Tuesday’s News at a glance:
Antidote to NEJM Formaldehype Arrives at Last – A Peek Inside Big Tobacco’s Pipeline – The impact of restricting the use of e-cigarettes in public places – At swimdaily, two birds – Senate committee rejects changing e-cigarette laws – Proposed e-cigarette ban: Users are up in arms –
Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth
In January 2015, R. Paul Jensen and colleagues created global headlines with a defective e-cigarette experiment (here). They claimed in the New England Journal of Medicine that vapor contains “hidden” formaldehyde at far higher levels than cigarettes (here). Their measurements required overheating or “dry-puffing” e-cigarette liquid, a process that produces such harsh (not hidden) oral sensations that the vapor is intolerable to normal consumers.
As Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” The Jensen mischaracterization caused considerable damage, as it encouraged smokers to believe that vaping is more dangerous than smoking.
The Food and Drug Administration shocked many when it announced this summer that it would start the process of lowering nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. Investors hammered Big Tobacco stocks.
However, with many next-generation products already in development, there are some Big Tobacco companies that could actually benefit from the FDA’s new nicotine initiatives.
The two leading concepts Big Tobacco is developing are vaping products and heat-not-burn products.
Most e-cigarettes use vaping technology, which heats liquid nicotine to create vapor. These products do not contain tobacco, potentially eliminating the risks associated with conventional cigarettes. However, critics say e-cigarettes may carry their own risks.
Oxford Academic, Journal of Public Health
No studies were found for the primary question. Twelve studies estimated the proportion of smokers citing the ability to use e-cigarettes in public places as a reason for use; estimates varied considerably but were typically higher for smokers than never smokers and lower for former than current smokers. Fourteen studies reported attitudes towards restrictions in public places. Smokers were significantly more likely to support the use of e-cigarettes in public places than never smokers and former smokers significantly less likely to support their use than current smokers.
That Got Me Thinking
Philip Morris International has announced they are going to “build PMI’s future on smoke-free products that are a much better choice than cigarette smoking“.
WOW! That’s big news, though not as big as it seems, as so far PMI have only one smoke-free product (they have three more in development, two heat not burn and one vapour product) and no one thinks they will stop manufacturing and selling smoke producing cigarettes in the immediate future. Naturally, this news wasn’t greeted with applause from tobacco control. Instead, they responded with the usual suspicion, derision, and downright rejection. Hey Ho, that was to be expected. What was surprising was the reaction to Derek Yach’s involvement.
Authors of hidden formaldehyde in e-cigs letter commented on my replication study, and i responded… https://t.co/BznxatPa7E
— K. Farsalinos (@FarsalinosK) September 18, 2017
Have you noticed people using e-cigarettes on the street? E-cigarettes are banned in Australia and an inquiry by the Federal Senate’s Community Affairs Legislation Committee has just voted to uphold that ban until further scientific evaluation is conducted into the safety of vaping.
Professor Matthew Peters, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Macquarie University, welcomes the Senate inquiry’s findings.
Meanwhile, Dr Colin Mendelsohn, a tobacco treatment specialist and Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at UNSW, says e-cigarettes may be a solution worth considering for long-term smokers who are unable to quit tobacco.
Even as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare considers a ban on e-cigarettes in India, vapers across the country are coming together to protest such a move. Vapers are users of electronic cigarettes that are also called e-cigarettes or vapourisers. Vapers in India are worried that a ban will push them back into the habit of smoking cigarettes, which are considered more harmful.
“We are very scared,” said Chirag Gulati, a 27-year-old businessman in Delhi. “We will have to go back to cigarettes.” Chirag had been smoking cigarettes incessantly for five years before he gave them up last year in favour of e-cigarettes.
An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that contains nicotine but not tobacco. It is often marketed as a smoking cessation device that helps smokers quit tobacco and eventually quit smoking altogether. Along with nicotine, e-cigarettes are filled with propylene glycol – which helps produce vapour – and flavouring agents. They do not contain 6,000-odd carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes and other tobacco products.