Tuesday’s News at a glance:
Studies support reduced risk potential of Vype – FDA halts monkey research denounced by Jane Goodall as ‘shameful’ – Are The UK’s Youth Really ‘At Risk’ From E-Cigarettes? – BAT ending very-low-nicotine cigarette partnership – Another Survey Debunks Gateway Claims – BAT executive on disruption of the tobacco industry – The e-cig is safer than tobacco – that’s a fact. – Junk Science Heats Up E-Cigarette Formaldehyde Wars – NSP Daily Digest
Scientists at British American Tobacco (BAT) have created the most comprehensive database of scientific test results, to date, for an e-cigarette (Vype ePen). The results of the studies provide evidence that suggests Vype ePen has the potential to be substantially reduced risk compared to traditional cigarettes.
This database was created using data collected from a series of scientific tests that could form the basis of a template to support health-related claims such as ‘reduced risk’ compared to conventional cigarettes for e-cigarettes, as well as for other innovative next generation products, like tobacco heating devices.
“This is a very new consumer category and both consumers and regulators rightly want as much information as possible about the products available,” said Dr David O’Reilly, Group Scientific and R&D Director at British American Tobacco.
The Washington Post
The Food and Drug Administration has suspended experiments on the effects of nicotine in squirrel monkeys, research aimed at better understanding one of the most pernicious of addictions.
Two weeks ago, British primatologist Jane Goodall wrote to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, urging an end to what she called “cruel and unnecessary” and “shameful” research.
On Monday, he responded, saying that he had put a hold on the study this month “after learning of concerns related to the study you referenced.” He also said he has sent a medical team of primate experts to the FDA facility — the National Center for Toxicological Research in Arkansas — “to evaluate the safety and well-being of the monkeys and to understand whether there are additional precautions needed.”
Shout Out UK
Ever since electronic cigarettes went on sale in the UK, a debate has raged around their perceived threat to public health. Within one month, you can read completely conflicting views; e-cigarettes can be “as bad for your heart as smoking”, or that they are as much as “95% less harmful than tobacco”.
Fortunately, the argument that e-cigarettes pose considerably fewer health risks than traditional cigarettes is seeing more and more support. Not only are more people using electronic cigarettes now, but scientific research is making it quite clear where our opinions should lay. With over half of the vapers in the UK having completely quit using tobacco because of their e-cigarette, it’s about time we saw an end to media smear tactics.
One of the most recent concerns raised against e-cigarettes is that they pose a threat to the UK’s youth. This is based on the fear that sweetly flavoured e-liquids are designed for “recruiting children” and those who experiment with e-cigarettes are “more likely to start smoking”. But are these claims also unfounded? Or do e-cigarettes really pose a threat?
British American Tobacco PLC said Monday it is ending a low-nicotine traditional cigarette development partnership with 22nd Century Group Inc.
The decision makes 22nd Century, based in Clarence, N.Y., a free agent in the reduced-risk industry sector — a reality it embraced. It has 70 employees at a Mocksville production plant.
“The company is free to engage in licensing agreements and strategic partnerships with any and all tobacco companies — with no restrictions, limits or caps on licensing royalties,” 22nd Century said in a statement.
22nd Century said previously it had a four-year licensing partnership worth $14 million with BAT, the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco manufacturer. That partnership was set to end in October. BAT paid $54.5 billion in July to acquire the 57.8 percent ownership stake of Reynolds American Inc. it didn’t own.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
One academic sought to contradict his study by spreading fear regarding teens progressing from vaping into smoking. The notion of a gateway effect has been crushed by a second, enormous study conducted by a group of experts. It adds to a spate of recent studies all demonstrating a total lack of evidence for a gateway effect.
Last week, Professor Mark Conner, the lead author of a study into the progression from vaping into smoking, admitted that he could not conclude there was a causal link. He said: “While acknowledging that a causal relationship may be plausible, we cannot confirm this based on our findings and the trends observed over the same period in the UK. Given the lack of clarity regarding the mechanism linking e-cigarette and cigarette use, we need to be cautious in making policy recommendations based on our findings.”
— Shannon J ✨🦄 (@anImaginaryEcho) September 26, 2017
Dr David O’Reilly, via Clive Bates
A few weeks ago I was asked about my views on the upcoming “decade of disruption” for tobacco and nicotine companies. While the questioner was right to suggest that next generation products such as e-cigarettes and Tobacco Heating Products (THPs) will have a colossal impact on our industry – and be transformational for consumers – in reality, the question was probably posed around ten years too late. The industry has already been disrupted and the pace of change is accelerating.
Set against this backdrop, I enjoyed reading Clive Bates’ comprehensive blog post on the current opportunities and challenges facing modern day tobacco and nicotine companies like British American Tobacco (BAT). Of course, there have been discussions on this topic elsewhere, such as at the Global Forum on Nicotine in June where I participated in a panel discussion, “Nicotine futures: the tobacco industry and public health” (YouTube). It’s a broad, relevant and important topic.
Dr Colin Mendelsohn
There is overwhelming scientific agreement that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are much less harmful than smoking. However, the public is still confused. One recent survey reported that only 35% of Australians believed that e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Smokers are being bombarded with sensational headlines and conflicting expert opinions. How do you make sense of this confusing information?
As regular e-cigarette users are almost exclusively smokers and ex-smokers, any risk from vaping (using an e-cigarette) should always be compared to the harm from continuing to smoke. Current use by adults who have never smoked is rare in the UK and US (0.3%) and regular use by adolescents who have never smoked is negligible. E-cigarettes are used as less harmful substitutes for smoking or as short-term quitting aids.
Carl V Phillips, The Daily Vaper
One of the common attacks on vaping is that e-cigarette vapor contains formaldehyde, a small organic molecule that can be carcinogenic or even toxic in sufficient doses. Formaldehyde is everywhere. It is part of many metabolic processes, so we exhale quite a bit of it. It is used in manufacturing, so can be found in furniture and wallboard all around your home, making it a common indoor pollutant – sometimes at dangerous levels. In vapor it comes primarily from heat breaking down the larger organic molecules (mainly propylene glycol) in the liquid.
As with all chemical toxicants and carcinogens, the quantity of exposure matters. As the cliché goes, the dose makes the poison. This should be especially obvious for a molecule that is so common that we constantly exhale it. So the question for vapers is how much are they exposed to?
Not enough to worry about.