Vapers Digest 24th March
Friday’s News at a glance:
Flawed Research – The Return of Chumpman – CoSTED Team Release Protocol – We had a dream…. – My new book: The New Prohibition – Studies About Your Health and Usage – Elf Bar Nicotine Levels – Albanese government to double down – Tobacco harm reduction initiatives – Marlboro Maker Plots New Path to Smoke-Free Future – Harm Reduction Associations Consensus led by SCOHRE – Flavored Nicotine Ban Stalls – Hawaii bill to ban flavored tobacco products – Slovenian consultation is open! – Thailand Takes Important Step – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
Three from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:
Konstantinos Farsalinos and Riccardo Polosa have published a commentary paper looking at the flawed electronic cigarette research that gets published due to defective peer review process. The research has been published in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine. The pair of experts argue that controversy about vaping is whipped up through poorly designed, conducted, and interpreted research work.
“Research on tobacco harm reduction (THR), and particularly on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), remains a highly controversial topic in the scientific community. The controversy is also sustained by research, which is often poorly designed, conducted, and interpreted,” say Doctors Konstantinos Farsalinos and Riccardo Polosa.
Australian “anti-tobacco crusader” Simon Chapman has returned to the media to fire yet another unhinged attack on vaping and the research gold standard Cochrane review findings. Published in Australian Doctor, the crank takes issue with Cochrane review finding “high-certainty evidence” that vaping is much more effective than nicotine replacement products at helping smokers quit tobacco use.
Prior to his retirement, Chapman lined up alongside the UK’s Professor Martin McKee and the USA’s Professor Stanton Glantz to issue a barrage of unfounded speculation and misinformation strewn press releases aimed at stoking evidence-free fear in the public and legislators.
The people responsible for the cessation of smoking trial in the emergency department (CoSTED) study have released the protocol for the multicentre randomised controlled trial. The trial has come about due to the higher than national levels of smokers who present at NHS A&E departments. The team are looking into whether targeted advice about and support for vaping can play a role in helping get these smokers to quit.
Dr Caitlin Notley is one of those responsible for the CoSTED study. Dr Notley has over a decade of experience in addiction research and has become convinced by the potential for vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool.
WHO loves harm reduction – but not for smokers – COPWatch
We had a dream… We had a dream about a comprehensive publication that would highlight best examples of risk reduction policies and approaches in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and how they could influence tobacco control.
In this dream about NCD best-buys was this recently published WHO report on sodium, which does not call for a ban on salt, even though excessive salt intake causes raised blood pressure and increases risk of cardiovascular disease and is associated with 1.89 million deaths each year. This publication provides policymakers with science-based alternative actions that avoid a prohibitionist approach.
— NNAlliance (@NNAlliance) March 23, 2023
— ANESVAP (@anesvap) March 24, 2023
In 2019, when I published The Rediscovery of Tobacco, I thought I wouldn’t have much more to say on the subject. I was mistaken. As it turns out, the next few years would provide many new reasons to write about smoking and vaping, as well as an acceleration of policies that amount to full prohibition of broad classes of products. That’s why today I’m publishing my latest book, The New Prohibition: The Dangerous Politics of Tobacco Control.
Along with a new introduction, the book collects nine of my previously published essays and articles from Reason, Slate, Arc Digital, Liberal Currents, and Exponents. This includes some of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written, thematically linked by advocacy for harm reduction, respect for the liberties of adults who smoke or vape, and avoidance of the pitfalls of prohibition.
Fact: there are at least a dozen new studies on vaping and nicotine published every week. That’s not an exaggeration. Many of them are about vaping and health. They range from medical studies on vaping health risks to analysis of e-liquid or vapor constituents to research on vaping and nicotine addiction. Some are released with a lot of fanfare, and create a huge media stir—often based on alarming claims made by the researchers, or by the university press office, or even by outside groups.
No vaping research concludes that vaping is “safe.” Anytime you inhale a foreign substance or use a drug like nicotine, there is some risk built into the activity. The scientific consensus is that vaping is, by and large, far safer than smoking cigarettes. But beyond a general agreement that vaping poses fewer risks than smoking, opinions on the possible health and side effects of vaping vary widely.
To Smoke-Free Future After Losing Billions on Juul
America’s biggest cigarette company has a new plan to shift its business toward less-harmful products, after a string of failures. This time, the Marlboro maker says, its plan will work.
Altria Group Inc. earlier this month divested itself of e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc., recording a loss of at least $12.5 billion. Altria now has a new lineup of e-cigarettes, heated-tobacco devices and oral nicotine pouches in the works, including the planned acquisition of vaping pioneer NJOY Holdings Inc.
Altria said it hopes to take its reduced-risk products overseas and is considering expanding into non-nicotine offerings such as cannabis products or caffeine pouches.
Comparison to a Cigarette
Two commonly asked questions online are “how many cigarettes are in a elf bar?” & “elf bar equivalent to cigarettes”.
What people actually need to be asking is how vaping compares to smoking. All Elf Bars are e-cigarettes, otherwise referred to as vapes. Vapes are designed to be reduced-harm alternatives to cigarettes, and it’s important to weigh vaping versus smoking because the vast majority of vapers are smokers or ex-smokers. Therefore, asking how many cigarettes are in an Elf Bar is something that cannot be answered directly, as it would be like comparing apples to oranges.
Led by SCOHRE
Despite knowing the harmful health effects of smoking for decades, and implementation of smoking control efforts for decades, still more than 1 billion people globally smoke and more than 7 million die prematurely every year from smoking-related diseases. We believe that smoking control strategies should be reshaped to include harm reduction. Alternative lower risk products should be encouraged, besides the traditional smoking cessation and smoking prevention measures.
Nicotine has an addictive potential but plays a minor role in smoking related huge mortality. It is an addictive substance, but it has been used successfully in smoking control and smoking cessation as medication.
On ‘failed’ vaping laws that have created ‘thriving black market’
The Albanese government looks set to double down on Australia’s prescription-only vaping laws, despite criticism the legislation has “created a dangerous black market” and failed to keep dangerous products out of the hands of kids.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler rejected a move away from the current prescription-only approach during an interview on ABC radio on Wednesday, instead saying he would strengthen controls at the border.
The government’s stance comes amid accusations that an ANU study released on Monday had “recycled misleading claims about the harms of vaping” and “wrongly implied vaping leads to smoking”.
Should also cover e-waste management
E-waste is an emerging unintended environmental consequence of the revolution in electronic nicotine-delivery systems, threatening to undermine a technological innovation in public health. This conversation examines the intersection of regulatory policy, consumer behavior and the vaping products’ industry and hopes to map a sustainable path for the future.
In the discussion below, John Dunne from the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) brings in the vaping industry perspective, Pieter Vorster brings expert views on global tobacco and nicotine industry transformation, and Sudhanshu Patwardhan (Sud), a nicotine expert and health-tech entrepreneur, proposes a broader definition and scope of tobacco harm reduction (THR).
A proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products in Connecticut won’t advance this year after the Public Health Committee stripped the legislation Monday and used it as a vehicle to boost funding for tobacco cessation programs.
The bill had sought to prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine products with the exception of menthol in an effort to reduce smoking and vaping among young people. The Public Health Committee has advanced similar proposals during the last several sessions only to see them scaled back by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and later stall out altogether.
To Stop Your Patients From Smoking?
Doctors have been the foremost advocates for stopping tobacco use and its associated health risks. However, in many cases, doctors are unaware of the best way to wean smokers away from cigarettes.
PRI has been awarded a Grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc., a Section 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. That Grant allowed PRI to engage Dr. Cheryl Olson, a former member of the Harvard Medical faculty, to present an opinion on the value of vaping as a harm reduction technique. Dr. Olson’s opinion can be seen on the Harm Reduction module of this website.
A legislativefight against flavoured tobacco products has likely gone up in smoke, as Hawaii lawmakers have not scheduled a hearing for a bill proposing to ban the devices ahead of Thursdays deadline.
Disappointed advocates asserted there was an urgent need to advance the bill amid what they referred to as the “youth vaping crisis” in Hawaii.
The bill itself noted 81% of kids who have ever used a tobacco product reported the first one they ever tried was flavoured
Slovenian consultation is open!
The Slovenian Ministry of Health proposed to introduce a ban on all vaping flavourings except tobacco “to prevent and reduce the use of electronic cigarettes among young people”. According to the Slovenian authorities “more and more research also shows that, among adolescents who otherwise do not smoke, the use of an electronic cigarette significantly increases the likelihood that they will also start smoking regular cigarettes”.
But that is not true! Flavours are commonly used among regular vapers of all age groups and they are not a product to adolescents started in vaping.
Be subject to higher age limit in Latvia
On Thursday, March 23, the Saeima approved amendments in the second reading, which plan to prescribe that tobacco products, substitute products, plant smoking products, electronic smoking devices, and fillers will be prohibited to sell to persons under the age of 20.
79 members voted for the amendments and 6 voted against. In order for the ban to come into force, the amendments to the law in parliament still need to be supported in the third – final – reading.
Lifting Ban on Vapes on the Table
Thailand has been facing a significant challenge in reducing smoking rates and curbing the harmful effects of smoking on public health. The country has a large number of smokers, and the smoking rate has not decreased over ten years. While other countries and leading public health agencies around the world have accepted and embraced the Harm Reduction tools, such as vaping and oral tobacco to help reduce the harm of smoking, Thailand still has some of the strictest laws for anyone caught vaping, with possessing vapes leading to large fines and even jail time.
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise….
Chelsea Boyd, RStreet
Tobacco products exist on a continuum of risk, with combustible products representing the highest risk and electronic nicotine delivery systems falling at the lower end of the risk continuum. Risk-proportionate legislation takes the risk level of tobacco products into consideration when designing regulations. That is to say, risk proportionate legislation regulates the most dangerous products more heavily than it regulates less harmful products.
Weekly Issue | March 21st, 2022
“Rigotti: “I think the science is pretty clear that they definitely do reduce harm and reduce risk.” Getting off cigarettes is a journey. Dual use is not inherently a bad thing, as it can be a pathway to quitting and eventually cessation for some. #SRNT2022” ~ Tweet by Greg Conley
Kitta MacPherson, Rutgers University, Medical XPress
Consumer interest and awareness in nicotine pouches is growing. These are products that contain nicotine but have no tobacco, and they are most popular among younger smokers and those trying to quit, according to a Rutgers research study.