Tuesday’s News at a glance:
The United States must act quickly to control the use of e-cigarettes – The huff and puff surrounding e-cigarette regulation in South Africa – City of Regina poised to ban smoking on patios, playgrounds – Dr. Gottlieb’s First Remarks to FDA Staff – Help or – in the long term – hindrance? – Promote Health by Not Defending the E-Cigarette Ban – Rethinking Nicotine Addiction – A Nod to Harm Reduction – Still Blowing Lies
In the time it takes you to read this article, at least one cigarette smoker in the United Kingdom will have switched to vaping. As economic uncertainty grips many industries, the use of e-cigarettes is booming. The £6.1-billion (US$7.9-billion) global market for them is now about 20 times what it was in 2010. It is expected to double again in the next three years.
Does vaping encourage adolescents to move on to the real thing? Precisely how much safer is it than smoking? Are there hidden dangers? Much remains for researchers and clinicians to debate. But studies suggest that e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than cigarettes, and that they may help smokers to substitute a safer habit for a deadly one. In the United Kingdom, for example, public-health advisers have declared e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes, and 850,000 UK vapers now consider themselves ‘ex-smokers’ — a likely win for public health.
BizCommunity, Medical Law News
Cigarettes and smoke have “no place in modern life”. This was the message conveyed to South Africans by the Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, on World No Tobacco Day 2016. The Minister went on to emphasise that, on an international level, there is a worldwide movement by governments towards a smoking-free society, and that he is confident that, within his lifetime still, there will be no smoking anywhere in the world.
There is currently no specific legislation that regulates the composition, labelling, marketing and sale of e-cigarettes in South Africa. The Tobacco Products Control Act of 1993 (“Tobacco Products Act”), which regulates the sale and use of traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products (and strictly prohibits the advertising and promotion of these products), does not extend to e-cigarettes. The reason for this is that, as a general rule, the vape solutions used in e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and, therefore, these products do not qualify as tobacco products in terms of the Tobacco Products Act.
Lighting up or vaping on a patio in Regina may soon be a thing of the past.
The City of Regina is poised to replace its current smoking bylaw — which deals with indoor areas — with a new set of rules also banning smoking in many outdoor places, starting July 15.
The only exceptions would be smoking in the context of traditional Indigenous ceremonies and while testing products in vape retail shops.
Vaping would not be permitted in indoor areas where smoking is already prohibited under Saskatchewan’s Tobacco Control Act.
Under the new bylaw, smoking would still be allowed in parks or open spaces away from recreation facilities.
It’s an honor to be here today, and to be taking on this responsibility with all of you.
You realize how special our mission of consumer protection and public health promotion is when you explain what we do to the children in our lives. My baby girl is four and my twin daughters are seven. Explaining my new job to them, I told them daddy’s going to be working with a lot of people who help make sure the medicine you take makes you feel better, and that the food you eat is safe.
I had the privilege to work at FDA as a senior advisor to Mark McClellan when he served as Commissioner. And then to return to FDA as a Deputy Commissioner. Through my two previous roles in the agency, I’ve had the pleasure to work with – and rely on the guidance of – many great senior career leaders of this agency.
You may have heard of “The Truth Initiative”. It’s a research body in the US that, for we vapers at least, takes an interest in ecigs. Apparently they’ve done a survey and, having surveyed and spent countless millions of dollars to complete it, have some suggestions, observations and so on, upon which I feel the need to comment. Here’s a pictorial snap of their conclusions:
Harm reduction — opting for a product or activity that is not harmless but is better than the existing alternative — is a common and obvious strategy that we employ almost unthinkingly. For example, many drugs used for chemotherapy to treat cancer are highly toxic and cause a variety of serious side effects, but taking them is better than leaving the cancer untreated.
Another example is the substitution of lower-risk nicotine products, such as electronic “cigarettes” that deliver nicotine in vapor form, for tobacco cigarettes. Because there is no combustion, using these devices (“vaping”) is intrinsically less dangerous than cigarettes — 95 percent less harmful, according to Public Health England — and they can help adults to quit smoking.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
Sharon Cox from London South Bank University’s School of Applied Sciences and Sarah Jakes, who volunteers for the New Nicotine Alliance, have co-authored a paper published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. It’s titled ‘Nicotine and e-cigarettes: Rethinking addiction in the context of reduced harm’ and posits that as smoking is such a hard habit to kick, is an ongoing addiction to nicotine through vaping a bad thing?
Nicotine alters the balance of two chemicals, called dopamine and noradrenaline, in your brain. When nicotine changes the levels of these chemicals, your mood and concentration levels change. The two chemicals are often called the pleasure hormones, which provide feelings of gratification and reinforcement to stimulate us to do, or continue doing, the rewarding activities such such as eating food or engaging in sex. No wonder nicotine places such a hold over smokers and makes quitting tobacco cigarettes so difficult.
On Monday, May 15th, Scott Gottlieb M.D. made his first remarks to agency staff as the new director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of particular interest are Dr. Gottlieb’s statements regarding the importance of reducing smoking rates. Specifically, we are encouraged by the new FDA director’s statement that, “we need to have the science base to explore the potential to move current smokers–unable or unwilling to quit–to less harmful products, if they can’t quit altogether.”
This is, of course, a step in the right direction, and many will read this as a signal that under Dr. Gottlieb’s leadership the FDA is likely to embrace a harm reduction strategy for reducing the harms of smoking. But CASAA would be remiss if we didn’t point out that this statement is bookended by the familiar (and unhelpful) “tobacco-free” mantra. It is vital to remember that we are working to reduce the harm of smoking and, as shown by decades of research from Sweden, the UK, and here in the US, smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products are a significant part of the solution.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
Alternative facts, exaggerations, mistaken beliefs – it doesn’t matter how they are dressed up because we all know what it is: anti-tobacco harm reduction activists are lying through their teeth. Their lies encourage legislation that condemns smokers to carry on smoking or only quit using their approved method. These lies are a reprehensible death sentence and they refuse to stop telling them.
Michael Siegel, in a piece penned for the Washington Examiner, pleaded: “Don’t let alternative facts deter Congress.” He places the truth about the choice into stark context: “One is a product that produces more than 10,000 chemicals, including more than 60 known human carcinogens, and kills more than 400,000 Americans each year. The other is an alternative, much safer product that produces minimal exposure to carcinogens and has been shown to reduce carcinogenic and respiratory health risks.”