Wednesday’s News at a glance:
Derek Yach: Building a Foundation to accelerate an end to smoking ~ ANPVU launches to give Italian vapers a consumer-led voice ~ National Academies Vape Report: Just What the FDA Needed ~ A Big Week For Tobacco Harm Reduction ~ E-Cigarettes Can Be Lifesavers ~ Vaping As Lesser Evil: Boston Expert’s Top Takeaways From Big E-Cig Report ~ Japan’s IQOS Experience Suggests Product Could Reduce U.S. Cigarette Consumption ~ FDA tobacco committee hearing could be watershed moment for innovative products ~ NNA Snus ECJ Case ~ Snus goes to court again ~ 43% of Brits Think Vaping Is Better Than Smoking: YouGov ~ Vaping under threat in tobacco-loving Indonesia ~ 4 big takeaways from the most comprehensive report on e-cigarettes yet
Derek Yach, BMJ Opinion
he Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc. (the “Foundation”) was established to accelerate an end to smoking. The rationale for the Foundation and initial thinking on its activities have previously been described. It arose out of extended discussions with Philip Morris International (PMI). Discussions that I never thought I would have based on a deep justifiable distrust of how tobacco companies have thwarted progress on tobacco cessation. And continue to do so today.
A new consumer advocacy group has been launched in Italy to represent the country’s e-cigarette users. The National Association of United Vapers – Associazione Nazionale per i Vapers Uniti in Italian – says its primary objective is to promote harm reduction by example, through introducing smokers to the new generation of safer nicotine products. Italy already has several pro-vaping organisations, such as the Italian Federation of Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers (SVAPO) and the Association of Independent Retailers (Anide), but up to now there hasn’t been a group focused on vapers themselves.
A new report on the health effects of e-cigarettes from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that vaping is likely to be far less harmful than smoking, and that it might help adult smokers quit cigarettes. The report is not the usual lopsided review of risks, but neither is it a ringing endorsement of vaping as an alternative to smoking. Its conclusions are eerily in line with what the FDA will need to carry out the mission of its current leadership.
On both sides of the Atlantic, this week is looking to be one of the most important in the history of tobacco harm reduction (THR) so far.
Firstly, in a flurry of acronyms, tomorrow the US Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) will meet to consider Philip Morris International’s (PMI) application for a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) classification for their iQos heated tobacco product. If approved, this could pave the way – if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees with the decision – for PMI to claim iQos is less harmful than smoking.
Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth
An FDA advisory committee this week will vote whether to recommend that the FDA grants modified risk status to Philip Morris International’s IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco product (here). A positive vote would acknowledge that the product poses a lower risk and/or lower exposure to toxins than cigarettes.
The future of tobacco regulations governing innovative products could reach a watershed public-health moment this week. Public hearings today and Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco products scientific advisory committee may offer the best indication to date of how the agency is responding to the Trump administration’s push for relaxed and/or rolled-back regulations.The focus is the reduced-risk application of iQOS, the heat-not-burn cigarette being sold by Philip Morris International in 31 countries, with foremost success in Japan. Federal regulatory approval is required before iQOS can be sold in the U.S. .
Mawsley, Planet Of The Vapes
Professor Gerry Stimson, chair of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), is set to attend the European Court of Justice on 25th January as the push to overturn the ban on snus in European Union countries reaches a new important milestone.
The NNA argue: “snus fulfils the criteria for a tobacco harm reduction product. It is a low risk way of using nicotine and delivers acceptable doses to those who use it. In countries in which it is allowed it is popular and has contributed to declines in smoking and smoking related diseases.” Snus is a moist, smokeless powdered tobacco. It is sold as a loose powder or pre-packaged in a small sachet.
I was interviewed for the Europeans Podcast recently about the issue of snus. You can listen to it here (iTunes) or here (Android). The interview was timely because we’ve just had news out of Norway where Sweden’s experience of a mass cross-over from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco has been replicated.
For those interested in the development of the UK's position on tobacco harm reduction, here is an account from one of the key players at the time https://t.co/Cr8it7CB1X
— Robert West (@robertjwest) January 23, 2018
Pascal Culverhouse, Electric Tobacconist / Cision PRNewswire
Over 2 in 5 adults in Britain believe that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes and that vaping, overall, is much better for people’s health, according to the results of a new survey on behalf of leading British online vaping retailer Electric Tobacconist. In a poll of 2,134 GB adults conducted by YouGov, people were asked for their perceptions about e-cigarettes. Respondents were advised that “smoking” included all products that use burning tobacco, such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars, while vaping meant inhaling vapour from electronic cigarettes and other devices, including vaporizers.
Chain-smoking Indonesia is moving to stub out its booming e-cigarette sector, sparking criticism that the government is siding with giant tobacco firms at the expense of public health. The South-east Asian nation has one of the world’s highest smoking rates — some 65 per cent of adult men smoke — with a pack costing just US$2 (RM8). Cigarette advertising is everywhere across the vast archipelago which once had the dubious distinction of being home to one of the world’s youngest nicotine addicts — a chain-smoking toddler who made global headlines in 2010.
The prestigious National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a new report on e-cigarettes Tuesday that’s the most comprehensive look at the evidence to date. A panel of experts analyzed the findings of 800 peer-reviewed studies and came out with a grab bag of conclusions about e-cigarettes’ health impact — finding that while e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes for individual smokers, their public health consequences are still unknown. Before we dive into the key conclusions, it’s worth noting that the 600-page volume signals an important shift in the conversation about e-cigarettes here in the US.