The latest episode of the IJ4EU Podcast takes a behind-the-scenes look at The Vapour Trail, a cross-border investigation into secret lobbying by the tobacco industry.

This cross-border collaboration between French daily Le Monde and Dutch reporters collective The Investigative Desk exposes a secret alliance between Big Tobacco and networks of U.S. oil tycoons to thwart regulations on e-cigarettes and promote laissez-faire policies in Europe.

Supported by the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund, the investigation exposes the work of fake consumer groups funded by the tobacco industry to promote vaping under the guise of defending individual freedom.

Timothy Large of the International Press Institute sits down with investigative journalists Ties Keyzer and Stéphane Horel to discuss how US oil billionaires and Big Tobacco are dusting off an old battle tactic to bring libertarianism to the heart of Europe.

Listen on:


  • Host: Timothy Large, IJ4EU programme manager at the International Press Institute
  • Guests: Ties Keyzer, co-founder of the Investigative Desk, and Stéphane Horel, a specialist in corporate lobbying, conflicts of interest and science manipulation at Le Monde
  • Editor and Producer: Timothy Large