Vapers Digest 10th May

Friday’s News at a glance:

Rampant misinformation at the Tobacco and Vapes Bill – How to respond to UK government’s vape tax consultation – Calling out fake news part 3: – Delay in Authorizing Vaping Devices Takes Toll – The FDA can’t get its story straight – Are Nicotine Patches for Kids Who Vape a Good Idea? – Act Urgently Eu Urged – Spain Pointed to the Swedish Example – Further GFN24 Reveals – Trading Standards Need Cash – Radioactive Risk Blurred – International health experts condemn Canadian tax hike – Senate Committee has approved bill – Will China stop supplying illegal vapes? – New report suggests vape bans are not working – ‘Weak’ vape laws allowing kids to interact with organised criminals – Scientist Urges Caution With AI Studies – Vapers Call for Health Minister to Dump Flavour Ban – We should not waste the opportunity to save lives – Graphic Health Warnings On Vapes –

Rampant misinformation

At the Tobacco and Vapes Bill committee – Christopher Snowdon

The UK Vaping Industry Association has written to MPs to raise concerns about the ‘misleading, incomplete, unsubstantiated, or incorrect’ information presented to the Tobacco and Vapes Bill Committee last week. The UKVIA should have been invited to give evidence to the committee (it has no links to the tobacco industry and therefore could not be disqualified on the usual McCarthyite grounds) but it wasn’t. Instead, the floor was given to rabid anti-vapers, mendacious fanatics and hopeless ignoramuses.
The UKVIA has compiled a little document with a handful of the worst lies told by committee members and their guests during the two day hearing. They include…

UKVIA Issues Letter to MPs over incorrect information

How to respond to UK tax consultation

Ali Anderson

A new tax on vapes is due to come into effect in the UK from October 2026. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the levy on the smoking alternatives in his Spring budget. The move is set to bring in £445 million in revenue for the government per year.

The proposed tax is currently under a 12-week consultation period. If you are a vape user, or supporter of them as an important tool to help smokers quit, this is your chance to make your views known.

The closing date for responses to the consultation is May 29, 2024.


Calling out fake news part 3:

Prohibitionists getting owned by community notes – Alastair Cohen

Well readers, it’s happened again. People who should probably know better – many of whom call themselves defenders of public health – have once again been called out on X for spreading fake news about vaping.

This series started as an experiment. We thought that eventually, the people trying to convince the world that vaping and other safer nicotine products are the devil’s spawn would learn from their mistakes. It appears not.

While we try to write these in an amusing and engaging way, there is a serious side to it. Most of the posts we call out are from people who are generally considered authority figures.

Delay in Authorizing Vaping Devices

Takes Toll on Public Health – Martin Cullip

In the battle against tobacco-related illnesses and deaths, every opportunity to promote smoking cessation should be embraced. A recent study by academics at England’s University of East Anglia demonstrated the efficacy of providing e-cigarette starter kits to smokers, highlighting a critical intervention that could save lives.

While such initiatives show promise for products widely available in the United Kingdom, the Food and Drug Administration’s prolonged delay in even authorizing thousands of vaping brands in the United States to be sold legally contributes to unnecessary missed opportunities for harm reduction.

The FDA can’t get its story straight

About reducing tobacco-related dangers – Lindsey Stroud

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf recently faced a grueling hearing before members of the House Oversight Committee. From contraceptives and baby formula to COVID-19 remedies and regulatory actions by the Center for Tobacco Products, the session covered a wide array of FDA actions — or mainly the lack thereof.

It may have been a long afternoon for the FDA commissioner, but for the tens of millions of American adults who smoke and are unable or unwilling to quit, it has been an even longer wait for the agency to acknowledge and approve the crucial role of “tobacco harm reduction,” or THR. The idea is to lower the health risks of smoking by cutting back or switching to nontobacco nicotine products, such as nicotine patches or e-cigarettes.

Are Nicotine Patches for Kids Who Vape ..

A Good Idea? – Kiran Sidhu

Children whose vaping has led to nicotine dependence should be given nicotine patches to help them quit vapes, say health officials in the United Kingdom.

A report from Public Health Wales (PHW) said that children in this position should receive “support not punishment.” The agency’s incident response group has been looking into a rise in vaping among children and young people in Wales.

According to the April report, “an increasing number of children are experiencing dependency at a level that makes it very difficult to get through the school day without vaping on school premises.”

Six from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

Act Urgently Eu Urged

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) has called for immediate action from EU health ministers to adopt science-based tobacco harm reduction strategies amidst delays in tobacco legislation. The call came as health ministers gathered in Brussels for a two-day EPSCO meeting where the European Beating Cancer plan was one of the key topics of discussion.

Following its meeting, the members of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) agreed the agenda for May’s meeting – held this week. Again, they declined to hold a platform for evidenced-based discussion on vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

Spain Pointed to the Swedish Example

Sweden’s snus tax is a game changer in tobacco harm reduction policies and something that Spain ought to be replicating, according to the Smoke Free Sweden initiative. The international harm reduction experts have commended the Swedish government for keeping to their promise and announcing a date for reducing tax on alternative nicotine products and, in a new public consultation submission, called on the Spanish government to emulate Sweden’s successful tobacco control strategies.

Last week, the Swedish government confirmed that it would follow through with its previously announced plan to decrease the excise tax on snus by 20%, while increasing taxes on traditional cigarettes by 9%.

Further GFN24 Reveals

With less than a week to go before the closing date for GFN24 Film Festival submissions, the team has made further reveals about this year’s event. This year’s Global Forum On Nicotine is rapidly approaching, have you registered to view the event online – or maybe it’s the year you plan on visiting Warsaw in person?

Not only is there less than a week to get your entry in for the GFN Film Festival, this includes the #GFNFives and Science Lab entries too. You have until the 15th of May 2024 to submit your film entries for #GFN24!

Trading Standards Need Cash

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Government to provide Trading Standards in England with an additional £140m over the next five years to fund a new battalion of 400 enforcement officers, aimed at tackling the rising tide of illegal vape devices being distributed in England.

New research released by ACS outlines the scale of the resources that are needed to deal with the illicit vaping market and preventing underage sales. The additional funding, which would start at £30.7m in year one, rising to £36.2m in year two and then gradually falling, represents an initial 28.4% increase in Trading Standards budgets, making it one of the most significant expansions of Trading Standards capability for at least a generation.

Radioactive Risk Blurred

‘Biomarkers of metal exposure in adolescent e cigarette users: correlations with vaping frequency and flavouring’ by Andrew Kochvar et al. has been published in the journal Tobacco Control. The media leapt on the findings to create shock tales about radioactive risk, but is it as bad as it seems? Research experts Professors Kevin McConway and Lion Shahab provide their opinions.

“Forget about collapsing lungs and heart failure,” sang the Metro, “vaping could be stunting the growth of teens’ brains due to toxic metals like lead and uranium.”

Experts condemn Canadian tax hike

International health experts have criticised the Canadian Ministry of Finance’s move to increase tax on e-cigarettes, according to Smoke Free Sweden. Under the proposal, which was announced as part of the federal budget, e-cigarette taxes are set to increase by 12% from July 2024 onwards.

This move flies in the face of the approach adopted by Sweden, which has made alternative products more accessible and affordable by taxing them on a risk-proportionate basis. This was further reflected in a recent move by Swedish authorities to reduce the tax on snus even further.

Two and a Video from Colin Mendelsohn:

Senate Committee has approved bill.

THE SENATE INQUIRY INTO VAPING has recommended that the vaping bill be passed (report here). What does that mean, and what’s next?

The Committee voted in favour of the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024. If passed in a Senate vote, the bill will ban the importation, domestic manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of vaping goods.

Voting against the bill was largely driven by the perceived harms of vaping, especially to youth, rather than by the benefits to adult smokers.

Will China stop supplying illegal vapes?

EMERITUS PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN AND COLLEAGUES are predicting that illegal vapes will virtually disappear in Australia because the Chinese government requires “all exporters to obey the laws of the countries to which they are exporting”. [link Sub 208, Sub 62] A Chinese government report showed that the number of vapes leaving China for Australia fell by 93% in the first 2 months of 2024 after the disposable ban was introduced. [link]

According to Chapman, this is the ‘smoking gun’, and its “All over, red rover”. [link] Seriously? There is so much wrong with this prediction.


Colin Mendelsohn debates Australia’s vaping stance with Senators
#GFNNews #GFNTV #Australia

Australia has taken a hardline approach to vaping leaving smokers wanting to quit with few legal routes to access safer nicotine products. In today’s episode leading Australian THR advocate Colin Mendelsohn asks, have these restrictions actually achieved their intended goals? In his recent evidence to Australian Senators, Colin set out how a compassionate approach could be the key to improving Australia’s vaping situation.

Report suggests vape bans not working

Sky News Australia

A new report shows a majority of Australians do not believe the government’s ban on vape products is working. According to the Australian Association of Convenience Stores, 75 per cent of people don’t think the ban is keeping vapes away from children. Organised crime figures are importing an estimated $1 billion of illegal vapes into Australia each year.

The figures also show that around eight in ten people believe vapes should be taxed and regulated the same as tobacco. In March earlier this year, the importation of all reusable vapes, regardless of whether it had nicotine, were banned, excluding therapeutic ones supplied by pharmacies.

‘Weak’ vape laws allowing kids to interact

With organised criminals, damning new report reveals

There are major fears the “weak” regulations surrounding the sale of vapes are allowing children to personally meet with organised crime drug runners.

Organised crime figures and their workers, who are shipping an estimated $1bn worth of vapes into the country each year, are advertising drug and vape products online and accepting payments from children.

Those tasked with selling and distributing illegal vapes are meeting with school-aged children to do cash deals at dodgy locations, sparking concerns it could lead to selling hard drugs to kids down the track. (Alternative Link)

Scientist Urges Caution With AI Studies

Tobacco Reporter

Scientists should be aware of the “illusions of understanding” when relying on artificial intelligence for their research, warned Marina Murphy, industry veteran and scientific adviser to the U.K. Vaping Industry Association.

A recent study, published in Scientific Reports, claims to have uncovered potentially harmful substances that are produced when e-liquids in vaping devices are heated for inhalation.

Hands Off

Vapers Call for Health Minister to Dump Flavour Ban | RegWatch

As the Federal Liberal Government marches inexorably toward a ban on flavors in nicotine vaping products, pushback is growing, and questions about a potential conflict of interest involving Health Minister Mark Holland are being raised.

Joining us today to talk though the nationwide consumer effort to stop the flavour ban is vaping activist Maria Papaioannoy-Duic, founder of Rights 4 Vapers. Hear how you can help defend flavours and learn why Maria thinks Minister Holland is backing the ban.

We should not waste the opportunity

To save smokers’ lives – Joseph Magero

A remarkable 2.8 million Kenyans smoke. For many, quitting simply is not an option, with the majority who try to do so ultimately failing.

As a onetime smoker myself, I struggled to give up the habit for many years. Even though I knew the health risks and promised my friends and family that I’d quit, I found myself repeatedly being drawn back to cigarettes. It wasn’t until a friend gave me a vape that I was able to give up cigarettes once and for all. I’m proud to say that I’ve been smoke-free for almost 10 years now.

Landmark Report Proves That…

High Nicotine Use Does Not Lead to High Rates of Health Issues

A new report released today in Stockholm by international health experts, “No Smoke, Less Harm” presents compelling evidence that despite similar levels of nicotine consumption, Sweden boasts significantly lower rates of tobacco-related diseases compared with other European nations.

The report, which was unveiled during an event organised by Smoke Free Sweden, a global health advocacy group, details rates of nicotine usage in Sweden and a number of comparable countries, finding that nicotine use was not a factor in tobacco-related disease.

Debunking Myths with Dr. Jeffrey Smith

Vaping Unplugged Podcast Episode 52

Dr. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge from his academic and professional journey, including his BS and MS in Psychology from Georgia College and his Ph.D. from Emory University. His extensive research has explored the impacts of environmental changes and substances on the central nervous system. Currently, as a Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, Dr. Smith specializes in THR policy, aiming to guide the development and regulation of new products within the industry.

In this episode, Dr. Smith will address common misconceptions about vaping, providing insights based on the latest research and his vast experience in the field. Whether you’re a vaper, health professional, or just curious about the topic, this episode is packed with critical information that challenges the stigma and clarifies the scientific perspective on vaping.

Innovation Under Fire:

A Global Alert on the Misperception Epidemic in Vaping Views

In a comprehensive new international survey, We Are Innovation sought to better understand current smokers’ views on the relative risks of vaping compared to traditional smoking. The survey, conducted by Ipsos amongst nearly 27,000 smokers across 28 countries, uncovered some startling findings.

The topline result is sobering — a full 74 percent of smokers worldwide believe that vaping is just as harmful or more harmful than smoking combustible cigarettes. This widespread misinformation represents a major public health challenge and a significant barrier to smokers switching to proven safer nicotine alternatives

On this Day…2023

A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise….

Why I’m Still Fiercely Optimistic About THR

Gerry Stimson, Filter Magazine

Harm reduction is often misconceived as policies and practices introduced by governments and delivered by experts.

In fact, it is always driven by ordinary people who use drugs choosing to put harm reduction into practice. Yes, governments and experts can make it easier for them—or stand in their way. But ultimately, it’s individuals who take action to reduce harms they or people in their lives are facing.

April – victory month for harm reduction

For those valuing a non-dogmatic stance on health issues, one which is rooted in considering the real-life effects of science, and open to contributions from the people most affected – April presented a major success for harm reduction advocates.

For the first time in UN history the notion of harm reduction appeared in the politically negotiated UN resolution on drug policy. Until then harm reduction had only been mentioned in the context of HIV/AIDS.

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