Asian Association of Occupational Health

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Asian Association of Occupational Health (AAOH)

The AAOH was in existance before Philip Morris began to develop its Asian Whitecoats program but, after they became active, this became another society to be used to spread their misinformation about the harmlessness of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

This report on Asian Whitecoats recruitment and development shows how this professional society came under tobacco control. [1]

The Asian Association of Occupational Health ("AAOH") is comprised of scientists from most Asian countries as well as Australia, New Zealand, India and several Middle Eastern countries. We have developed a close relationship with the AAOH through Dr. Reverente (a past AAOH president) [he was also a whitecoat], Dr. Wongphanich (the current president) [she was another whitecoat] and Dr. He [she was a third whitecoat] (who is likely to succeed Dr.Wongphanich in 1991 as the president of the AAOH).
At our request, and with the approval of Dr.Wongphanich, Dr. Reverente has agreed to chair a new standing AAOH committee on indoor air. Drs. Liao [she was a fourth whitecoat], Kim [a fifth] and He are serving on this committee.
One task the committee has agreed to undertake is to organize and host a one-day satellite symposium on indoor air pollution at the association's next regional meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Bangkok in November 1991. Letters of invitation to the satellite conference, which is likely to involve several hundred Asian scientists, currently are being drafted. Most of the satellite conference's expenses will be covered by participant registration fees. A draft program for the satellite conference should be available within the next few weeks.

With five whitecoats running the AAOH, it is difficult to understand why the tobacco industry had any problems in Asia at all. Most of these people operated through ARTIST, the fake consulting group set up by Philip Morris for its confidential ETS consultants.

By late 1994 the AAOH was co-sponsoring symposia on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with the 'Indoor Air International (IAI) group from the UK, which was an offshoot of the ARIA organisation. [2] This report on their activities is written by John Rupp the chief tobacco strategist at the legal firm, Covington & Burling, who were responsible for controlling the Asian Whitecoats program.

Philip Morris was to be invoiced for $15,000, which was needed to pay for "Presentations by Drs. Kasuga, Rodama and Matsushita at Beijing conference to be sponsored by IAI and AAOH/Oct. 1994" [3]