Wednesday’s News at a glance:
Can vaping save the world from smoking? Health experts may not agree ~ If You Vape (Illicit Street Drugs), It May Kill You (Duh) ~ JUUL Founder Pummeled in Hearing by Angry Democrats ~ E-cigarettes, Vaping Devices Can Help You Quit Smoking ~ ‘Vape shops are destroying London’s high streets’ ~ Panel Examines Youth Vaping ‘Epidemic,’ Overlooks Real Threats ~ Dead-End | NYU Scientist Puts ‘Gateway Theory’ to Rest ~ Teen use ‘unintended’ ~ Parliament ~ NZ Strife ~ Can Africa be 100% Smoke-Free In Our Lifetime? ~ Why fight against tobacco is important in curbing cancer
Simon Usborne, Independent
Karl Erik Lund first puffed on a cigarette at a party not long after smoking rates peaked in Norway. In the mid 1970s, almost half of adults in the country smoked. Lund, who is now 60, was young and would never take to smoking in a big way. But in 1986, as a graduate in Oslo, he spotted an advert for a research role at the government agency that collated tobacco statistics. He needed the money, but he soon became addicted to the data. “I wanted to ask the question: why do people keep going with a behaviour that breaks society’s rules?” he says.
Michelle Minton, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Over the last four weeks, eight Wisconsin teenagers have been hospitalized with severe lung damage. The news that vaping caused these illnesses has swept across social media and is, predictably, being used to push for more government restrictions on e-cigarettes. But, what few of these reports have pointed out is that it seems most—if not all—of the hospitalizations were related, not to e-cigarettes, but illicit “street vapes.” If e-cigarettes are banned or restricted we can expect to see more stories like this as people increasingly turn to the black market.
Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
A House subcommittee held a two-part hearing last week called “Examining JUUL’s Role in the Youth Nicotine Epidemic.” The title was a little off. The hearing probably should have been called, “JUUL Is Terrible and Should Go to Hell.” There sure wasn’t much examination.
The hearing was a circus—in the same sense that the Spanish Inquisition was a circus.
Dr. Julie K. Gunther, Real Clear Health
Worldwide, one-billion people smoke cigarettes. Physicians, educators, health advocates, and governments have attempted to increase cessation and reduce cigarette uptake through taxation, labeling changes, marketing campaigns, and innumerable other efforts, all with very little impact. Yearly, less than 1% of smokers quit.
Qasim Peracha, My London
I’m not against vaping. Feel free to puff away as you read this.
In 2019, the high street isn’t just a dying beast, it has morphed into something much worse.
In place of the independent retailers, we now have acrylic booths covered in neon selling small bottles of sweet-smelling elixirs and handheld smoke machines.
And while that’s great if you vape, it’s going to bring about the death of the high street.
As a frequent guest of the @PBS show @ToTheContrary, I’m sad to see the show promoting such nonsense. Ignore them and instead read my brief piece on vaping and why it’s helped millions quit cigarettes. https://t.co/BC4lyW6UpP https://t.co/kMEnhEJDAO
— Julie Gunlock (@JGunlock) July 30, 2019
Brad Rodu, Inside Sources
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held two days of hearings last week on “JUUL’s Role in the Youth Nicotine Epidemic.” Make no mistake: the hearings were about congressional grandstanding, not a discussion of what really threatens American teens.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, the high school vaping rate is lower than that for marijuana and alcohol use. It’s about the same as binge drinking (four or five drinks within a couple hours). And, as we know, these activities don’t typically occur in a vacuum. High school students frequently drive after marijuana use, ride with a driver who has been drinking, text or email while driving, have sexual intercourse, and consider suicide.
Brent Stafford, Regulator Watch
Where’s the evidence? It’s a simple question asked by vapers (in rare unanimity,) while suffocating under an endless torrent of inflated and distorted harms promulgated to malign vaping.
At times the charges hurled from academia, public health and non-profit pressure groups appear to almost border on malevolence.
Juul co-founder James Monsees testified before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee last week and said his company never intended its electronic cigarettes to be adopted by underage teenagers.
Two from Dave Cross, Planet Of The Vapes
Dr Sarah Wollaston asked about the smokefree generation target and tobacco companies being involved in tobacco harm reduction (THR). Andrew Percy wondered about discarded cigarettes in the sea. Paul Farrelly was thinking about mental health. Virendra Sharma dwelt on heated tobacco, and Chuka Umunna mentioned Brexit.
Despite being legalised and supposedly supported by the government, vaping is still on the receiving end of opposition and negative press. Vaping legislation is set to be introduced around October this year, but not all government agencies appear to be on message with the current strategy. Worst, local councils are imposing American-style populist bans.
Joseph Magero, Medium
Even as more countries adopt measures such as smoke-free environments and warnings on packaging, the number of smokers continues to grow in Africa. The continent now has over 77 Million smokers, 250,000 of them dying every year from smoking related diseases. Despite the FCTC supported measures, the number of smokers remains stubbornly high. A recently launched W.H.O report on the global tobacco epidemic focuses on offering help to quit, emphasizing the need for Government to offer viable cessation services to smokers to help them quit. African countries have little to no available cessation services, which beg the question; can the continent be 100% smoke-free in our lifetime?
Joseph Magero, Hivisasa
Despite warning signs on cigarette packs and strong tobacco control laws, more people continue pick up the habit to smoke cigarettes every day.
If you visit any smoking zone in Nairobi, Nakuru or Kisumu and speak to any smoker, either they do not care about quitting, and the ones that do lack sufficient support or cessation services.