Wednesday’s News at a glance:
CDC director quits after report about stock ownership ~ FDA Advisory Committee: Heat-Not-Burn is Lower Exposure Than Smoke ~ Harry’s blog 48: Warning! The cautionary principle could seriously damage your health ~ E-Cigarettes and DNA Damage ~ Headlines saying ‘vaping might cause cancer’ are wildly misleading ~ The Constitution going up in vapor ~ Science Lesson: Model Shopping – The Real Problem With Epidemiology ~ Singapore Tells Travelers To Ditch Their E-Cigarettes Or Face Punitive Penalties ~ Vaping is not as bad for you as smoking, and it’s a public health disaster that people are being led to believe otherwise ~ EU urges European judges to maintain ban on popular smoking substitute ~ WARNING: NCR RDA Review and Rundown (Youtube Video) ~ ASH’s Snus Flip Flop ~ Snus benefits questioned ~ Stopping smoking main reason for vaping ~ Wrigley lawsuit: Don’t use Starburst, Skittles to sell e-cigarette liquid
Robert Schroeder, Market Watch
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quit Wednesday in the wake of a report about her buying a tobacco stock after she took office last year. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as CDC director after Politico reported Tuesday she bought and sold shares of Japan Tobacco Inc., which owns such U.S. brands as Winston, Camel and Benson & Hedges.
The FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) on January 25 unanimously endorsed a claim by Philip Morris International that switching completely from cigarettes to its heat-not-burn IQOS system significantly reduces smokers’ exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemicals (here). The committee, however, denied two other claims, that switchers “can reduce the risks of tobacco-related diseases” (8 against, 1 abstention) and that switching “presents less risk of harm” than continued smoking (5-4 against).
Harry Shapiro, Nicotine In The News
Over January 24th/25th, the US Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) sat in session to consider PMI’s Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) for the heated tobacco product IQOS. In preparation for the meeting, the FDA produced its own briefing document in which the top banana regulatory body acknowledged that:
- The process of heating rather than burning tobacco results in significantly reduced levels of toxin release
- IQOS was likely to be acceptable to current smokers while, for a number of reasons, be unappealing to non-smokers.
Paul Barnes, Facts Do Matter
Leaving aside the fact that I haven’t posted for a while (almost two months), it isn’t particularly surprising to find that a) the media are at it again, and b) tobacco control researchers are at it again.
We have seen this kind of study before, at around the same time of the year, where some ‘research’ makes some claim about how e-cigarettes are “worse than originally thought”. We’ve recently seen a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the US which largely mirrors the findings from the UK’s Royal College of Physicians; I do plan to go over that at some point – time permitting.
Carl V. Phillips, The Daily Vaper
Before data turns into study results, it must be run through a statistical model chosen be the researchers. While it is possible to keep this simple, that is still a choice; the data never speaks for itself. The choices matter, and so “shopping around” among models creates opportunities for typical minor fudging and occasional out-and-out lying. Understanding this is useful for anyone who wants to understand the research about vaping — or about nutrition, environmental pollutants or most any other health-related research in the news.
Steve Birr, The Daily Vaper
Officials in Singapore are telling tourists to leave their electronic cigarettes behind when traveling to the country or risk hefty financial penalties. New amendments recently passed by lawmakers in the country make all vapor products and smokeless tobacco illegal in Singapore. The rules are set to take effect Feb. 1 and violators, including tourists, will be fined $2,000 if caught by authorities. The restrictions are part of a broader effort in Singapore to crack down on tobacco and nicotine products, including an incremental age hike, reports The Korea Times.
Vaping is not as bad for you as smoking, and it’s a public health disaster that people are being led to believe otherwise
, The Telegraph
If you smoke, and want to live a long life, stop smoking. If you want to stop smoking, you will probably find it easier to quit if you turn to e-cigarettes, or “vaping”. Vaping is not completely harmless but it is far, far, far less harmful for you than smoking. If you don’t take anything else away from this article, remember those three sentences, because it is a medium-sized public health disaster that people are forgetting the last two.
New Nicotine Alliance UK
- European Court of Justice holds hearing on ban on snus
- EU institutions argued collapse in smoking in Sweden due to “healthy living” not snus
- UK government said ban was “protecting public health”
- Scientists say “absolutely no doubt” that snus is a key factor in fall in smoking
- The EU institutions have urged the European Court of Justice to uphold the ban on the smoking substitute snus which was imposed in 1992. They were opposing an action brought by the manufacturer Swedish Match at a hearing on 25 January 2018.
The oral tobacco product is used daily by 20% of people in Sweden which was exempted from the ban when it joined the EU in 1995. Smoking in Sweden has fallen from being more than 50% in the 1960s to just 5%. This is by far the lowest level in the EU where the average for daily smoking is 24%.
WARNING: NCR RDA Review and Rundown (Youtube Video)
Following the revelation last week that the UK Government – despite claiming it wished to “maximise the availability of safer alternatives to smoking” in its Tobacco Control Plan in July – had defended the EU’s ridiculous and damaging ban on snus at the European Court of Justice, I wondered if they had received any input from their favourite state-funded political lobby group, ASH.
It’s well known that crass ignorance from ASH during David Simpson’s tenure (see Snowdon’s trawl though history here) was the prime motivator behind the ban in the UK and, subsequently, a ban across the EU in 1992.
Speccom, Tobacco Reporter
The EU institutions have urged the European Court of Justice to uphold the ban on snus, which was imposed in 1992, according to a media release issued by the New Nicotine Alliance. The institutions were opposing an action brought by Swedish Match in Jan. 25. Snus is used daily by 20 percent of people in Sweden, which was exempted from the ban when it joined the EU in 1995. Smoking in Sweden has fallen from more than 50 percent in the 1960s to just 5 percent today. This is by far the lowest level in the EU where the average for daily smoking is 24 percent.
Massey University, University of New Zealand
A recent survey of vapers found the majority started smoking e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking. More than 200 people from across New Zealand took part in the online survey in 2016, led by Dr Penny Truman from Massey University’s School of Health Sciences. The results, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Healthyesterday, are of interest internationally because at the time of the survey vaping products containing nicotine were not able to be sold legally in New Zealand. Dr Truman says this study confirms accessing nicotine for vaping was the main problem people had with vaping.
“We found the main reason for trying vaping was to stop or reduce smoking. Most study participants said they had completely switched from smoking to vaping. Some newer vapers still smoked, but they were still cutting down on cigarettes and some only smoked occasionally,” Dr Truman says.
The chewing gum and candy company Wm Wrigley Jr Co said in a new lawsuit that a seller of e-liquid for electronic cigarettes should stop trading off its Starburst and Skittles brands in its marketing.
In a complaint filed on Monday in Chicago federal court, Wrigley accused Get Wrecked Juices LLC of infringing its trademarks and causing unspecified damages by selling “Pink Starburst” and “Skeetlez” e-liquid in colorful advertising.
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