Vapers Digest 14th May

Friday’s News at a glance:

ETHRA’s view on the SCHEER Opinion – EU TPD implementation report: the countdown has started – THR Discussion With Christopher Balkaran – Why Japan’s Huge Drop in Smoking Is a Story Prohibitionists Ignore – Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada – The EU’s Aversion To Vaping – The Foundation Hits Back – CRUK Updates Its Position – America’s Perverse Tobacco Policy – Nic Pouch Ad Problem – DS 371 – ‘Thai tobacco tax’ the more you walk, the more you walk – Growth at risk? – E-cig vapor mixture key to proving harm reduction – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

ETHRA’s view on the SCHEER Opinion

European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates

On 29 April, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) published its Final Opinion on e-cigarettes. The Preliminary Opinion, published in September 2020, had attracted significant criticism and 691 submissions to the public consultation. We hoped that the SCHEER committee had listened, and that the final Opinion would take our submissions into account, but we find ourselves greatly disappointed!

We find that many of the problems highlighted during the public consultation on the Preliminary Opinion have not been adequately addressed, or addressed at all in the final report. Important EU data has been ignored, potential harms exaggerated and there is an over emphasis on youth initiation while the impact of vaping on  adult smoking cessation is virtually ignored.

EU TPD implementation report:

The countdown has started – David Palacios Rubio

The EU Commission will soon reveal the outcome of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) implementation report, a long-awaited document that will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the legislation and which could become the first step in the reformulation of the European approach towards tobacco-alternative products.

Since 2019 the EU Commission has carried out different assessments with industry members, commissioned research to in-house scientists and third parties, and put in place a validation workshop to check the consistency and accuracy of all the findings.


Discussion With Christopher Balkaran

Brad Rodu – Tobacco Truth

I recently had an interview with Christopher Balkaran, the talented Canadian producer of the Strong and Free Podcast.  Christopher is currently exploring tobacco harm reduction, and he gave me ample time to discuss many aspects of safer tobacco products.  My interview is available here.  If you are especially interested in any of the following topics, I’ve listed the times for quick access.

Why Japan’s Huge Drop in Smoking…

Is a Story Prohibitionists Ignore – Alex Norcia

Nowhere on Earth has cigarette consumption dropped as rapidly as it has in Japan over the past few years.

Just look at the numbers: In the first quarter of 2021—January, February and March of this year—domestic cigarette sales in Japan totaled about 25 billion sticks. In 2016, that same period saw around 43.6 billion domestic cigarette sales in the country. There has been close to a 43 percent decline in half a decade.

It is an extraordinary success. And it seems attributable to a single shift: Japan’s population of smokers, with the government’s acquiescence, has embraced heated tobacco products (HTPs), which heat tobacco sticks to produce vapor—not smoke—that is inhaled.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Should look to its UK counterpart – Rights 4 Vapers

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada should look to its UK counterpart when it comes to funding studies on vaping and start protecting the heart health of all Canadians.

This week the P.E.I. Lung Association released a ‘survey’ sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation that seemingly found that some youths move to smoking from vaping.

“We can all agree that kids should not vape. But by exacerbating the hysteria around vaping and promoting a non-existent epidemic, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is negating the proven benefits that smokeless products have on the heart and overall health of adult smokers,”

Five from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

The EU’s Aversion To Vaping

The European Union is conducting a process to establish new protocols for vaping but is it consultation in name only? It is “consulting” on reforms to the Tobacco Taxation Directive and the formulation of the new iteration of the Tobacco Products Directive, yet the direction of travel is clear, and it is not going to be nice.

The next phase for the review of the Tobacco Taxation Directive opened with a public consultation (1) on 30 March. The process will run until 22 June but only organisations or businesses that are registered on the EU Transparency Register (2) will be able to submit comments.

The Foundation Hits Back

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) has hit back at the slew of recent attacks and said that progress in tobacco control demands open science and respectful debate, not the boycotts and bans it is subjected to. In particular, the FSFW lays into a recent paper from the University of Bath published in Tobacco Control journal.

The paper, “Paying lip service to publication ethics: scientific publishing practices and the Foundation for Smoke-Free World” (1), was written by Bloomberg funded activists at the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG), University of Bath.

CRUK Updates Its Position

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has updated its position on vaping by publishing a “what we know and what we don’t” blog post. Ultimately, CRUK says the evidence has come a long way and supports its position to recommend electronic cigarettes to all smokers considering switching in order to reduce their harm exposure.

“It’s been a decade since e-cigarettes first gained popularity in the UK. Since then, the types of devices available and the number of people using them has risen sharply. And as the popularity levels of e-cigarettes grew, so did the debate around them,” CRUK says

America’s Perverse Tobacco Policy

The United States is aiming to adopt a range of measures to reduce tobacco related harm: banning menthol cigarettes, reducing nicotine content, and harsher taxes for vape products. It’s an illogical approach that ignores the huge success vaping has had in the United Kingdom at reducing smoking rates.

Menthol cigarettes make up for one third of the market and are predominantly used by poorer Black Americans. Writing for The Hill (1), Guy Bentley says that banning them, “will most likely contribute to overcriminalization in Black communities already struggling to determine the role that policing should play in their neighbourhoods.”

Nic Pouch Ad Problem

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has partially upheld a complaint regarding Nordic Spirit nicotine pouches. The complaint was directed at a video ad, suggesting it was appropriately targeted and irresponsible as it “implied that using the product made gaming more fun and enjoyable.”

The ASA (1) says the video ad was seen during an episode of “Sweetness & Lightning” (2) on the Crunchyroll (3) anime app. The ad featured people about to play a video game with an electronic dance music soundtrack. Crunchyroll is said to host, “a number of series [that] are unsuitable for children.”

DS 371

ความคืบหน้ากรณีพิพาททางการค้า ไทย-ฟิลิปปินส์ เกี่ยวกับภาษีบุหรี่ ที่ยืดเยื้อมานานเกือบ 13 ปี ล่าสุดสื่อทางโน้นรายงานว่า กระทรวงการค้าและอุตสาหกรรม หรือ ดีทีไอ (Department of Trade and Industry : DTI) ของฟิลิปปินส์ เตรียมระงับสิทธิประโยชน์ทางศุลกากร สินค้านำเข้าจากไทย ตามแผนที่กำหนดไว้ ขณะยังคงติดตามกระบวนการแก้ไขปัญหา ที่ไทยไม่ยอมปฏิบัติตาม คำตัดสินขององค์การการค้าโลก (WTO) เกี่ยวกับข้อพิพาทคดีภาษีบุหรี่ …

Progress of trade disputes Thailand – Philippines About the cigarette tax That protracted for almost 13 years, the latest media reports that Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines Prepare to suspend customs benefits Products imported from Thailand As planned While continuing to monitor the problem resolution process That Thailand refuses to comply with The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on the cigarette tax dispute …

‘Thai tobacco tax’

The more you walk, the more you walk

“ภาษียาสูบไทย” มีผลต่อการสูบบุหรี่ของสังคมไทย โดยภาพรวมอาจดูเหมือนจะดี แต่ก็ยังคงมีจุดอ่อน มาดูเหตุผลและทัศนะของ ศ.นพ.ประกิต วาทีสาธกกิจ ประธานมูลนิธิรณรงค์เพื่อการไม่สูบบุหรี่ ว่าจุดอ่อนนั้นอยู่ตรงที่ใด

“Thai Tobacco Tax” affects smoking in Thai society. Overall it might seem good. But still has a weakness Let’s look at the reasons and opinions of Prof. Prakit Vathee Sathokkit, President of the Non-Smoking Campaign Foundation. Where the weakness is

Growth at risk?

Idwala Research

When the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration announced in March that they intended to include e-cigarettes and other new types of tobacco products in the regulations that govern cigarettes, the share prices of RLX and Smoore declined by 48% and 27% on the news. Whilst both stocks have clawed back some of these losses, RLX remains below its IPO price of US$12 per share set in January. Smoore, on the other hand, still trades at more than 4x its HK$12.4 IPO price.

Between 2 Vapes Episode 3

Brent Stafford, Executive Producer/ Founder Regulator Watch

A Deadly Moral Panic in Canada

VIDA Voices

E-cig vapor mixture key

To proving harm reduction

Characterizing the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in the aerosol of e-cigarettes is essential in determining the potential reductions in toxic exposure and associated health risks related to combustible cigarettes, according to Roxana Weil, senior director of product integrity and toxicology at Juul Labs.

Tobacco smoke is a highly complex mixture containing over 5,000 constituents, 93 of which have been identified in tobacco products and tobacco smoke or aerosol by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) as HPHCs. HPHCs are linked to the most serious health effects of tobacco use, including cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and reproductive effects,” Weil said.

On this Day…2020

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

The Bizarre Attack on Vaping

Dan Mitchell, International Liberty

Since I’ve never smoked or vaped, I have no personal interest in the the regulatory battle over vaping and e-cigarettes.

That being said, I started writing about this issue back in 2016 because it involves several important principles.

  1. The libertarian argument that people should be free to do what they want with their own bodies
  2. Whether the “administrative state” should be able to unilaterally grab more regulatory power.
  3. The degree to which “harm reduction” or “zero tolerance” should guide government policies.

Group asks Taiwan to accept THR as a human right

Staff, Manila Standard Business

An Asia-Pacific consumer advocacy group has supported the petition asking the Taiwanese government to recognize tobacco harm reduction as a human right in line with the goal for Smoke-Free Taiwan 2040.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates said it is supporting the initiative of Taiwan Tobacco Harm Reduction Association which filed a petition calling upon the government of Taiwan to allow tobacco harm reduction products as part of the key strategy for tobacco control.

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