Vapers Digest 24th June

Monday’s News at a glance:

GFN 2024 Videos Now Online – Licence to Kill (the Black Market) – Butler’s backflip. Still a disaster and bound to fail – Australia waters down world-first vape laws – Swedish Riksdag Lower Snus Tax by 20% – Restrictive harm reduction policies drive illegality – Surprising U.S. Vaping Market Data & Insights – Publish or Perish Factor Driving Bad Science and Nicotine Misinformation

Two from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

GFN 2024 Videos Now Online

Videos from the Keynotes, the Michael Russell Oration, and conference debates are beginning to be rolled out online on the Global Forum on Nicotine’s YouTube channel. First to be placed online is the GFN 2024 Michael Russell Oration, delivered by Cliff Douglas, and the first GFN 2024 Keynote speech, delivered by Andrzej Fal.

The Global Forum on Nicotine is the only international conference to focus on the role of safer nicotine products that help people switch from smoking. Safer nicotine products include vapes, oral tobaccos such as Swedish snus, tobacco-free snus, and ‘heat-not-burn’ tobacco products.

Health and economic benefits of THR

GFN 2024 Keynote #1 – delivered by Andrzej Fal, response by Michelle Minton

Licence to Kill (the Black Market)

The UK Vaping Industry Association calls for “a licence to kill the black market” and plug the multi-million-pound hole in Trading Standards budgets. An analysis commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores recently found Trading Standards needs a significant funding injection of £168,340,000 over five years if it is to fully enforce vape legislation across the UK.

The figure produced by the Association of Convenience Stores represents a near 30% increase in net budgets for Trading Standards and takes into consideration the cost of enforcement officers, training, detection dogs, legal fees, product disposal and more.


Two from Colin Mendelsohn:

Butler’s backflip.

Still a disaster and bound to fail

MARK BUTLER’S “WORLD-LEADING” Vaping Reform Bill is likely to pass the Senate with amendments, thanks to the support of the Greens. The Bill still requires a vote in the Senate to become law.

The Bill has been marginally improved by removing the need for a prescription to purchase vapes legally in Australia. However, vapes can still only be purchased behind-the-counter from pharmacies. Even if passed, the new regulations are still fatally flawed and are the beginning of a slow motion collapse of Australia’s de facto prohibition vaping policy. Why?

Australia and New Zealand:

A Natural Experiment in Vaping Policy

A vast natural experiment has been unfolding Down Under. Resembling a large-scale controlled trial, it has much to teach us about the impacts of diametrically opposed regulatory approaches to nicotine vaping.

The subjects of this experiment are the respective populations of Australia and New Zealand. The two countries have broadly comparable tobacco policies, demographics, quality of life and population health—similarities that increase the likelihood of differing outcomes on tobacco use and related harms being caused primarily by vaping policies.

Australia waters down vape laws

Ali Anderson

Australia has watered down its world-first law banning vapes outside of pharmacies – with access now not restricted to prescription-only.

The federal government decided to backtrack on its strict proposals – due to take effect from next week – in a bid to gain the support of the Green party in the Senate.

The governing Labour party has agreed to pass the bill with key amendments, which mean adults will be able to buy vapes from pharmacies without prescription. Under 18s will be able to access vapes with a prescription if deemed clinically appropriate by a GP. Plain packaging and limited flavours remain

Vapes to be sold behind the counter – Sydney Herald
Medicinal vapes to be sold over the counter at pharmacies – Guardian

Expert Reaction

Vapes to be available in Aussie pharmacies after vaping ban changes

Vapes are set to become available over the counter in pharmacies after the government agreed to amend its vaping legislation to secure the support of the Greens, according to reports. Under the new changes, vapes will not be a prescription-only medication and will instead be regulated as a schedule-three pharmacist-only medication, and be subject to plain packaging rules. Below Australian experts comment on the changes.

Swedish Riksdag Lower Snus Tax by 20%

Raises Combustible Cigarettes by 9% – Joseph Hart

Well, it’s confirmed. On June 17th 2024, the long-mooted rise tax cut for snus was passed at the Riksdag. As far back as September 2023, the government announced that snus taxes would drop by 20%. Just as significant is the fact that the tax on cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco will increase by 9%.

The changes will come into force in November 2024. However, it’s not just a victory for Swedish snus users who are already struggling with high inflation. It’s also a rare victory for common sense.

Global Nicotine Forum in Warsaw: 

Restrictive harm reduction policies drive illegality

Although well-intentioned, regulatory policies with a fundamentally restrictive approach when it comes to reducing the harm of smoking do not work. We have an obligation to listen to people, to understand their challenges, how they can reduce their health risks if they do not want to quit smoking. These were some of the messages of the Global Forum on Nicotine, which was recently held in Warsaw.

Cliff Douglas, president and CEO of Global Action to End Smoking, a non-profit organization that scientifically supports smoking cessation through traditional and new methods, gave his perspective on the panel Bridging the Gap- Taking Global Action to End Smoking”.

FDA Authorizes Menthol Vapes:

First-Ever Non-Tobacco Flavor – Kim “Skip” Murray

On June 21, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that it had authorized four menthol-flavored vaping products. This marks the first time the agency has authorized vapes in any flavor other than tobacco as “appropriate for the protection of public health.”

The hugely significant news comes after years of tobacco harm reduction advocacy to authorize flavors—which are often critical for smoking cessation, when the large majority of adults who switch prefer non-tobacco flavors.

FDA Authorizes First Menthol Vapes

Jim McDonald

The FDA has authorized four menthol-flavored NJOY vaping products, allowing their sale in the United States. The four products are the first non-tobacco flavored vapes granted marketing permission by the agency, and the first vaping products of any kind authorized in over two years.

The products are NJOY ACE menthol pods in 2.4 and 5 percent nicotine strengths, and the NJOY DAILY Menthol (4.5 percent) and NJOY DAILY EXTRA Menthol (6 percent). The NJOY ACE device was granted marketing authorization in April 2022, along with three tobacco-flavored refill pods. The FDA also authorized tobacco-flavored versions of the two NJOY DAILY disposables in 2022.

Cliff Douglas’s Statement on FDA’s Authorization

E-Cig Intel

Surprising U.S. Vaping Market Data & Insights | RegWatch

Despite enduring years of attacks by tobacco control, misinformation, and an onslaught of regulations leading to product restrictions and bans, the U.S. vaping industry continues its remarkable growth. In 2024, U.S. vaping is expected to exceed $12 billion in sales—not including the black market—making it a goliath in both size and scope.

Joining us today in this episode of RegWatch is Barnaby Page, editorial director at Tamarind Intelligence, a global market research and regulatory analysis firm specialized in the vaping, cannabis, and tobacco sectors via three brands: ECigIntelligence, CannIntelligence, and TobaccoIntelligence.

Publish or Perish Factor

Driving Bad Science and Nicotine Misinformation – Michael Gwarisa

Several countries have embraced and adopted smoke-free and non-combustible nicotine products and they are already enjoying the benefits of their actions. Sweden, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and other countries that have gone the combustion-free route, have been recording decreased deaths and morbidities related to smoking combustible tobacco.

In Sweden, smoking levels have declined owing to effective Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) efforts being implemented by the government. To date, Sweden has reached the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of 5% smokers 15 years ahead of the target and now has one of the lowest cancer death rates in the world, and will very soon be declared smoke-free by the WHO criteria.

On this Day…2023

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

The vape scare down under

Christopher Snowdon

The Health Secretary Steve Barclay is reported to be interested in learning from Australia’s experience with e-cigarette regulation. Quoted in The Times this week, he said: “I met a leading Australian figure this morning in terms of some of the lessons around the vaping industry in Australia, and how we can look at what has been done there and are there any lessons that we can share with each other.”

Britain does indeed have much to learn from Australia’s approach to vaping, in the same way as air crash investigators have much to learn from a black box. They say that every air crash makes air travel safer so long as the authorities understand what went wrong. On that basis, the world can benefit from studying the smouldering crater of Australia’s tobacco control policies.

Vape Detectors….

Cashing In On Misinformation? – ECigClick

The hysteria about underage vaping has taken a new turn, there are now companies cashing in on “Vape Detectors”. Even marketing them to schools! I suppose it is an improvement to the invasive strip searches some pupils have been subjected to in the US.

It appears that many companies are now offering devices which apparently detect vaping. There are various methods of notification, some sending messages to staff member’s phones showing time and location of alert.

Sadly the advertising for some of these devices is shocking. Preying on the Negative media commentary of vaping being “dangerous”.

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