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On May 27, 2020, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease published a statement in anticipation of World No Tobacco Day: Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) should prohibit vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs). Borrowing COVID-era vernacular, the press release said that “in an abundance of caution, the sale of these products should be banned in LMICs.”

It wasn’t a surprising stance. The influential NGO, headquartered in Paris and colloquially known as the Union, is meant to be “working to improve health for people” in LMICs. [...]