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ATHRA no longer accepts vape industry donations

Posted on March 1, 2019

From today, ATHRA is no longer accepting donations from vape businesses.

ATHRA is a registered health promotion charity established by an independent group of doctors and a consumer to reduce the devastating health burden from smoking in Australia. Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death and illness in Australia and kills 19,000 people every year.

ATHRA believes that Australian smokers should be accurately informed about less harmful alternative products to smoking so they can make informed choices.

Past donation policy

ATHRA was formally established in October 2017. Like all charities, ATHRA raised funds to cover initial setup costs and ongoing expenses from the public and the vaping industry (mostly vape shops). All donations have been unconditional, and all spending is at the discretion of the ATHRA Board of Directors, in line with the written objectives of the organisation and our Constitution.

ATHRA could not have been established without support from the industry to help cover initial legal costs, insurance, branding, accounting, regulatory costs and website development

We are very grateful for this assistance.

ATHRA has been completely transparent about accepting donations from the vaping industry. This support was publicly declared in presentations, for example here, and on the ATHRA website. The actual names of key industry supporters were removed from the website on the advice of our lawyers as it breached state and federal law.

ATHRA has never provided any benefits or incentives to donors in return for donations and no brand or product names are promoted or endorsed. Donors have no input into how the money is used.

ATHRA has never, and will never, accept funding from the tobacco industry or its subsidiaries

Most charities receive funding from businesses and organisations who may benefit from the charity’s work, commercially or in some other way. There is nothing unusual about ATHRA taking donations from the vape industry. For example, Lung Foundation Australia is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies which make respiratory medications. Asthma Australia receives funding from companies that make asthma medicines.

ATHRA has never received any money from the Federal Government or any State Government who have still not embraced tobacco harm reduction.

Future donation policy

ATHRA has always intended to cease industry donations once established.

Industry funding can be exploited by those opposed to tobacco harm reduction to create a perception of a potential conflict of interest, when none exists

All ongoing administration and campaign costs will now be funded entirely by personal donations from the public and donations from ATHRA Directors. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

We are happy to receive donations from philanthropic organisations and other benefactors who are not linked to the vaping industry.

One thing is certain. ATHRA is more determined than ever to achieve its objectives and will continue to fight on to reduce the harm from smoking in Australia.

Donations can be made by clicking HERE

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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