Tuesday’s News at a glance:
Slow Handclap For The TPD – If vaping helps people kick tobacco, it has merit – FDA Ease Off Vape Regs – Vaping low nicotine e-liquids may increase carbonyl exposure – How the race in tobacco innovation is a win for public health – Big Tobacco’s Drug Problem – NSP Daily Digest
It’s been another hectic week for your humble host. Quite apart from business pressures, I’ve found myself variously in Norwich, Brighton, rural Essex and Shrewsbury in the past few days. I will write about the Norwich leg later in the week but the Shrewsbury jaunt was for a weekend at Vapefest 2017.
I stayed in a marvellous three-bedroom house with some friends who will be known to you if you follow on Twitter, and a good time was had by all. But I think it’s worth commenting on the remarkable difference between previous events (this was my third) and the 2017 version.
On the journey up the M1, my travelling companion and I had discussed how this year’s Vapefest might handle the imposition of the TPD on May 20th this year. When we arrived, it instantly became very clear because it has fundamentally changed the nature of the place.
The rate at which people quit smoking has gone up a notch, a recent study shows, and e-cigarettes may have something to do with it.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, analyzed data from five U.S. Census tobacco-use surveys, the first of which was from 2001 to 2002 and the last from 2014 to 2015. Only the last, which followed a substantial increase in e-cigarette use, showed a significantly higher rate than the others of people quitting smoking. And the increase came entirely from people who had tried e-cigarettes.
It was an increase of a little more than a percentage point, to 5.6 percent of people who said they had smoked in the year preceding the survey. But extrapolated to the population of smokers, that’s 350,000 people. And e-cigarette users accounted for the whole increase.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
After Europe clocked off to go to the pub on Friday afternoon, America fizzled with excitement over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) changed position on vaping. Although some commentators are suggesting there is still work to be done, many are welcoming it as saving much of the independent vape sector from almost certain death.
This “much-needed move will save [the] vapour industry from decimation in 2018,” trumpeted the press release from the American Vape Association.
The FDA’s press release stated: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that will serve as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death.”
Simon Rosselat, Vaping Post
Article 20 of the European Tobacco Products Directive (EU-TPD) limits the nicotine level in e-liquids to 20 mg/mL. After this regulation went into effect, many vapers were forced to switch to lower concentrations of nicotine which equates to more intensive puffing, and hence increased inhalation of harmful compounds.
The study titled Compensatory Puffing With Lower Nicotine Concentration E-liquids Increases Carbonyl Exposure in E-cigarette Aerosols, published on Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Oxford Academic, looked into whether this more intensive puffing leads to inhaling higher levels of carbonyl compounds, namely formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, and acrolein.
— NovaScotiaLive (@NovaScotiaLive) August 8, 2017
Guy Bentley, The Hill
“A smoke-free future is one where we think we are able as the industry to play our role and offer products that are a better choice for smokers.” Those are the words of Tony Snyder, vice president of communications at the tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI), speaking to Bloomberg.
One could be forgiven for reacting to this statement with skepticism. Why is a tobacco industry employee talking about a smoke-free future?
The answer isn’t as absurd as you might think. It lies in a host of new devices being developed and sold by the world’s biggest tobacco companies, known as “heat-not-burn” (HNB).
Kyle Bridge, Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society
Just over a week ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced what new FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottileb called “a cornerstone of our new and more comprehensive approach to effective tobacco regulation”: an initiative to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes to “minimally or nonaddictive” levels. The 2009 Tobacco Control Act gave FDA authority to reduce any “additives, constituents…, or other component of a tobacco product.”
Public health historian Robert Proctor was thrilled. “This is exceptionally good news for tobacco control, and for human health,” he wrote last week in the New York Times. Not so for companies like Altria and British American Tobacco, whose stock value fell within an hour of the statement (and recovered somewhat before the closing bell).