Vapers Digest 11th August

Friday’s News at a glance:

Harry’s Blog 119: Who cares about tobacco control? – ’Swap-to-stop’ but let us shopUK’s public health group debunks myths – U.S. government is killing Americans – Stand Up For Vaping At COP10!WHO Continues to Deny Science – The (Ministry of) Truth InitiativeASH Factsheet 2023 – Carry On Questioning with Racheal MaskellAustralia Careens Towards Prohibition – Does Mark Butler care? – ASH Issues Myths Briefing – Reform the FDA before it kills us – Flavor Advice Boosts Chances of Switching – Federal Judge Hammers FDA – Over half of participants in 12-week trial quit smoking – Don’t Deny Smokers Their Best ChanceImpact of the Conference of Parties (COP)Venezuela Bans All Vape Products

Who cares about tobacco control?

Harry’s Blog 119 – Harry Shapiro

Negotiating international framework conventions demanding multi-national agreements is always going to be a challenge. And the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was no exception. Delegates went into bat armed with all their vested interests, anxious not to displease their political bosses back home. In fact, the most active participants in the smoke-free rooms were the American anti-smoking NGOs, who saw a golden opportunity to influence the global anti-smoking legislative landscape in the face of health-based delegates with no experience of drafting international agreements. Incidentally, neither did the WHO, as this was the world’s first health-focused framework convention.

’Swap-to-stop’ but let us shop

University of East Anglia

A Government scheme to give out free vapes to smokers appeals to most but not all, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The ‘Swap-to-Stop’ scheme was announced earlier this year – providing a million e-cigarettes to disadvantaged people who smoke.

A new study published today supports the scheme, with people who vape saying that this type of approach might have helped them if it had been available when they attempted to quit. But the research also shows that accessing vapes via the NHS might not be appealing to everyone, because some people don’t see e-cigarettes as treatments but more as consumer products that they can shop for themselves.


UK’s public health group debunks myths

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a public health charity set up by the UK Royal College of Physicians, released a peer-reviewed briefing paper debunking myths about vaping to help reduce misinformation.

The ASH brief particularly belied that vaping nicotine is more harmful than smoking tobacco. It cites data showing that while more than 75,000 people die from smoking in the UK a year, only five fatalities were linked to vaping products in the last 12 years.

The ASH brief also denied that vaping is a proven gateway to smoking. It says that if vaping were a gateway into smoking at the population level, smoking rates would show a reduced rate of decline or start to increase.

U.S. government is killing Americans

By vilifying vaping – Drew Johnson

Last month, the United Kingdom introduced a program to help people stop smoking that will likely come as a shock to many Americans. Under “Swap to Stop,” the U.K. government will offer free vaping starter kits to 1 million smokers to encourage them to switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

If you’ve heard e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as old-school smoking and vaping is now at crisis levels among American youth, you’re hardly alone. But you’ve been terribly misinformed.

The science supports the U.K. Studies show e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than cigarettes, and they are a powerful tool to help people stop smoking.

Stand Up For Vaping At COP10!

Guest Post From Mark Oates – ecigclick

When the life-saving benefits of vaping were finally accepted and backed by the UK government, England was at last given a fighting chance of reaching its 2030 smoke-free target.

One-in-five of all smokers in the country are now being offered vape starter kits as part of the “Swap to Stop” initiative to slash cigarette consumption from the current 13.3% to less than 5%, in an apparently unique initiative.

The United Kingdom has followed the world-leading Swedish model of promoting harm reduction measures, like e-cigarettes, to reduce smoking.

WHO Continues to Deny Science

Ignores Harm Reduction – Lindsey Stroud

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published its 9th report on tobacco use, titled “WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic.” The report monitors global tobacco use and analyzes the effects of MPOWER, a Michael Bloomberg-backed strategy deployed by the WHO (and other Bloomberg-funded organizations), which includes various measures to reduce tobacco use.

While the WHO is applauding its role in promoting MPOWER strategies, the taxpayer-funded agency is still refusing to accept the role of novel tobacco products in helping to reduce combustible cigarette use. With the 10th annual Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) set to meet in November, it is imperative that members of the FCTC (and all policymakers) ignore the misinformation spewed by the WHO and promote adult access to less harmful alternatives to smoking.

The (Ministry of) Truth Initiative

Have Nicotine Pouches in Their Crosshairs – Joseph Hart

Every dog has its day. For the Truth Initiative, that day was in the early 2000s when they arguably played a part in reducing smoking among the US youth with a series of hard-hitting ads. But since then, they’ve been acting like a bar room drunk, unable to tell enemies from friends.

The well-capitalised non-profit has lately become fixated on nicotine pouches, continuing its recent history of spreading misinformation about alternative smoking products through a series of social media ads and articles. It’s time to clap back.

Three from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

ASH Factsheet 2023

Action on Smoking and Health has released a factsheet to summarise the findings from its latest look at adult vaping in Great Britain. The charity’s factsheet analyses the behaviour and attitudes among adults towards vaping and how the opinions and actions have changed over time. YouGov collected the data on behalf of the organisation.

ASH has been running these data gathering exercises since 2020. The latest is based on a survey conduced across February and March this year. ASH’s key findings:

ASH Issues Myths Briefing

Action on Smoking and Health has issued a briefing dedicated to putting the evidence in context and combatting the common myths surrounding vapes and vaping. The briefing aims to act as an aid to stop myths being repeated until they are accepted as conventional wisdom and to prevent the overstating of evidence.

ASH says the situation is neatly summed up by Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty, who has said: “The key points about vaping (e-cigarettes) can be easily summarised. If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

Carry On Questioning – Racheal Maskell

Labour’s Rachael Maskell has inundated Conservative Ministers with a plethora of questions about vaping and tobacco harm reduction. In fact, so many questions that we’ve had to split them into two huge articles. Today’s sees her firing queries at the Departments for Environment, Education, Treasury, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Home Office.

The Labour/Co-operative MP demanded of the Secretary of State for Education:

Reform the FDA before it kills us

Peter Roff

The human capacity for processing information is limited. People running for office who recognize this and adapt their campaign messages accordingly usually do better than those who don’t.

It’s not that the voters are dumb, far from it. In the years since the end of World War II, the federal government has grown in both size and scope to a scale most of the nation’s founding generation would not have believed possible.

The regulatory impulse has led to a permanent and unaccountable meta-government at the bureaucratic level that often ignores the general welfare and the sentiments of the people in the name of protecting them.

Australia Careens Towards Prohibition


As the decline in adult smoking rates stalls, public health officials in Australia continue to push prohibition as the only solution to stem youth use of nicotine vaping products.
But one health expert says the policy is myopic and puts the lives of adult smokers at risk.

Reporting from the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland, RegWatch sits down with Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, Founding Chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and unwavering advocate for nicotine vapes.

Is tobacco control out of control? Find out!

Does Mark Butler care…

About low-income middle aged smokers? – Colin Mendelsohn

NEW RESEARCH PUBLISHED today in Health Economics found that poor, middle-aged Australians are more likely to die from cancer than other Australians and the gap is widening. The obvious and major contributor is the persistent high smoking rate in this population and the low uptake of tobacco harm reduction.

National data shows that Australian smokers over the age of 40 are not quitting. This disadvantaged group has been neglected by Australia’s fabled world leading tobacco control policies. Many are dying from cancer prematurely and unnecessarily as a result….. Older smokers are not quitting

Flavor Advice Boosts Chances …

Of Switching From Cigarettes to Vapes – Kiran Sidhu

People are more likely to quit smoking through vapes if they receive help in choosing the right flavor for them, plus supportive messages, recent research found.

The study was conducted by London South Bank University (LSBU) and published in the Addiction journal in July. Through social media, the researchers recruited 1,214 eligible participants, all of whom smoked heavily and were interested in trying to quit using vapes.

They then tested five remote interventions aimed at helping people switch—mostly online surveys that produced recommendations based on individual responses.

Federal Judge Hammers FDA

In Premium Cigar Decision – Jim McDonald

A federal judge ruled yesterday that the FDA will have to abandon its current plan to regulate premium cigars under the Deeming Rule, the 2016 regulation in which the agency granted itself authority over nicotine products not specifically named by Congress in the Tobacco Control Act.

The decision from U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta of the D.C. District, is the culmination of a long court fight between three cigar industry associations and the FDA, and means that premium cigars will not be subject to premarket review or FDA enforcement actions.

Over half of participants in 12-week trial

Quit smoking – Vaping Saved My Life (VSML)

Well over half of the participants in a three-month trial in which smokers tried vaping as a way of either stopping or reducing smoking successfully gave up cigarettes. Of those who continued to smoke while also vaping, 79% reduced their cigarette consumption.

In a follow-up survey conducted a few weeks after the 12-week challenge period had ended, 41% of respondents were still not smoking. Among those who had relapsed, 46% said that although they still smoked a little, it was a small fraction of their prior consumption and they felt optimistic about their ability to successfully quit in the future using vaping products.

Don’t Deny Smokers …

Their Best Chance of Dodging Disease

World Lung Cancer Day on August 1 served as a stark reminder of the devastating impact that lung cancer has on millions of lives worldwide. It was a day to reinforce the global resolve to combat this formidable disease, but it also exposed a troubling paradox.

Just as efforts were being made to raise awareness and find solutions to combat lung cancer, some misguided activists in Kenya were using the moment to advocate for tighter restrictions on nicotine products that actually offer smokers their best chance of avoiding the disease.

Impact of the Conference of Parties (COP)

On tobacco control in South Africa

The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be taking place in November 2023 to discuss the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The COP will discuss updates to the approach taken by member states in implementing the FCTC.

“It is an appropriate time for leaders in South Africa and elsewhere to indicate the inappropriate stance of WHO and regulators in not supporting the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDs),” says award-winning pharmacological healthcare consultant, Professor Praneet Valodia. “The WHO has an obligation to support smokers and save lives.”

Venezuela Bans All Vape Products

Felipe Neis Araujo

On August 1, Venezuela banned vapes and heated tobacco products. Vape shops have been rapidly shuttering, with owners fearing penalties if they attempt to stay open; one vape shop manager told the Associated Press that over 5,000 people were unemployed within days.

The ban applies to a a litany of contexts including personal use, manufacturing, importation and distribution. President Nicolás Maduro had called for an evaluation of such a ban in June, claiming that vapes are “harmful to health, and make the lungs and bronchial tubes sick.”

Fewer Kids & Teens in Scott County…

Iowa Have Been Vaping – Michelle O’Neill

Last week, WVIK News reported a local increase in e-cigarette use in certain grades. But there was actually a decrease.

On Twitter, Members of the American Vapor Manufacturers called out the errors in the “kids and vaping” story (originally posted 8/3/2023). Spokesman Gregory Conley quoted statistics from the Iowa Youth Surveys conducted in 2018 and 2021.

“When it comes to youth at the Iowa state level and at the local level in Scott County, we have seen large decreases in usage since 2018, 2019.

Premier League stars putting pouches ..

Between their TOES to avoid being caught

PREMIER LEAGUE stars are putting oral nicotine pouches between their TOES to avoid the hair dryer treatment from managers – after the PFA launched an investigation into controversial snus.

The method means users get a fast hit of nicotine through the skin, without raising suspicions of the coaches or being caught out by eagle-eyed cameras or fans around the pitch.

On this Day…2022

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

Are secondhand emissions dangerous?

Clive Bates – Consumer Choice Center

WHO avoids a comparison between secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol. Again, WHO uses the words “potentially” and “potential” to avoid saying anything about how toxic or how risky. In my own Q&A on vaping and harm reduction, I highlight three key differences between secondhand smoke and secondhand vape exposure:

The main issue with vaping in public is etiquette and consideration for others. At this stage, there is nothing to suggest that indoor vaping presents a material risk to bystanders. But that does not mean there should be a license to vape at will anywhere. It means the owner of a property should determine the policy for their premises. A government override of these property rights can only be justified if there are material risks to bystanders or workers.

Vape wars: The fierce debate

Over the banning (and unbanning) of Juul e-cigarettes

If you were trying to create a villain that embodied the worst fears of youth-focused, anti-smoking activists, it would be hard to top Juul, the e-cigarette company that launched in 2015. Juul’s early growth was fueled by ad campaigns on child-oriented TV channels, including Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, and on websites aimed at middle school students. It infiltrated summer camps and schools in what a US House of Representatives subcommittee called a “sophisticated program” to target teens and children. Its flavored products delivered higher doses of nicotine in smaller, easier-to-conceal packages than other vaping products. And it’s owned in part by Altria, the successor to Philip Morris, which for half a century schemed to deceive the public about the true dangers of smoking.

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