Tony discusses how the recently lifted tobacco and alcohol ban in South Africa impacted the economy and the health of South African citizens.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 26: Donald Kenkel

Economist Donald Kenkel from Cornell University applies economic theories to understand the smoking disease epidemic from a different angle. Donald about regulations, bans, taxes, and the cycle of misinformation created from last year’s outbreak of lung injury associated with contaminated EVALI vaping products.

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera.

Episode 25: Karen Nelson

Former FSFW President Derek Yach speaks with Dr. Karen Nelson of the J. Craig Venter Institute about the valuable lessons that can be learned from studying the human microbiome. Karen discusses her start and impact on the field of microbiome research, how the gut microbiome may influence activity and diseases in other parts of the body, and mentorship to support the next generation of researchers from low-middle income countries. 

Portrait of a man.

Episode 24: Kevin McGirr

Kevin McGirr is a professor with Community Health Systems at the University of California, San Francisco. Kevin discusses the link between mental health conditions and nicotine addiction. 

Portrait of a man smiling.

Episode 23: Samrat Chowdhery

Samrat Chowdhery is a journalist and the president of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO). Samrat discusses India’s ban on nicotine vaping and the future of tobacco harm reduction in low and middle-income countries.

Episode 22: Dr. Corinna Lathan

Corinna Lathan is an inventor and CEO of AnthroTronix. Dr. Lathan discusses improving people’s lives with the application of science, her extraordinary career journey, and the policy effects of the anti-science movement. Cori is a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera.

Episode 21: Villoo Morawala-Patell

Dr. Villoo Patell launched a project to build a genetic database of India’s Zoroastrian community. The Zoroastrian community is known for its uniquely strict cultural practices forbidding smoking and ostracizing smokers from the community. Dr. Patell is a biotech innovator and founder of Avesthagen Limited.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 20: Konstantinos Farasalinos

Konstantinos Farasalinos is a senior researcher at the Department of Pharmacy-University of Patras and the school of Public Health-University of West Attica. Konstantinos is also an adjunct professor at King AbdulAziz University in Jeddah. Derek and Konstantinos discuss tobacco harm reduction, the results from cutting-edge research on e-cigarettes , and how the health of smokers and vapers are impacted by the Covid19  outbreak.

Portrait of a man smiling.

Episode 19: Francois Millard

Francois Millard is SVP at the Vitality Group Inc. Francois discusses a number of topics, including the role of health insurance and the future and Vitality’s unique incentive program that rewards clients for engaging in healthy behavior.

Portrait of a man smiling.

Episode 18: George Bostock

George Bostock is a mechanical engineer at Cambridge Design Partnership and a grantee of the Foundation. George discusses his fascinating work on identifying the impediments to reduced risk product uptake in lower-middle-income countries.

Episode 17: A Message for World No Tobacco Day

In this episode, Former FSFW President Derek Yach addresses the significance of World No Tobacco Day and how the day affected him personally while living in South Africa many years ago. On World No Tobacco Day we are reminded that smoking remains the largest single preventable cause of death.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 16: Jed Rose

Jed Rose is a leader in tobacco addiction research and the co-inventor of the nicotine skin patch. Jed discusses shortcomings of the conventional approaches to cessation as well as the promise of innovative harm reduction products and technologies that are often overlooked by the public health community.

Episode 15: Dyborn Chibonga

Dyborn Chibonga is the regional head of Malawi and Mozambique at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Dyborn discusses some of the challenges faced by Mozambique and Malawi in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic and the future of Malawi’s smallholder tobacco farmers as the world begins to smoke less cigarettes. Dyborn provides strategic guidance as a member of the Foundation’s board of directors.

Image of a woman surrounded by kids.

Episode 14: Melonie Kastman

Melonie has produced documentaries about some of the most complex problems facing Africa today. She covered the end of slavery, illicit diamonds, and most recently, Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Melonie directed the short film “The True Cost of a Cigarette,” where she told the rarely heard story of tobacco production from the perspective of the smallholder tobacco farmers living in Malawi.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 13: Gerry Stimson

Gerry Stimson is a public health scientist and advocate for harm reduction strategies. Gerry speaks about some of the reasons why harm reduction strategies have historically faced mainstream political/media pushback and the dangers of disregarding those strategies in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic. Gerry also provides insight into the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction, an extensive report published by Knowledge Action Change.

Portrait of a man.

Episode 12: Dr. Tikki Pangestu

Dr. Tikki Pang spent 13 years as the Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the World Health Organization. Tikki speaks about the media, political pushback on tobacco harm reduction strategies, and discuss the real-time issues related to the ongoing Covid19 outbreak. 

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera.

Episode 11: Dr. Marewa Glover

Dr. Marewa Glover is an indigenous behavioral scientist who has worked on reducing harms from smoking for over 25 years. Marewa speaks about the social and economic determinants of health for indigenous people in New Zealand and her Coping in Lockdown Survey. 

Episode 10: Angela Hoffmann

Angela Marshall Hofmann’s experience as a senior executive at Walmart and World Strategies gives her an important and unique understanding of how the ongoing Covid19 outbreak may impact politics, industry, and public health. Angela discusses the many changes that may be coming as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, the impact of female leaders, and how to leverage this difficult time for a better future. Angela is a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera.

Episode 9: Dr. Pooja Patwardhan

Dr. Pooja Patwardhan is a general practitioner in the UK with decades of experience in tobacco cessation and harm reduction. Pooja discusses the connection between mental illness and smoking-related disease, the effect on the ongoing Covid19 outbreak, and how doctors can support tobacco users in their quitting journey.

Portrait of a man smiling.

Episode 8: Ethan Nadelmann

Ethan Nadelmann, who is the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, speaks about the role of harm reduction in tobacco control, why harm reduction is difficult for some public health experts to embrace, and what lessons can be learned from the Covid19 outbreak. 

Episode 7: Darshita Gillies

Listed among the 100 Most Influential in the UK, Darshita Gillies is the founder and CEO of Maanch. In this episode, Darshita speaks about the current state of public health philanthropy, her perspective on the Covid19 pandemic, and the role of technology in the future of the nonprofit development community.

Portrait of a woman facing the camera.

Episode 6: Chitra Subramaniam

Chitra Subramaniam is an iconic investigative journalist from India now living in Geneva. She is recognized for her investigation of the Bofors-India Howitzer deal which is widely believed to have to have contributed to the electoral defeat of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. Chitra speaks about her work in global public health and compares the Swiss Covid19 response to India’s approach.

Portrait of a man smiling with his arms crossed.

Episode 5: Nilesh Jain

Nilesh is the founder of the Harm Reduction Research and Innovation Center. Nilesh sheds insight on the current healthcare inequities in India and the challenges faced by the Covid19 pandemic. India is embarking on a technological revolution where access to smartphones offer a new pathway to connect with vital health information.

An FSFW employee.

Episode 4: Yuchen Xue

Yuchen Xue Data Analyst at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World recounts her personal experience of traveling through China and entering the U.S. during the onset of the Covid19 pandemic.

Portrait of a man smiling.

Episode 3: Shlomi Madar

Shlomi Madar speaks about the potential of using a global data aggregator like Signals Analytics to track and predict changes in public health. In the wake of the Covid19 pandemic, digital trends emerge – understanding these advanced analytics could be a tool to get ahead of public misconceptions and provide valuable data points that health officials can share with the public.

An FSFW employee.

Episode 2: Candida Nakhumwa

Candida speaks about her personal journey, the Foundation’s work in Malawi and the potential ramifications of the Covid19 pandemic on smallholder tobacco farmers.

Episode 1: Riccardo Polosa 

Dr. Riccardo Polosa, a respiratory physician and harm reduction expert, is the first guest on the podcast and he speaks about his first-hand experience with the #COVID19 pandemic in Italy.

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