Look Who’s Talking 2016

 Perspectives: Our 2016 speakers and panelists

A unique function of the GTNF is to ensure that the industry is not just “talking to itself.” Every year, our forum attracts more interest from an ever-wider range of important stakeholders. Leaders from the tobacco and e-cigarette industries come together with media commentators, government officials responsible for regulations, and representatives of NGOs, as well as the public health community and the financial sector.

The diversity of voices and backgrounds we are bringing together for Brussels 2016 will once again deliver fresh perspectives; these are sometimes challenging yet always valuable.

Below are some of the participants in our Brussels forum. Profiles will be added as speakers confirm their participation and share their bios.


adamsGeorge Adams is an interventional cardiologist at Rex Hospital and clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.

He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the University of Texas Southwestern and his general cardiology fellowship, interventional cardiology fellowship and master’s in health sciences at Duke University.

He is currently a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the director of cardiovascular and peripheral vascular research at Rex Hospital. Adams is well-published in the field of complex peripheral vascular interventions in critical limb ischemic patients, development of regional systems of care for STEMI, and nuclear cardiology techniques.

He has led a robust clinical research program enrolling patients in approximately 50 peripheral, carotid and coronary trials and is involved with device development for the management of coronary and peripheral vascular disease.


ADDIS-webAfter working for the European Commission’s external affairs directorate, Renato Addis now acts as a commercial diplomat for business clients. This less abrasive and more sophisticated form of lobbying is informed by astute political intelligence and the recognition that only sustainable agreements serve the long-term interest of clients.

Since joining EPPA in 1995, Addis has specialized in highly regulated and complex industry sectors, bridging specific client interests with broader political and socio-economic imperatives.

His current activities primarily focus on the chemical, agricultural, environmental, consumer protection and transport sectors.

Prior to joining EPPA, Addis undertook research and advised a specialized consultancy in the area of EU financial services; he published on single-market issues in general and the liberalization of the EU financial services sector in particular.

He took on various assignments related to the EU and Dutch life insurance and pension sectors, which involved working with the European Commission and the European Parliament.


viv-headshot-newVivien Azer is a managing director and senior research analyst at Cowen and Co., specializing in the beverage and tobacco sectors.

Azer’s coverage of the tobacco sector has earned her a spot on Institutional Investor‘s All-America Research Team on several occasions.

In 2015, StarMine ranked Azer No. 3 for earnings estimation in tobacco; in 2014 she ranked No. 1 in tobacco and No. 3 for earnings estimation in beverages.

Prior to joining Cowen and Co. in 2014, she spent more than nine years at Citi, covering consumer staples.

Azer holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.



Scott D. Ballin has spent more than 40 years involved in issues related to tobacco and public health.  He has worked on a spectrum of tobacco and nicotine issues ranging from labeling reforms on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco, excise taxes, clean indoor air laws and tobacco agriculture reforms.

For more than 10 years he served as the American Heart Association’s vice president and legislative counsel, as well as a steering committee member and two-time chairman of the Coalition on Smoking or Health, which was the first truly active national coalition in the tobacco control movement.

He served on the steering committee of the Alliance for Health Economic and Agriculture Development (AHEAD), an organization formed to bring parties together to work for the enactment of recommendations contained in a presidential report, Tobacco at a Crossroads.

In recent years he has worked as an adviser to the University of Virginia on a series of dialogues—“the Morven Dialogues”—on tobacco, nicotine and alternative products harm reduction and authored a series of white papers on the subject. Currently he is advising the U.S. Food and Drug Law Institute in preparation for an October 2016 tobacco conference. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and the FDA on numerous occasions and has worked extensively with the media.

Ballin is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law, in Arlington, Virginia, USA.


barba_2016-webGermana Barba is director of corporate affairs for reduced-risk products at Philip Morris International (PMI). Previously at PMI, she held various positions in the areas of regulatory, government and EU affairs in various countries.

In her current position, she is responsible for regulatory, fiscal, government and public affairs for PMI’s reduced-risk products.

Before joining PMI, she worked in journalism and politics.

She is a member of the Italian Association of Journalists, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and an Aspen Junior Fellow.

She holds a Master of Science in international relations and a Master of Science in EU studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

She is a published novelist.


basham-webPatrick Basham directs the Democracy Institute, an independent think tank based in Washington, D.C., and London. A best-selling author, pollster and campaign strategist, he is a prominent critic of “nanny state” policies. He was previously a Cato Institute senior fellow; prior to Cato, he led the Fraser Institute’s tobacco regulation research.

Basham wrote his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University and taught tobacco regulation at Johns Hopkins University. He is a global consultant on corporate strategy, branding, social media, economic regulation and advertising. He appears regularly on American, British and Canadian TV and radio.


bates-webClive Bates has had a diverse career in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He started out in IT marketing for IBM then switched careers to work in the environment movement, including for Greenpeace. From 1997–2003 he was director of Action on Smoking and Health (U.K.), campaigning to reduce the harms caused by tobacco.

In 2003 he joined Prime Minister Blair’s Strategy Unit as a civil servant and worked in senior roles in the public sector in the U.K. and for the United Nations in Sudan. At the start of 2013, he began developing a new venture, Counterfactual, a consulting and advocacy practice focused on a pragmatic approach to sustainable development, energy policy and public health.


benson_2016-webAn expert in the implementation of on-line near-infrared (NIR) measurements, Ian Benson is global marketing director for NDC Technologies’ four business units.

He joined Infrared Engineering as applications manager in 1981 and helped put into place the company’s applications engineering facility. His group pioneered the development of a wide range of on-line measurements. For the tobacco industry, the group developed rapid noncontact measurements of moisture and other key constituents such as nicotine, total sugars, glycerol and volatiles.

Infrared Engineering was acquired by Spectris (then Fairey Engineering) group in 1992 and has since evolved through acquisitions of synergistic measurement and control businesses.

During this transition Benson moved progressively into sales and marketing roles. He currently has a board position at NDC Technologies, reporting to the president. Benson is responsible for strategic business development and mergers and acquisitions, along with all product management direction, branding and communications.

From 1978 to 1981 he was a product development chemist at Ilford Films responsible for the design of self-developing photographic materials.


bloomquist-690x1024Erik Bloomquist has covered the global tobacco sector for more than 10 years and global consumer staples for more than 15 years, most recently at Haitong in London.

He consistently attained top rankings in various surveys, including No. 2 in the European Extel survey and No. 3 in the Institutional Investor All-Europe survey.

Bloomquist previously led the global tobacco team at J.P. Morgan, originating formal global tobacco coverage, which has now become the standard approach.

His team was the only one to attain top ranks for tobacco in the European, U.S. and Japanese Institutional Investor surveys concurrently.

Bloomquist is especially interested in plain packaging, tobacco harm reduction, reduced-risk products and the Japanese tobacco market.

He holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. from the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.


borkovecVaclav Borkovec is a mechanical engineer with three years of experience working in vapor innovation as a prototyping engineer for Fontem Ventures.

After the acquisition of Blu, he spent three months with the Blu team working in new product development before transitioning to a role in manufacturing realization in March 2016.



clark-webBruce Clark is vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs at Philip Morris International (PMI), where he leads PMI’s global efforts to attain regulatory approval and marketing authorization for reduced-risk products (RRPs).

In this role he also has oversight of PMI’s external scientific engagement activities for RRPs within the regulatory, public health and scientific communities. Clark is also involved in defining and setting the R&D strategy for RRP quality assurance activities to ensure that PMI’s RRP efforts anticipate and meet evolving global regulatory requirements.

Prior to joining PMI in January 2013, Clark had more than 25 years of clinical and regulatory experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working in both branded and generic industries dealing with development and regulatory challenges for complex therapeutics such as formulations of second entry inhaled corticosteroids, peptides and biosimilars.

Most recently, he served as senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at Apotex Inc., with global responsibility for regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, project management and R&D quality assurance.


clark_2016Simon Clark is director of the smoker lobby group Forest (Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco). He previously worked in public relations, political and media research, publishing, journalism, and event management.

Clark appears regularly on U.K. radio and television and is quoted frequently by print and broadcast media.

On behalf of Forest he has run a number of campaigns in the U.K., including the Hands Off Our Packs campaign against plain packaging and the No Thank EU campaign against the revised Tobacco Products Directive.

Last year he launched Action on Consumer Choice, which promotes consumer choice and supports emerging products such as e-cigarettes.


coblentz-webSeth Coblentz is general counsel at VMR Products. Among other things, he advises the firm on all aspects of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deeming regulations. Coblentz ensures digital advertising and marketing campaigns comply with the applicable regulations. He also manages VMR’s intellectual property portfolio.

Prior to joining VMR, he was associate general counsel at Acquinity Interactive and an attorney at Lydecker Diaz. He also held positions at Jet Network, Aerospace Engineering Group and Shutts & Bowen.

Coblentz is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and Loyola University of Chicago.


coleta-webMiguel Coleta is Philip Morris International’s (PMI) sustainability officer. He joined PMI in Portugal in 2005 and since 2008 has been based in the operations center in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he has worked on government and regulatory affairs, harm reduction, and labor issues in tobacco growing.

Prior to joining PMI he was an assistant professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal and served one term as an elected member of the Portuguese parliament.

Coleta holds a Ph.D. in phytochemistry and pharmacognosy.


cullipMartin Cullip is a company director who not only uses e-cigarettes himself but has also experienced the benefits of many of his staff quitting or reducing smoking by vaping instead.

As such, he is a passionate consumer advocate of tobacco harm reduction and is now a consumer associate for the New Nicotine Alliance.

Cullip is also a spokesperson for the Freedom Association’s Freedom to Vape campaign.

He stood as a general election candidate for the Libertarian Party in the U.K. in 2010 and has written and blogged on lifestyle issues for outlets such as Spiked, The Free Society and others. He also writes for the New Nicotine Alliance website.


curtinGeoffrey Curtin is senior director at RAI Services Co.’s scientific and regulatory affairs department. He manages the behavior research team responsible for developing and conducting studies and analysis that track tobacco use prevalence and behaviors among the U.S. adult population.

The behavioral research team is also responsible for conducting studies and analysis that examine consumer understanding and perceptions of product messaging, and likelihoods of use in response to such messaging.

Curtin’s team has worked with external researchers to develop statistical models that estimate the impact on population health (e.g., all-cause mortality and morbidity) expected to result with changes in tobacco-use behaviors.


cushman-webBrittani Cushman is the vice president of external affairs for Turning Point Brands, parent company of National Tobacco Co. and Intrepid Brands, of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Cushman is responsible for the management of regulatory and legislative issues at both the federal and state levels. She provides industry leadership among similarly sized manufacturers, advising on regulatory issues as they emerge and placing those issues in the context of both the current science and complex landscape of the vapor and tobacco industries.

Cushman serves on the National Association of Tobacco Outlets board of directors, the Vapor Technology Association board of directors, and the Pipe Tobacco Council board of directors. She also participates in the Cigar Association of America, the Coalition of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America and the Small Business Cigar Coalition.

Cushman has a bachelor’s in business administration degree in business management from the University of Tulsa and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. She previously served as general counsel for a tobacco product manufacturer, handling all legal affairs.


cutforth webJames Cutforth is the global sector manager for tobacco at Domino Printing Sciences, a leader in industrial coding technologies. Cutforth has been with Domino for more than 21 years in various technical and commercial roles. For the past 10 years, he’s dealt exclusively with tobacco.

Cutforth’s team has more than 50 years of combined experience in coding tobacco packaging. He supports manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers, ensuring that existing and future Domino product offerings satisfy customer requirements for pack, carton and master case identification, with a particular focus on applications driven by legislation such as the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

Such applications require Domino to supply coding equipment for item-level serialization, along with product-handling and vision-inspection systems.


DA-CUNHA_2016-webDirector general of the Society of European Affairs Professionals since May 2016, Rui Faria da Cunha is an international lawyer and European affairs specialist with more than 20 years of experience on three continents.

Based in Brussels since 2003, he worked as a senior adviser for Avisa Partners in Brussels and for Barral M Jorge Consultores Associados in Brazil.

Between 2010 and 2015, he was public affairs manager of the Brussels office of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

A law graduate from Coimbra University, he holds a postgraduate diploma in European competition law from King’s College London, a master’s degree in European legal studies from the European Institute of Public Administration and a master’s degree in European litigation from the University of Luxembourg.


DAVIDSON_2016-webSinclair Davidson is professor of institutional economics at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. He is also a senior research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs and an academic fellow at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Davidson has published in academic journals such as the European Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the Cato Journal.

He is a regular contributor to public debate. His opinion pieces have been published in The Age, The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Conversation, Daily Telegraph, The Drum, Sydney Morning Herald and The Wall Street Journal Asia.

He blogs at Catallaxy Files and tweets at @SincDavidson.


duplessisAbrie du Plessis was an academic at the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University in South Africa before he joined Rembrandt Group as an intellectual property practitioner in 1993. As part of several subsequent roles within the tobacco industry, he spent more than a decade tracking the development of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

After retiring in 2013, Du Plessis embarked on a career as a trade law consultant, with an emphasis on World Trade Organization “technical barriers to trade” and “trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights” issues.

He still follows FCTC developments with interest and remains available as a source of independent expert advice on the convention and its protocols. Du Plessis takes a special interest in the efforts of the WHO FCTC to address developments such as e-cigarettes, which were not foreseen when the convention was agreed upon in 2003.


Fagerstrom-webKarl O. Fagerstrom is a licensed clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. in nicotine dependence and smoking cessation. He started a smoking-cessation clinic in 1975 and invented the Fagerstrom Test for nicotine dependence that is widely used worldwide by researchers, clinicians and regulatory agencies.

In the 1970s and 1980s he served as the editor-in-chief for the Scandinavian Journal of Behaviour Therapy. Currently he works with his own private consultancy, Fagerstrom Consulting. Fagerstrom is a founding member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), and is currently a deputy editor of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

He started the SRNT’s European affiliate in 1999, and served as its first president. His main research contributions have been in the fields of behavioral medicine, tobacco and nicotine, with more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, including 95 of which he is the first author.

His current main interest is reducing harm and exposure to tobacco toxins. Fagerstrom was awarded a World Health Organization medal in 1999 for outstanding work in tobacco control and is the recipient of the 2013 Award on Clinical Science from the SRNT.


fell-webJonathan Fell is a founder of Ash Park, managing the Ash Park Global Consumer Franchise funds, focused on long-term, high-quality investments in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

Prior to 2013, he was team head of the consumer equity research group at Deutsche Bank in London, where he covered the tobacco and beverages sectors, following earlier spells at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. Fell is also a director of Article 36, a U.K.-based not-for-profit organization working to promote public scrutiny over the development and use of weapons.


fisher_2016Michael Fisher is associate principal scientist in Altria Client Services’ (ACS) regulatory affairs department.

Fisher currently manages ACS external scientific engagement with the public health, scientific and policy communities.

Since joining the company in 2005, he has been active in a variety of scientific disciplines, including epidemiology, survey research, toxicology and risk assessment, agronomics, and microbiology. His work has resulted in several scientific publications and has been used to support various regulatory submissions.

Fisher holds a Ph.D. in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and conducted part of his doctoral research at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biologie in Tuebingen, Germany.

Prior to joining Altria, Fisher was a National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellow at the Medical College of Virginia’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology conducting research in the areas of immune suppression and immunotherapy for cancer treatment.


garwe_2016-webDahlia Garwe is the general manager of the Tobacco Research Board (Kutsaga) (TRB) in Zimbabwe. She holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Cape Town. Her main research interests are in breeding tobacco varieties for climate resilience and the response of tobacco pests to climate change.

As head of the institution, she oversees a robust tobacco research program that encompasses plant breeding, crop productivity, plant health, analytical chemistry and molecular biology, as well as all other supporting services.

Garwe has been involved in tobacco research since 1991 when she joined the TRB as a research scientist. In her time with the TRB, she has been directly involved in strategy development and implementation as well as the leadership of research programs.

She has a number of publications to her credit and sits on both private sector and public boards in the areas of science research and agriculture.


gaunt_2016-webAndy Gaunt joined Nerudia in January 2016 as chief commercial officer, bringing a wealth of senior-level commercial experience to the role.

For the prior 12 years he ran his own consultancy business, working with a huge variety of global and local market fast-moving consumer goods clients on strategic projects and in senior sales and marketing roles across many categories.

Gaunt has been directly involved in the e-cigarette category since 2012, when he worked within the British American Tobacco Nicoventures business, playing a critical role in the development and launch of the Vype brand with the U.K.’s major retailers, and breaking new ground with multiple major pharmacy groups.


giordanoGiovanni Giordano joined the management board of British American Tobacco (BAT) in June 2011. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked for 18 years in a variety of human resources roles for both emerging and developed markets.

He also contributed to the integration into P&G of acquisitions such as Wella and Gillette. He joined BAT from Ferrero International, where he was chief corporate officer, leading the global HR, legal and IT departments.


green_2016-webSimon Green is managing director at Alliance One International (AOI) AG. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Green focuses primarily on corporate affairs and regulatory issues affecting the tobacco industry.

With more than 38 years of experience, he brings in-depth industry knowledge to his current position. His first role was with Andrew Chalmers International, a leaf supplier based in the United Kingdom, who then transferred him to a post in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Green went on to work in positions throughout Asia, Africa and Europe as Andrew Chalmers was acquired by Standard Commercial in 1979 and then AOI in 2005.

Following his initial overseas positing, Green has worked in a variety of roles, including positions in purchasing, processing, sales and marketing. Most recently, he has held regional operations and senior management positions in Europe and Africa.


grimerRichard Grimer is British American Tobacco’s head of product insight and innovation planning.

A marketer with extensive experience, he has held senior positions at Bacardi-Martini, Enhance Media and Reed Business Information.

Grimer has a degree in mathematics and statistics, and diplomas in market research and marketing from the Market Research Society and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, respectively.


hanigan_2016_1b-webCarolyn C. Hanigan is president of RAI Innovations Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. focused on product development, innovation, and commercialization of next-generation vapor and nicotine products.

Hanigan was appointed president of the company Jan. 19, 2016. Prior to joining RAI Innovations, she was vice president of consumer marketing for the Swander Pace Capital (SPC) portfolio companies, leading growth strategies for Merrick Pet Care, Kicking Horse Coffee, Oregon Ice Cream and Gilchrist & Soames.

Prior to joining SPC, Hanigan was the vice president of marketing for Mars. Before joining Mars, she held a number of marketing leadership roles at Nestle, The Clorox Co. and Kraft Foods.

A native of California, USA, Hanigan graduated from Boston College with a business degree and earned her MBA from St. Mary’s College.


angelaharbuttAngela Harbutt is the founder and director of the Liberal Vision blog. Throughout 2012 and 2013, she worked with smoker advocacy group Forest on that organization’s Hands Off Our Packs campaign, fighting the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products in the U.K.

Harbutt worked in the TV industry for 20 years, rising swiftly through various research roles to become director of research and development for the U.K.’s first TV sales house.

In 1995, she was founder and CEO of Paradigm Worldwide, providing numerical analysis and strategic advice to a range of media companies.

Today, she is an independent freelance consultant.


henningfield-webJack Henningfield is vice president of research and health policy at Pinney Associates and adjunct professor of behavioral biology in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he has been faculty since 1978.

Henningfield is a past president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. He served on U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s first Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee and the World Health Organization’s first Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation and its predecessor, from 2000 to 2014.

Before Pinney Associates, Henningfield headed clinical pharmacology and the Abuse Potential Assessment Laboratory of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

He was an editor of the 1988 surgeon general’s report on nicotine addiction and contributed to the 2014 surgeon general’s report. Henningfield has researched the neuropharmacology of alcohol, cannabis, opioids, nicotine, sedatives and stimulants, and many medicines for treating pain and psychiatric disorders, resulting in more than 400 scientific articles, books and monographs.

At Pinney Associates his focus is the assessment and regulation of drugs and drug-delivery systems to reduce their abuse and harmful effects.


JONES_IanIan Jones is Japan Tobacco International’s (JTI) vice president of emerging products corporate, scientific and regulatory affairs. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jones joined JTI in 2006 from the University of Bath in the U.K., where he was a lecturer in developmental neuroscience in the department of biology and biochemistry.

Prior to this he held post-doctoral research positions at the universities of Bath, Oxford and London, specializing in the anatomical neuropharmacology of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Jones holds a doctorate in cell physiology, completed at Imperial College London (1995).



mark-kehayaMark Kehaya is chairman of the board of Alliance One International (AOI), a position he has held since December 2010.

He served as interim CEO of AOI from December 2010 until February 2013.

Kehaya has also served as chairman of Madvapes Holdings, an owner and operator of retail vape shops and manufacturer and wholesaler of related products, since August 2015.

From April 1993 to March 2000, he was employed by Standard Commercial Corp., a predecessor company to AOI, serving as assistant to the president, finance director of the tobacco division, vice president for planning and CEO of Standard Commercial’s tobacco processing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Kehaya remains a founding partner at Meriturn Partners, an investment firm specializing in restructurings and turnarounds of middle-market companies.


kovacevic-webPatricia I. Kovacevic is the general counsel and chief compliance officer of Nicopure Labs, the leading e-liquid and vapor device manufacturer of U.S.-made Halo, Purity and eVo e-liquids and Triton and G6 devices. With extensive U.S. and international industry experience, Kovacevic held senior legal and compliance positions at, among others, Philip Morris International and Lorillard.

Prior to joining Lorillard she was a partner at Patton Boggs. Her expertise includes global e-cigarette and tobacco regulation, compliance and all regulatory aspects of marketing/media communications, corporate affairs, criminal investigations, FCPA, trade sanctions, privacy, and product development and launch.

Kovacevic serves on the board of directors of the Vapor Technology Association and on the advisory board of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum. In the past she was a United Nations staff member, served on the U.N.’s Public-Private Partnership Commission and was also an adviser to the Council for Burley Tobacco. Kovacevic is admitted to practice in New York and before the Supreme Court of the United States. She holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School in New York and has completed the Harvard Business School “Corporate Leader” course. She is fluent in seven European languages.


levyDavid Levy is a professor of oncology at Georgetown University. He has published more than 250 papers in a variety of professional publications. Earlier in his career, he published on topics in the field of industrial organization.

More recently, his work involves alcohol, traffic safety, tobacco and obesity policies, and cost-effectiveness analyses. Much of this work involves modeling the effects of public policy on substance abuse rates and related deaths, including for tobacco, obesity and alcohol control policy.

Levy has been principal investigator of grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bloomberg/Gates Foundation, the EU, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the World Health Organization.

Levy currently oversees the design and development of the SimSmoke tobacco control policy simulation model. He has developed models for 12 U.S. states and more than 40 nations. He has also developed models incorporating smokeless tobacco and models incorporating e-cigarettes.


mike ligon

Mike Ligon is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.S. in marketing management. Since beginning with Universal in 1982, he has served in varying capacities, from leaf buyer in the U.S. to origin manager for Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina; sales director for Universal Leaf North America; and president of America’s Harvest, a former Universal subsidiary. Today, he serves as vice president of corporate affairs for Universal Corp., where he manages government, regulatory, social and labor matters for the company.

Ligon is active in the nonprofit world and currently serves on several boards, including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Communities in Schools of Virginia, Lead Virginia, VA Free, The Valentine and TMA, where he presently serves as chairman of the board.

Recently, he was appointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to the board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Ligon has devoted a significant amount of time to his church, where he presently serves as chairman of the trustees.

A Virginia native, Ligon today resides in Henrico County with his wife, Sharon. They are the proud parents of two married daughters, Michelle and Nicole. Ligon is passionate about family time and golf.


littlewood-webMark Littlewood is the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the IEA’s Ralph Harris Fellow.

Under his leadership, the IEA has continued to communicate the benefits of free markets to an even wider audience around the world. In 2014, Littlewood was ranked 38th on The Times’ right-wing power list and in 2011 was named Liberal Voice of the Year by the Liberal Democrat Voice.

Littlewood frequently comments on political and economic issues on television and radio, including BBC Question Time, Any Questions?, Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Radio 4’s Today and LBC.

Prior to working at the IEA, Littlewood was head of media for the Liberal Democrats before going on to found Progressive Vision, a classical liberal think tank.

He was also campaigns director for the human rights group Liberty and founder of NO2ID, the campaign against the introduction of identity cards.

Littlewood was educated at Balliol College in Oxford, U.K.


LiuWeijuan Liu is the vice president and principal engineer of Yunnan Reascend Tobacco Technology (Group) Co. and the director of China Engineering Research Center in Tobacco Resources Comprehensive Utilization.

Liu also holds an active research and supervision role at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Kunming University of Science and Technology in China.

Liu is a recognized leader in tobacco research in China with more than 20 years of experience. Her specialty is tobacco chemistry, cigarette technology, utilization of tobacco waste resources and tobacco agriculture.

In the field of comprehensive utilization of tobacco and tobacco byproduct resources, she leads China’s national research platform construction and strategy. She has successfully led the delivery of multiple research projects at the tobacco industry and Chinese government levels, and has earned many awards for science and technology innovation.

Liu holds 36 Chinese invention patents and more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals and conference proceedings. Liu is a member of the Coresta chemistry study group.


lutz webRolf Lutz is director of product policy at Philip Morris International (PMI) in Lausanne, Switzerland. For more than 15 years, he has been leading and supporting PMI’s global public policy work regarding tobacco product regulation. Lutz advises PMI’s global functions, regions and markets in defining PMI’s approach to current and future regulatory requirements for conventional and reduced-risk tobacco products.

He frequently participates in policy dialogues with regulators and other key stakeholders and is active in several international industry working groups. Lutz joined PMI in 1991 as a chemist and since then has held a variety of roles in PMI’s global functions, such as R&D, regulatory compliance, corporate affairs and law, as well as in operations and business development in the Philippines.


martelliniBarbara Martellini joined Universal Leaf Tobacco in January 2009 after a diversified career, including 15 years as regional regulatory manager in the crop protection industry.

Martellini joined Imperial Tobacco in Bristol, U.K., in 2001, first as social responsibility manager and later as agricultural issues manager. She cooperated with Coresta both in ACAC, which she chaired for two years, and in the scientific commission. Martellini holds a degree in agricultural science from the State University of Milan in Italy.


mcgillhs_2016-webAlan McGill is a partner in PwC, where he heads up sustainability reporting and assurance. He has experience working with companies to help them understand and measure the broader impacts associated with their business and has been instrumental in developing PwC’s Total Impact Measurement and Management offering.

McGill also has extensive experience in helping companies understand who their key stakeholders are, as well as the issues that affect companies. He was the original project director on Accounting for Sustainability, establishing the project for the Prince of Wales and looking at both embedding and reporting on sustainability-related issues.

McGill is also responsible for PwC’s Building Public Trust Award program, which looks at how businesses report in an open, accessible and integrated way to help build trust in their organizations.


michelsen-webMarc Michelsen is senior vice president of CORA and communications at Fontem Ventures.

In this position, he provides expert advice and strategic direction on all matters pertaining to communications and corporate affairs.

Michelsen previously worked at AkzoNobel, where he was responsible for managing the reputation of the company with the media and other key stakeholders.


mulchahy_2016-webChristian Mulcahy is business development director of multiCIG, a leading supplier of premium U.K.-manufactured e-cigarettes, award-winning e-liquids, and innovative and stylishly designed vapor accessories.

Mulcahy was instrumental in launching the brand in the U.K. in September 2012. He has overseen its continued development, rapidly expanding its market share and firmly establishing it as one of the U.K’s favorite vaping brands.

With its products being sold in thousands of retail outlets across the country, multiCIG has rapidly become one of the largest independent suppliers in the U.K.

A former Coutts private banker, Mulcahy is responsible for all aspects of the multiCIG business, including compliance, corporate and regulatory affairs, public relations, product and flavor development, customer service, recruitment, legal matters, marketing and graphic design, key account liaison, and new channel development.

He holds a private banking academy diploma in entrepreneurship from Cranfield School of Management.


murphy-webMarina Murphy is head of scientific media relations at British American Tobacco (BAT). She joined BAT in 2008 as scientific communications manager and became the driving force behind a communications strategy designed to reflect BAT’s transparent approach to scientific communication.

The strategy’s goal is to provide clear communication and engender debate on the company’s ambitious tobacco harm reduction research program, including the creation of lower-risk tobacco products. Prior to joining BAT, she was a science journalist.


Ashok Narasimhan has more than 33 years of international experience in the generic pharmaceutical industry, serving in positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career.

As a member of the executive board and chief executive (strategic business) of Actavis, one of the world’s top three generic companies (currently merging with Teva), Narasimhan successfully worked on and implemented an “India-Euro-U.S. axis,” establishing full product development complete with value-chain integration, regulatory, CRO and virtual low-cost manufacturing.

Until 2014, he was the managing director of Zenara Pharma, London/East Rutherford, the first manufacturers of directly compressed nicotine chewing gums. Zenara also manufactured Nicorette for Johnson & Johnson in India.

Presently on the board of directors of Altima-Life, an OTC venture to establish an integrated manufacturing initiative for nicotine-replacement therapy products, including e-liquid and other electronic nicotine-delivery systems with Strides Shasun of India.


NEWTON_2016Kyle Newton is the founder of Vapeix, an organization that focuses on innovating smart vapor technology applicable to the vapor, medicinal and pharmaceutical markets. Vapeix is a platform that offers hardware, mobile apps and web-based cloud solutions enabling advanced capabilities previously not feasible with nonconnected vapor devices.

In 2009, Newton launched and developed one of America’s first vapor brands, 7’s e-cigarettes. The brand also became known for its popular lineup of menthol consumables. The success of the brand, along with a vast utility patent portfolio, helped to seed Vapeix’s research and development efforts.


niaura-webRay Niaura is director of science and training at the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy; an adjunct professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and an adjunct professor in the Department of Oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.

He has been principal investigator or co-investigator of over 30 National Institutes of Health-funded grants, and he is the former president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. He was the principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute-funded Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers on Nicotine Dependence: Phenotype, Endophenotype and Contexts at Brown University.

He is a co-investigator on the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products. PATH is a national, longitudinal cohort study of 60,000 tobacco product users and nonusers ages 12 and older.


mike ogdenMike Ogden is RAI Services’ vice president of scientific & regulatory affairs, based in North Carolina, USA. Ogden is responsible for regulatory submissions and scientific engagement for all Reynolds American tobacco operating companies.

Previously, Ogden was in charge of various R&D programs for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., including those related to environmental tobacco smoke, measuring smoke uptake in smokers through the use of biomarkers, smoking behavior research, clinical studies, regulatory compliance activities and scientific and regulatory strategy.


okerekeFlora Okereke is currently head of regulatory policy and engagement at British American Tobacco’s headquarters in the U.K., where she has held various roles, including head of legal services for West Africa and head of regulation for the Eastern European, Middle East and Africa region.

Prior to joining BAT, Okereke was a solicitor in a City of London law firm and was admitted as a barrister of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. Okereke is also a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Okereke is an employee of a global organization that operates in a highly regulated environment. She is involved in negotiating several legislative acts and policy consultations.

Okereke’s overall responsibility is to ensure regulatory risks are understood and managed effectively from a global level and ultimately to achieve balanced regulatory solutions within a compliance timetable that does not unduly impact her organization.


david oreillyDavid O’Reilly is British American Tobacco’s (BAT) group scientific and R&D director and chairman emeritus of the GTNF advisory board.

He graduated from Imperial College London in 1991 with a Ph.D. in molecular virology.

He joined Advanced Technologies Cambridge, a BAT subsidiary, in 1991. O’Reilly has been a driving force behind BAT’s multidisciplinary global R&D effort in consumer-led, science-based innovation in both combustible and next-generation tobacco and nicotine products.

He has also led the company’s programs in corporate social responsibility and scientific and public health policy and engagement. O’Reilly has been on BAT’s management board since January 2012.


PALMA_2016With a degree in agronomy and advanced degrees in marketing and business, Carlos Palma worked at Bayer Crop Science before joining Souza Cruz (British American Tobacco) in 2001.

Since then he has worked in leaf growing, leaf research and technology, and leaf corporate affairs functions. Currently he is the company’s global manager of sustainable agriculture, based in Brazil.

Palma will participate in the GTNF as a representative of Brazil’s Union of Interstate Tobacco Industry, SindiTabaco.

penn-webRoger Penn
is director of the Switzerland-based Mane Group tobacco business unit, which has laboratories in Brazil, China, France, Mexico, Switzerland and the United States.

Before joining Mane, he worked for British American Tobacco in the U.K. and in the flavor industry for companies such as Unilever, Firmenich and IFF.

With advanced degrees in medicinal chemistry and toxicology, Penn has contributed to many international scientific and technological conferences in the tobacco and flavor industries. Penn travels extensively to assist customers with product development.


potter_2016-webBen Potter is a director and founder of Ecigwizard.

Ecigwizard specializes in retail, production and analytical capabilities, with more than 50 dedicated retail locations and an in-house lab that has been in operation since 2013.

A founding member of the U.K. VIA trade association, Potter is passionate about debunking misinformation and has played a key role in providing small businesses with free advice.

Potter has had a varied career, including service in the British military.


powellTaman Powell is a lecturer, strategic management & innovation at Cardiff University.

He researches, teaches and consults on strategy, disruptive innovation and knowledge-based competition, with a specific focus on the vaping industry.

He is the founder and CEO of XOLO. XOLO has been described as a device to “change the vaping world through its … simplicity, style, and ease-of-use, while offering a strong experience.”

A former Procter & Gamble marketer and Accenture strategy consultant, Powell is an expert who regularly presents at academic and industry conferences.

He holds an INSEAD MBA (with distinction), a Warwick PhD, and a Harvard post doctorate.


proctor-webChristopher Proctor is British American Tobacco’s chief scientific officer. He oversees research programs that ensure product stewardship of conventional and next-generation tobacco and nicotine products, as well as the development of methodologies to determine whether next-generation products can be described as reduced-risk products.

He is an author of numerous scientific papers related to tobacco harm reduction and has published a book that looked at the importance of the interaction between science, policy and consumers.


prongue-webNataliya Prongue is the director of global regulatory strategy at Japan Tobacco International (JTI), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

She joined JTI at the Geneva worldwide headquarters in 2002 and held various positions within corporate affairs, legal and regulatory affairs functions, with a focus on government relations, regulatory foresight, and strategic advice in regulatory engagement and public affairs.

Prongue has more than 15 years’ experience in the tobacco sector. Her focus areas include international treaties and tobacco policy development, governance of the intergovernmental organizations, and multilateral negotiations.

She closely follows the evolution of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its impact on global tobacco regulation. She is fluent in four European languages.


pugh_2016-webHoward Pugh has more than 21 years of law enforcement experience, working in criminal investigation and intelligence environments. This included periods in international liaison, customs investigations, and anti-fraud and anti-corruption roles.

Pugh is a senior specialist at Europol, managing the fraud unit, which includes Focal Point Smoke. This is a team of analysts and specialists providing analytical and operational support to law enforcement agencies, combating organized crime groups engaged in excise fraud (covering tobacco, alcohol and oils).

Prior to joining Europol, Pugh was a criminal investigator for HM Revenue & Customs in the U.K. He worked on an operational target team, investigating and managing cases from referral to prosecution in various crime areas. These included tobacco, alcohol and oils frauds; drug and weapons smuggling; money laundering; and value-added tax and “missing trader intra-community” fraud.


reerink-webMichiel Reerink is the global regulatory strategy vice president at Japan Tobacco International (JTI). He started his career in the tobacco industry in 1996 at a tobacco trade association in the Netherlands. In 2001, he joined a major tobacco company to take responsibility for corporate affairs in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and Germany.

In 2004, he established the company’s EU affairs office in Brussels and subsequently led its EU engagement. In 2010, Reerink joined JTI at the Geneva headquarters to head the global regulatory strategy department, which leads JTI’s strategy and advocacy responses to global priority issues.


russell-webChristopher Russell is a behavioral psychologist and senior research fellow at the Centre for Substance Use Research in Glasgow, Scotland. Russell leads the center’s tobacco harm reduction research studies, with a particular focus on how vapers and e-cigarettes can assist individuals to quit smoking.

His research expertise is the measurement and modeling of the psycho-social, affective, policy and product factors that rationalize smokers’ decisions to trial an e-cigarette as a way of reducing/quitting smoking, persist with e-cigarette use long-term or relapse to smoking after only brief use of an e-cigarette.

Russell collects and collates the stories and experiences of thousands of vapers in order to identify predictors of successful and unsuccessful attempts to switch from smoking to vaping. The results of this work are used to guide public health professionals and e-cigarette manufacturers as to how smokers can be better encouraged, supported and informed to use an e-cigarette as an aid to quitting or reducing smoking, and to advise regulatory authorities against legislation that may reduce the accessibility, affordability and appeal of e-cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking.


Vincent Sauvalere is the head of the tobacco and counterfeit goods unit at the European Anti-Fraud Office, European Commission.


tony-scanlan-2-webTony Scanlan joined the e-cigarette industry in the pioneer years and led an early-stage company to become one of the Top-5 U.K. players. He recnetly joined Madvapes, the USA’s leading retailer, to spearhead that company’s expansion into U.K. and Ireland.

Scanlan spent 18 years as a senior International executive with Rothmans International, running various operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa rising to become marketing director for the EEMEA region.

Subsequently he entered the SME world as co-founder of a market disruptor in the mobile phone sector, which grew to a turnover of €64 million in Europe and the Middle East. The company was sold to investors in the late 2000s.


scott-webUpon receiving a Bachelor of Science in agronomy with a minor in agricultural business management from North Carolina State University in 1994, Lea Scott joined Universal Leaf as an international agronomist.

For more than 20 years he has worked with Universal’s worldwide agronomists and field technicians to improve sustainable tobacco production in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Currently the vice president of agronomy services, Scott coordinates Universal’s global agronomy and agronomic R&D programs and represents Universal on agro-science industry matters.

Scott has been an active member of Coresta, serving several terms on the scientific commission, including terms as the secretary and president of the agronomy study group.

He was also the coordinator of the task force on good agricultural practices and a member of the sustainability task force.

Currently Scott is the vice chairman of the agro-chemical advisory committee and again president of the agronomy study group.


slobbeJeroen Slobbe is managing director of TDC and board member of ITM Group, a Dutch company that specializes in tobacco machinery. Slobbe holds a master’s degree in management and technology and an MBA from Purdue University, and he is a licensed business valuator.

Slobbe joined TDC in 1996. With ITM Group, Slobbe has introduced many innovations into the market, including the world’s first e-cigarette automation solution, Genesis.

Slobbe has a black belt in martial arts and is a passionate koi carp breeder. A family man pur sang, he and his wife, Jacqueline, also “manage” four children.


snowdon-webChristopher Snowdon is the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. His research focuses on lifestyle freedoms, prohibition and policy-based evidence.

He is a regular contributor to Spectator Health, City AM and The Telegraph, and often appears on TV and radio discussing social and economic issues.

Snowdon is the editor of the Nanny State Index and the author of four books: Selfishness, Greed and Capitalism (2015), The Art of Suppression (2011), The Spirit Level Delusion (2010) and Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (2009).


solyst-webJim Solyst is vice president of federal regulatory affairs for Swedish Match North America. He directs the company’s modified-risk tobacco products process and engages the tobacco control, public health and scientific communities.

During his time in Washington, D.C., Solyst worked with agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget.

He has also worked with the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Solyst is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute Tobacco Committee and the American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement.


stier-webJeff Stier is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and heads its risk analysis division. Stier frequently addresses health policy issues in the media, including on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC, among others. He’s a guest on more than 100 radio shows a year, including NPR and other nationally syndicated radio shows, as well as top-rated major market shows such as “Dr. Drew Midday Live” in Los Angeles.

Stier’s National Center op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner and National Review Online. His more scholarly writing has been published in the Hoover Institution journal Defining Ideas, the Cato Institute’s Regulation, and Springer’s Cancer Causes & Control.

Stier has testified or given talks at the United Nations, the White House, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state and city legislative hearings, Columbia Law School, the Royal Society of Medicine in London, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.


sweanor-webDavid Sweanor has spearheaded the development of world-leading tobacco control initiatives in Canada and globally since the early 1980s, first as counsel to the Canadian Non-Smokers’ Rights Association and then as an independent consultant, academic, adviser and funder.

He played a key role on issues of tobacco taxation, advertising restrictions, package warnings, environmental tobacco smoke, smoking cessation, litigation and product regulation. In doing so, his career has focused on how legal measures can greatly impact population health, and his particular interest has been in the interaction of law and economics as a determinant of public health.

He has also focused throughout his career on risk-reduction strategies, including better consumer information and the provision of less hazardous alternatives to cigarette smoking. He has worked with bodies such as the World Health Organization, World Bank, Pan American Health Organization and International Union Against Cancer, as well as with numerous governments, foundations, law firms and nongovernmental organizations.



Marina Trani is head of research and development for next-generation products, a role she took up following a brief onboarding role as British American Tobacco’s group head of scientific product stewardship.

Previously, for 25 years, Trani was in R&D at Procter & Gamble, where she rose to become global beauty care R&D director, having worked across a variety of products categories including home care, beauty and health care.

Trani has a proven track record in managing all aspects of the innovation process, from the identification of new opportunities to developing new products, including resourcing and all the way to the in-market execution.


TULLY_2016_NEWRon Tully
is the founder of TNV Ventures, a specialty consultancy and business advisory service that provides strategic public policy guidance and business development services to the vapor, nicotine and tobacco industries. He is also a partner in New York-based Calumet, an international business consultancy and investment platform for the vapor industry.

Tully is a founding partner in Next Generation Labs, a company established in 2014 to develop nontobacco nicotine sources for the vapor and pharmaceutical industries.

Tully is an experienced senior public policy expert who previously managed international federal and state regulatory issues for National Tobacco Co. (NTC), including the broader Food and Drug Administration engagement strategy on vapor products.

Prior to working at NTC, Tully worked as vice president of public affairs at Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.

Tully is a board member of the U.S. Vapor Technology Association, which focuses on lobbying and public relation communications for the U.S. vapor industry. He is on the advisory board of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum and has been a longtime member of the U.K. Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders.

Tully was previously on the board of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, the Small Business Cigar Coalition and the Council of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America.


VIZEE_2016-webHuub Vizee has spent the past 29 years working within the tobacco industry in many different areas, including leaf, research, engineering, quality, product development and corporate affairs. Since September 2011, he has worked for Delfortgroup, based in Wattens, Austria, as head of regulatory affairs.In this role he is responsible for dealing with all tobacco-related regulatory issues worldwide and also represents Delfortgroup on the board of Coresta as vice president.

In his previous positions, he worked for Van Nelle, Douwe Egberts and Imperial Tobacco, where his last position was head of group regulatory development. In this role he was responsible for leading Imperial Tobacco’s regulatory engagement as an active participant on global, regional and market levels. In this role he also represented Imperial Tobacco on the board of CECCM, the board of ECMA and the board of Coresta.


Rupert Wilson is the owner and managing director of Strategic Business Consulting in the U.K.

Prior to founding the company in 2000, he worked at Rothmans International for 17 years in a variety of senior management positions in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and at Rothmans’ global head office, specializing in business development, project management and strategic planning.

Wilson is now a retained consultant to many major financial institutions in Asia, the U.K. and the U.S., advising on their global tobacco investments. He has also been for many years one of the top-ranked tobacco and luxury goods analysts in South Africa, according to the annual Financial Mail analyst rankings.


zhu-webYushu Zhu worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 21 years, with 15 years in China and six years in the U.K.

He has worked with international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on custom strategy for drug development and manufacturing.

He was a regular speaker in many international pharmaceutical conferences, and he was also a columnist for a leading Chinese pharmaceutical journal. Zhu is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the U.K. and has been a chartered marketer since 2004.


zhuang-webJackie Zhuang has been actively engaged in global e-cigarette business for six years, even pursuing an academic study pertaining to the next “tobacco” industry. He is currently a doctoral student at the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

Zhuang has worked for two major Chinese e-cigarette companies, including Huabao International Holdings, the world’s largest tobacco flavor maker, where he served as vice president of the SPV new tobacco division.

Zhuang has spoken about the Chinese vapor market at several international events, including the Global Forum on Nicotine in Poland, in 2015, and at Vapexpo France in 2013 and 2014.

Zhuang has also provided consultation services to at least 10 Chinese banking institutions and securities agents regarding the global e-cigarette business environment.

He is also co-founder of a local e-cigarette media and trade show company and a consultant on e-cigarette matters to China’s largest tobacco online media, www.tobaccochina.com.

Zhuang is currently organizing a sales platform to introduce the “right” vapor products to Chinese consumers.

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