Tuesday’s News at a glance:
Reflections On Warsaw: Pissing On Chips Edition – Siegel Worried About Body Bags – Man arrested for suspected illegal sale of nicotine-containing liquids – David Sweanor on Misinformation – Gottlieb fails to credit vaping products for reduction in teen smoking – Apparently it is not about vaping –
I thought some here may be interested in a few thoughts on my few days away in Warsaw for the fourth Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) … which I nearly didn’t make at all thanks to a car fire on the motorway on the Wednesday afternoon.
I can faithfully report that watching kids playing football on the carriageway amongst stationary traffic when you have a plane to catch in less than an hour is a deeply depressing experience. As it happens the blockage – a car which had quite literally melted by the time it had been extinguished and dragged to the hard shoulder – was cleared just in time for me to catch the flight with minutes to spare. My gallant cabbie floored it for the rest of the way and, after jumping out at the terminal while he was still travelling (I doubt he got out of second gear), managed to sprint to the gate in time for priority boarding.
As for the conference itself, I detected an atmosphere which was subtlely different this year. In the past there has always seemed to be an undercurrent of mistrust, with industry and NGOs distancing themselves from each other and barbed comments being flung from those who were on panels being afforded the use of a microphone, but if it was there this year I certainly didn’t notice it. Everyone appeared far more relaxed as if this type of conference – where both sides of the debate are welcomed without prejudice – is now becoming more normal.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
It has become commonplace for mainstream American coverage of vaping to veer towards the sensationalistic and fear-driven. Tales abound of explosions and tots with juice bottles, but a video is being shared online that redresses the balance.
“Scott Gottlieb testified at his confirmation hearing,” states the voiceover as the image cuts to a sign outside the US Department of Health and Human Resources Food And Drug Administration. “Senators grilled him on a surprising new priority: e-cigarettes.”
“So-called ‘tobacco alternatives’ have become a multi-billion dollar industry over the last few years. The science on their safety is still out and the FDA is expected to implement strict regulations on them – that could kill off all but the biggest players in the business.”
While the FDA has put back the date to implement the deeming rule, it is yet to scrap it and, as highlighted by one store owner, the cost implications to the industry are out of all proportion to what is sensible or proper.
A 22-year-old man was arrested today (June 20) in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police in Wong Tai Sin for selling illegally three nicotine-containing liquids, namely “JAM MONSTER”, “NINJA MAN” and “Crush FRUITS”. All of the liquid products are intended for use with electronic nicotine delivery systems, commonly known as electronic cigarettes.
Acting upon a public complaint, the DH found that the above products were offered for sale on a social networking website. Samples of the products were then purchased for laboratory analysis.
— Clive Bates (@Clive_Bates) June 19, 2017
Diane Caruana, Vaping Post
In a statement announcing the significant reduction in smoking by U.S. high school students, the new FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, made no reference to the role vaping products may have played in all this.
The good news is, that the announcement points out that smoking has been reduced by half since 2011, from 15.8 percent to 8.0 percent, in what an article on the RStreet website has called “a remarkable and previously unanticipated public health victory.”
The not so positive part, is that although reliable studies from all corners of the world keep emerging and attributing the decrease in smoking patterns to non-pharmaceutical nicotine products such as electronic cigarettes and snus, there was no mention of this in the FDA statement.
Sarah Jakes, New Nicotine Alliance
Following the release of ONS figures showing a record reduction in smoking prevalence in the UK, a good deal of health and tobacco control groups have been quick to claim that the effect has been caused by the UK’s strict tobacco control policies such as high rates of tax, bans on smoking in public places, display and advertising bans, health warnings and even, bizarrely, standardised packaging, which was only fully implemented less than a month ago in the UK and which still isn’t having any discernible effect in Australia, which has had it for 5 years. What they are not mentioning is the effect on those figures of vaping.
All of the policies mentioned above are coercive, or ‘push’ policies. They are designed to push smokers into quitting. The method smokers ultimately use to quit is immaterial when you are a group that receives funding to create ever more onerous and restrictive push policies to force them to do so. All that matters is that they do.