INNCO Governance Documents
The Governing Board
Samrat Chowdhery has been a journalist for two decades with stints in mainline newspapers in India. He is the founder-director of Association of Vapers India (AVI) and is involved in tobacco harm reduction advocacy since 2014, building grassroots resistance to anti-THR policies through consultations with authorities and other stakeholders, identifying and seeding research opportunities, and also by filing legal challenges in a number of Indian states that have prohibited lower-risk tobacco alternatives.
Mr. Chowdhery was honoured with ‘Advocate of the Year’ award at Global Forum for Nicotine (GFN) held in Warsaw in June 2018.
Mr. Chowdhery is currently working on a project that evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of lower-risk options for bidi smokers and smokeless tobacco users, which involves opening cessation clinics across the country.
Ángeles Muntadas-Prim chairs the Spanish Association Supporting Vapers (ANESVAP). ANESVAP was formed in 2014 and is the only association in Spain defending vapers’ rights.
Ms. Muntadas-Prim is co-founder/organiser of the THR Summit Spain (2018), which gathered tobacco harm reduction experts from around the world. She’s also been instrumental in promoting the Tobacco Harm Reduction Platform in Spain (2019) for doctors and scientists and in the creation of AHL Provape, a network of organisations in Latin America focused on vaping and THR.
As ANESVAP’s Chair, she meets with various politicians, doctors, medical associations, and media to advocate for consumers and promote THR. She also attends various events such as the ICO-WHO Symposia, GFN in Warsaw, the European Parliament, and political rallies in order to ensure that consumer interests are represented.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Barcelona University, a Master Degree in Pigmented Ceramics in China and the Islamic World, and a Degree in English Language.
Rob de Lange
Rob de Lange chairs Acvoda, the Dutch non-profit organisation which supports Harm Reduction alternatives for consumers, since 2018. Acvoda strives to inform consumers on the risks and benefits of Harm Reduction alternatives to smoking, based on unbiased , peer reviewed studies and scientific research.Mr. de Lange holds the view that only truth based factual information can withstand scrutiny and form a formidable defense against inappropriate regulations and non Harm Reduction based Tobacco regulating ideologies.
As Acvoda’s chair, he holds meetings with consumers, scientists, researchers and policy-makers and acts as a liaison for the Dutch e-cigarette trade organisation, as well as writing various media articles on Harm Reduction. With various certifications in IT-security, Mr. de Lange is well equipped to discern facts from fiction.
Ingmar, a professional web designer, has been engaged in vaping advocacy since 2015 when he founded the E-cigarette Sellers & Users Union (E-liit) Estonia. He resigned from E-liit in 2018 to establish a purely consumer-based THR advocacy organisation registered under NNA UK guidelines – NNA Suitsuvaba Eesti (NNA Smokefree Estonia).
His experience includes dispatching copious submissions to Parliamentary consultations and taking part in negotiations with various government ministries regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes in Estonia. He has written numerous media articles, appeared on TV/YouTube, and orchestrated a petition obtaining 5,000 signatures triggering a parliamentary enquiry.
Asa Saligupta is director and founding member of ENDs Cigarette Smoke Thailand, a consumer group that was founded a few years ago when vaping became illegal, and it aims to legalise THR as an alternative for those who want to quit smoking.
Asa received a Bachelor’s Degree from Assumption University, Thailand and his Master Degree from Avila University, USA. He is a lecturer at Rajabhat University & Chulalongkorn University, and presently, works as Intertrade Manager at Probiotic and Herbal manufacturing company.
A normal citizen who happened to smoke, like 30-40% of the French population, until he tried a vape by curiosity in 2013 and found it full of potential compared to smoking cigarettes. Improved its experience with, and knowledge of, vaping and “inadvertently” stopped smoking.
He joined Aiduce (French vapers association, partner of French Public Health for the “Mois Sans Tabac” yearly operation, member of AFNOR vaping products standards commission, presiding AFNOR e-liquid certification commission) to defend and inform himself as a consumer, to know if there was, and try to correct, any issues on products quality/security and then defend others like himself against unfounded or inappropriate regulations.
He now helps other people quit smoking in support groups online and sometimes in hospitals with doctors.
Tomás O’Gorman – Mexican lawyer and Corporations Law and Successions Law teacher at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. Ex-smoker and vaper since 2016. Co-founder of “Pro-Vapeo Mexico”, a Mexican consumer association that advocates for tobacco harm reduction and non-combustible alternatives.
The General Secretariat
Secretary General (interim)
Julie Woessner graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1986. Ms. Woessner, a retired lawyer, has been involved in tobacco harm reduction advocacy since early 2009 and has been an active member of CASAA (The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) since its inception in 2009.
CASAA is one of the founding members of INNCO and is a US-based public health and education nonprofit which engages in policy advocacy in the U.S. involving legislative and regulatory matters to protect access to low-risk alternatives to smoking and mobilizes its 250,000+ members to do the same.
Ms. Woessner was appointed to serve on CASAA’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was elected to serve as its Legislative Director in 2013, President of the Board 2014-2018, and served as Executive Director from 2014 to 2017 before assuming her role as Director of National Policy.
She held the position of President of the Governing Board of INNCO from 2018, and transferred to the position of interim Secretary General of the Secretariat in 2020.
Kim Dabelstein Petersen
Kim Dabelstein Petersen has been the president of the Danish vaping consumer organisation DADAFO since 2014, working to establish collaborations with the various stake holders in public health in Denmark. On the international arena, he has been instrumental in getting a consumer viewpoint represented in the various standardisation efforts through both CEN and ISO. Mr Dabelstein Petersen is now a member of workgroups on both the ISO and CEN efforts to standardise vaping products
Originally the Treasurer for the INNCO Governing board, he transferred to being the INNCO interim Secretary General in 2018, and in 2020 into the position of COO/CFO.
Atakan Erik Befrits
Atakan Erik Befrits is a self-financed Swedish/Turkish tobacco harm reduction advocate, policy researcher, economist and entrepreneur. He serves as the pro bono Chairman of New Nicotine Alliance Sweden and as PR TAC for global umbrella CSO-NGO INNCO.
Mr Befrits ambition is global recognition and adoption of tobacco harm reduction products and strategies as FCTC mandated vital and complementary tools for a greatly accelerated end to smoking (WHO <5%).
COI: Mr Befrits declares no tobacco or vaping industry financial conflicts of interest. Mr Befrits declares non-financial confluence of interests with several product categories, with FCTC 5.3 respecting independence from the producers of such products.
After 25 years of cigarettes consumption, Olivier Théraulaz stopped smoking within 5 days thanks to
vaping in 2013. This personal experience was his Tobacco Harm Reduction advocacy starting point.
His anterior links with Drug Harm Reduction in Switzerland oriented him into his current advocacy for
a united global harm reduction movement including all dependencies, with or without psychoactive
Olivier Théraulaz has been the President of the Swiss vapers association, Helvetic Vape, from 2014
to 2019. He participated to the CEN and ISO Technical Committees and Working Groups on vaping
products between 2015 and 2018. He is a GREA (Swiss Addictions Study Group) member since
2016. He was a member of the initial INNCO Steering Group during 2017 and is a member of
INNCO’s Secretariat since the end of 2017.
Judy Gibson is currently INNCOs Membership Coordinator having led a Steering Group to establish the organisation in 2016 and acted as its first Secretary General following its registration in Geneva in 2017.
Her diverse career includes; WRAF Aircraft Mechanic, Detective Sergeant and over 30yrs in Artiste management and Theatrical PR & Marketing. Suffering early iterations of e-liquid vapourisers since 2012, she became an ex-smoker in 2014 with the advent of sub-ohm tanks and became a vociferous supporter of safer nicotine products.
Former four packs a day smoker, an avid vaper since 2011, Mr. Pifko has been battling harmful regulations on national and European levels since 2012 to ensure that vaping remains an accessible alternative for all smokers.
As spokesperson, now vice chairman, of the Hungarian Vapers Association, he launched the EFVI European Citizens Initiative, organised protests, orchestrated the Hungarian premiere of “A Billion Lives,” and launched court challenges against the Hungarian government.