Vapers Digest 15th April

Monday’s News at a glance:

No Vape Tax Campaign Launched! – These people are nuts – The NNA respond to the Australian Senate Inquiry on the Vaping Reform Bill – Welcome to Vape City – Flavour Warning from Ireland – Spain Launches Flavor Ban Consultation – MPs warn against ban on flavoured vapes – The dilemma facing the NSW Parliament Inquiry – Don’t hold your breath – Better vape than smoke, and bans don’t work – Considerate Pouchers Sweden Advocates for Canada – Is nicotine really as addictive as heroin? – Lives Hang in the Balance – FDA Has Stumbled from Crisis to Crisis – Tobacco control comes up short – How E-Cigarette Ban Affects Tobacco Use

No Vape Tax Campaign Launched!

Michelle – ECigClick

The No Vape Tax campaign has been launched today! You can visit it here It is a joint collaboration between the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) and

As you may be aware, a proposed tax on vapes was announced in the UK Spring Budget – we cover it in a previous article here. You can read the full Budget statement here.

What Does That Mean For Vapers? So basically there will be a tax on e-liquid to be introduced in 2026.

Website Promotes Opposition to UK Vape Tax – Vaping 360

These people are nuts

Christopher Snowdon

It’s been fifteen years since the concept of ‘thirdhand smoke’ was invented. It never really took off, except in California where the frankly hilarious Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center is handsomely funded by taxpayers. According to that august institution: ‘Thirdhand smoke is the chemical residue that is left behind on clothes, skin, furniture, walls, and other surfaces after someone smokes.’ The implication is that if you can smell it, it could be killing you, but there is no evidence that people are harmed by the faint aroma of cigarettes smoked years earlier and, Californians aside, the public are not such hypochondriacs that they worry about such things.


Welcome to Vape City:

Life in the town where e-cigarettes are big business

Vaping is big business in Blackburn. In 2008, it was the birthplace of one of the UK’s biggest e-cigarette companies.

Totally Wicked now has over 500 shops across the UK including company-operated outlets and franchises, as well as selling in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Bargain Booze stores, its roots in Blackburn are a big part of the firm.

Controversially, the brand has been the shirt sponsor of Blackburn Rovers since 2018 and has been the football club’s principal sponsor since January of 2023.

The NNA respond to the Australian Senate

Inquiry on the Vaping Reform Bill

We are the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), a UK consumer association and educational charity which represents consumers of low-risk alternatives to cigarettes such as vaping products, nicotine pouches, smokeless and heated tobacco products. As consumers, we have a direct interest in the regulation of these products and the personal and public health consequences of policy choices made by governments. We are not affiliated with or supported by the tobacco or e-cigarette industries. Our comments draw on academic research and our own experience of the benefits of novel nicotine delivery products for smokers who cannot or have no urge to quit smoking by other means.

‘Joke of a country’:

Australians caught with vapes in ACT face fines up to $32k

Sky News contributor Evelyn Rae has labelled Australia as “a joke of a country” over criminal penalties relating to nicotine vape possession in the ACT. Those caught with an unprescribed vape in the ACT can be fined 320 times more than if you are caught with a gram of heroin. Current legislation means individuals could be fined up to $32,000 or face two years in prison for possessing nicotine vapes. “It is very clear the government do not care for our health,” Ms Rae said. “Obviously they care about money and how do they make money? By regulating this industry.”

The dilemma facing the NSW Parliament

Inquiry into Vaping – Colin Mendelsohn

THIS WEEK I GAVE EVIDENCE to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into vaping. However, I was appalled by the false and misleading information provided to the Committee in anti-vaping submissions and oral evidence by experts whose advice has created the current regulatory disaster. Continuing to follow this flawed advice will only lead to further harm to public health.

I was shocked by the pervasive misinformation provided to the Inquiry from supposed experts who should know better. Some of the most egregious and misleading arguments are listed below, with my responses in brackets:

Flavour Warning from Ireland

Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Respect Vapers IE are warning that 76% of vapers say a flavours ban could lead to more young people smoking. The organisation says it has discovered that many say smokers would not take up vaping to quit if flavours were banned and that banning vapes to under 18s is better than a ban on flavoured vapes.

One in five ex-smokers said they will go back to smoking if flavoured vapes were banned and almost two thirds (65%) of those who smoke and vape said they will smoke cigarettes more often, according to research conducted by RED C Research & Marketing.

The independent poll found that fruit, tobacco and menthol flavours continue to be the most popular among vapers.

Spain Launches Flavor Ban Consultation

Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

The Spanish government plans to prohibit flavored vaping products as part of sweeping changes to the country’s tobacco control laws included in the “Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention Plan 2024-2027” announced last week. The plan, which will be presented as legislation soon, will also include plain packaging, new taxes on tobacco products, and added restrictions on public use.

Spain is an influential European Union member state. With over 47 million residents, it is the fourth-most populous EU country, after Germany, France and Italy. It’s also the bloc’s fourth-largest economy. Adoption of flavor restrictions by Spain could dangerously influence the direction of EU flavored vape policy, which will be part of the updated Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that will likely be rolled out next year.

MPs warn against ban on flavoured vapes

Aidan Fortune

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Responsible Vaping has warned that regulating the category further following the plan to ban single-use vapes could create potential unintended consequences such as undermining vaping as an effective cessation tool and inadvertently lead to an increase in smoking.

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) added that the Government’s Impact Assessment should consider that restricting vape flavours may make vaping less enjoyable for many people, which could in turn increase cigarette cravings and make specific groups of people more vulnerable to relapse to smoking.

Don’t hold your breath:

Methods to stop kids vaping maybe making things worse

Attempts to combat vaping could have perverse outcomes as students try to avoid detection and organised criminals eye off a market that only recently became illicit.

An inquiry has been told schools are taking a health-focused approach to getting children to quit, while a senior police officer has warned against criminalisation.

Students caught vaping at school were being offered health-based interventions, Martin Graham,  told a NSW parliamentary committee on Friday.

Better vape than smoke

And bans don’t work, inquiry told

Two messages echoed through several testimonies at today’s session of the NSW inquiry into e-cigarette regulation and compliance: prohibition measures will not work, and it’s better to vape than to smoke.

Senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong Dr Jody Moller – who has researched e-cigarettes and their chemical contents since 2019 – told the committee that current regulations had fuelled the black market.

Considerate Pouchers Sweden

Advocates for Nicotine Pouches in Canada

Considerate Pouchers Sweden has taken another step in the fight against smoking-related health issues. We have initiated outreach to Canadian provincial health authorities to share insights and successes from Sweden’s tobacco control strategies, particularly emphasizing the impact of nicotine pouches. This proactive move showcases our dedication to extending harm reduction efforts internationally.

Carissa Düring, the Director of Considerate Pouchers Sweden, penned thoughtful letters to provincial health ministers. Carissa shared the positive outcome witnessed in Sweden—a notable decrease in smoking rates due to the adoption of nicotine pouches. This approach has been instrumental in Sweden’s journey toward becoming a smoke-free nation, with adult smoking rates dropping below 5%.

Is nicotine really as addictive as heroin?

Maddison King

Quite often, Tobacco Control operatives like to tell us that nicotine is as addictive as heroin. It’s one of those facile statements that you’re meant to sagely nod along with for fear of being exposed as some sort of oaf who doesn’t understand basic human physiology.

It’s hard to tell where it all started. Here’s a New Yorker article from 1987 which includes a quote from a psychology professor called Dr. Sharon Hall saying, ”Heroin addicts say it is easier to give up dope than it is to give up smoking,”

How New Zealand adults who smoked …

Understand novel tobacco ‘endgame’ policies.

Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of early death. In 2022, New Zealand legislated to introduce three previously untried tobacco ‘endgame’ policies aimed at reducing demand for cigarettes and restricting supply. This study aimed to determine how a key stakeholder group, NZ adults with no intent or low belief that they could stop smoking by 2025, understood proposals to restrict nicotine in combustible tobacco and the number of tobacco retailers to a very low level, annually raise the age of purchase, set minimum prices, and ban filters.

Lives Hang in the Balance

While the FDA Bureaucracy Churns – Christina Smith

Food and Drug Administrator (FDA) Robert Califf testified before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee about the agency’s activities, including healthcare and implementation of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The issues considered at the April 12, 2024, hearing included the substantial lag in FDA approval of premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs), specifically for tobacco harm reduction (THR) products.

To date, the FDA has only authorized 45 products out of 26 million product applications. In lieu of mitigating the problem, the FDA is more focused on talking about death due to tobacco-related illnesses.

FDA Has Stumbled from Crisis to Crisis

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability held a hearing titled “Oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” At the hearing, lawmakers asked FDA Commissioner Robert Califf about a pattern of issues within the FDA to ensure the FDA is completing its role of regulatory oversight of the food and drug industries, prioritizing safety and effectiveness, and incentivizing innovation.

Tobacco control comes up short

Sarah Ladd

In a year when the American Cancer Society asked the Kentucky legislature to increase spending on tobacco prevention, lawmakers cut it and passed an anti-vaping bill that some say could increase cigarette use in the state.

The two-year state budget’s allocation for tobacco prevention — about $8 million shy of advocates’ ask — “certainly is not” enough to combat use in the state, said Doug Hogan, the government relations director in Kentucky for the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Action Network.

How E-Cigarette Ban Affects Tobacco Use

In a recent submission, Lakshmi Ramamurthy, Hon. Trustee, Centre for Public Policy Research pointed out that India, in its act of imposing a ban on e-cigarettes in 2019, failed to make the distinction between the different classes of products. While in the finance bill of 2021, the government acknowledged the distinction between traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and HTP for taxation purposes, this distinction has not been applied in the context of the ban on e-cigarettes.

Panama hosted the Conference of the Parties tenth session (COP10) in February. COP10, under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), holds immense significance for the future of public health.

On this Day…2023

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

Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird

Harry Shapiro

The title of this blog is the title of a famous poem by the American poet, Wallace Stevens. It has been quoted since to symbolise that there are many different perspectives on any number of societal issues – anything from the Trump indictment and conflicts in the Middle East to arguments about nuclear power and re-wilding. So there can be any number of ‘truths’, but when it comes to providing accurate public health information, this must be founded on evidence – not convenient versions of the ‘truth’ to align with moral preferences or vested interests.

Professor Lynn Kozlowski has written several papers on the human rights aspect of providing accurate public health information, arguing that people have a right-to-know so they can be equipped with agency over their own health.

New GSTHR Briefing Paper

Dave Cross

A new GSTHR Briefing Paper has been released that addresses the tobacco harm reduction potential of nicotine pouches. The Briefing Paper the latest in a series of Papers produced by the UK-based public health agency Knowledge·Action·Change (K·A·C) as part of its Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) project.

The Paper, “What are nicotine pouches?”, provides an overview of the latest information about the scientific evidence, market data, regulatory landscape and tobacco harm potential for this relatively new safer nicotine product.

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