Wednesday’s News at a glance:
Clueless Councils : One Year On – State authority approves borrowing against Pennsylvania tobacco settlement funds – Vape Chain No Longer Set To Close – FDA Releases New Nonsensical Anti-Vaping Ad – Vaping should be part of support – Toxic Vape Waste – NSP Daily Digest
Last year, the Freedom Association’s Freedom to Vape (FtV) campaign submitted FOI requests to every local council in the UK to ask about their policies on vaping in the workplace. If you have a good memory, you will recall that the responses highlighted that the overwhelming majority of local authorities were imposing rules on their staff from a position of superlative ignorance. I wrote about it here.
But still, back then the subject was quite fresh for them so despite positive reports on vaping having been issued from Public Health England (August 2015), the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (February 2016), and the Royal College of Physicians (April 2016), they could be partly forgiven for being lethargic in applying sane and sympathetic policies for their workers.
See also New Nicotine Alliance
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority put its stamp of approval Tuesday on a big and controversial patch to the state’s deficit-ridden $32.0 billion budget.
The authority voted unanimously to approve borrowing up to $1.5 billion against future revenues from the 1998 multi-state settlement with the nation’s major tobacco companies to cover a deficit from the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The borrowing – be it via traditional bond issue or some other means – would be paid back over the next 10-to-30 years, likely meaning a significant portion of Pennsylvania’s annual payment will be diverted from the health and research programs it has traditionally supported.
Jimmy Hafrey, Churnmag
Totally Wicked has been a fixture in the vaping industry for as long as anyone. They were the first brick and mortar vape shop to have stores in both the UK and the US, starting way back in 2008. Since then they have helped countless customers transition from smoking to vaping. Last year they announced they would be forced to close when the FDA’s deeming rules took effect, citing an insurmountable amount of red tape and resources required.
At the time, they went on the record saying that the misinformation used and disseminated by the media is, intentionally or not, ignoring the mounting evidence. They made it clear that the extreme harm reduction value of vaping over smoking is factually based, but not much else was given at the time, especially about possible paths forward for the company. So it was a welcome sight to see last week they published a press release on Business Wire announcing their plans to not only stay open but actually expand operations.
Carl V. Phillips, Daily Vaper
As previously reported, the FDA is expanding their “Real Cost” propaganda campaign to include attacks on vaping. That campaign, as described in the previous article, currently consists of anti-scientific attacks on smoking and smokeless tobacco use, targeting teenagers with gory images and misleading claims. While vaping is a tougher target for such propaganda, it is expected that they will continue this approach.
The FDA has disclosed one preview of the anti-vaping campaign. It was presented by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb at an anti-tobacco symposium at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a video of the event was posted by the university. Gottlieb’s talk was mostly a recitation of the usual smoking statistics and boilerplate, including the standard unscientific tobacco control claims which are repeated so often people start forgetting they’re nonsense. The video does not show the audience, but Gottlieb himself looked bored by what he was saying.
Now to regulations – "why are packaging restrictions on vaping products more strict than those for bleach?…why can public health organisations commend the health benefits of vaping products, but #vaping companies cannot?" #NGN2017
— UKVIA (@Vaping_Industry) November 15, 2017
Cancer Research UK
A group of health bodies and charities has called for more to be done to help smokers with mental health conditions quit, including accessing e-cigarettes and other treatments.
In its Statement on Electronic Cigarettes (link is external), the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership said that smoking remains “part of the culture in too many mental health settings”, and that vaping and nicotine replacement therapies should be made an easier choice than smoking.
Professor Ann McNeill, co-chair of the partnership (link is external), said that people with a mental health condition are more than twice as likely to smoke as the general population.
“This is a great inequality leading to early death and years of chronic illness for many,” she said. “E-cigarettes provide a new opportunity for people to move away from smoking and avoid the terrible burden of death and disease it causes.”
Smoking rates in people with mental health conditions have barely changed in the last 20 years, despite a steady decline in the rest of the population, said the statement.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
NJoy used to be one of the world’s leading cigalike companies, but a combination of poor decision making, financial mismanagement and a raft of unfavourable laws sent it into bankruptcy. Now even this simple step has proven to be fraught with problems as the bankruptcy court hears about a toxic waste issue.
The court heard how company’s receiver is holding mediation talks as part of the bankruptcy process (previously covered here). The talks seek to identify who will be responsible for the abandoned warehouse stock – a matter compounded by the fact that the vaping equipment has been classified as toxic waste. Understandably, neither the Jacobson Warehouse Company nor the Indiana Department of Environmental Management wish to be landed with the disposal costs.
The events raise an important question as to what the vaping community’s attitude is towards the waste it produces, and are businesses and individuals acting responsibly?