Vapers Digest 26th April

Friday’s News at a glance:

FDA fails to explain the relative risks of tobacco products – Policymakers must recognise that smoking and vaping are substitutes – UK Bill to Ban Tobacco Sales Clears Another Hurdle – Luxembourg’s New Tax on Safer Alternatives – Vape Tax is Ill-Conceived – Risk Assessment Failure – Eight Weeks to GFN24 – The Misguided Prohibitionist Agenda – Vapes are a “missed opportunity” – Call It Whatever You Want, but THR Saves Smokers’ Lives – Ohio Judge Temporarily Blocks State Preemption Law –

Two from Clive Bates, The Counterfactual:

Lethal miscommunication:

FDA fails to explain the relative risks of tobacco products

On 16th April 2024, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a new risk communication page, The Relative Risks of Tobacco Products.

In this blog, I will review the contents of this page, quoting the relevant text, providing a critique, and drawing out a few broader issues at the end. The headings and table of contents below follow the FDA’s structure and five headings.

There is no reflection here on why the demand for cigarettes is so persistent despite the widely known harms and several decades of anti-tobacco campaigns and policies. The common response would be “addiction”.

Policymakers must recognise …

That smoking and vaping are substitutes

My response to the Spanish government’s request for comments on its proposed tobacco control and anti-vaping measures. See my response here.

I highlight ten benefits from the interaction between smoking and vaping.


UK Bill to Ban Tobacco Sales

Clears Another Hurdle, Nearing Final Vote – Kiran Sidhu

The United Kingdom’s tobacco ban is one step closer to becoming law. On April 16 the Tobacco and Vapes Bill passed through the House of Commons, with ministers casting 383 votes in favor and 67 against.

Despite the bill’s overwhelming majority approval, 57 of the opposing votes came from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s own Conservative party, undermining his authority amid disputes over the controversial bill.

The legislation will authorize on-the-spot fines on anyone selling tobacco products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.

The Counterproductive Move:

Luxembourg’s New Tax on Safer Alternatives – Considerate Pouchers

In an announcement that has stirred considerable debate, Luxembourg is preparing to impose new taxes on e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches, starting from October 1, 2024. According to the Ministers of Health, Martine Deprez, and Finance, Gilles Roth, who responded to an inquiry by MP Sven Clement of the Pirate Party, the proposed taxation will see e-liquids taxed at €120 per liter and nicotine pouches at €22 per kilogram. This move is part of a broader national anti-smoking program that aims to encompass these new-generation tobacco products.

Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

Vape Tax is Ill-Conceived

The proposed new tax on eliquids, perversely increasing in cost with nicotine strength, stand to hold “unintended” and “negative” health consequences, according to researchers at London South Bank University (LBSU). They say that studies have shown that vapers using low rather than high concentrations of nicotine in their e-liquid are more likely to vape strongly and more often. They believe this potentially increases the risk of exposure to toxins in the vapour.

Lynne Dawkins, Professor of Nicotine and Tobacco Studies at LSBU, said: “The proposal to add duty to e-liquid according to nicotine strength is ill-conceived, not based on the scientific evidence, and could cause more harm than good….”

Risk Assessment Failure

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) says that the Government, “by its own admission, have not quantified the health impacts of fewer people using vapes to quit smoking, making their approach to vape restrictions highly irresponsible.” For every adult vaper who returns to smoking because of Government restrictions, there is a chance of another death from smoking, reversing the trend away from smoking for which significant credit goes to vaping.

Eight Weeks to GFN24

With just eight weeks to go until the 11th edition of the Global Forum on Nicotine takes place in Warsaw, the conference organisers are thrilled to announce further details of two of the event’s keynote sessions. The #GFN24 theme, ‘Economics, health and tobacco harm reduction’, has offered an opportunity for diverse programming drawing on varied approaches. Characterising this are Professor Andrzej Fal and Vivian Azer, two presenters from vastly different professional backgrounds, both bringing their unique perspectives to GFN for the very first time.

The Misguided Prohibitionist Agenda

In a bold response to recent publications by the Public Health Collaboration Council (, Nancy Loucas, the Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), has called out what she describes as a “covert prohibitionist agenda” that prioritises rhetoric over science in the debate over oral tobacco and nicotine products.

Loucas, a seasoned public health policy expert, has criticised PHCC for its one-sided portrayal of oral tobacco and nicotine products as a gateway to teen addiction, while ignoring their potential as harm reduction tools for adult who smoker.

Vapes are a “missed opportunity”

To cut smoking deaths – Ali Anderson

The under-use of vapes is a “large, missed opportunity to reduce morbidity and premature mortality,” a major new report warns.

The report E-cigarettes and harm reduction: An evidence review, by the Royal College of Physicians, looks at how vapes can effectively support more people to quit smoking while at the same time discouraging young people and non-smokers from taking them up.

Smoking causes eight million deaths globally every year, with two out of three people who continue to smoke dying from a smoking-related disease.

Call It Whatever You Want But …

Tobacco Harm Reduction Saves Smokers’ Lives – Brad Rodu

At a U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing on April 11, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf testified that “tobacco harm reduction product is an industry term.” He also said that “I saw many, many people die from the ravages of tobacco…460,000 [sic] people will die from tobacco related illness this year.” With all due respect, Commissioner Califf is wrong on all three accounts.

Tobacco harm reduction is not an industry term, it is a common sense public health strategy that would save many of the 480,000 American lives lost each year, according to the CDC, as a result of smoking cigarettes.

Ohio Judge Temporarily Blocks …

State Preemption Law – Jim McDonald

An Ohio county judge has granted a temporary restraining order blocking a new state law from taking effect next week that would have nullified flavored vape and tobacco restrictions in Ohio cities. Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Mark Serrott also ordered a preliminary injunction hearing for May 17.

A group of 14 Ohio cities filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging the state law that prohibits municipalities from banning flavored vapes and tobacco, or imposing other local standards that exceed state restrictions on tobacco.

Episode 18: Janine Timmons

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

In the latest episode of Across the Pond, Janine Timmons, a passionate advocate, and member of Vapers for a Smoke-Free Canada, joins Lindsey and Martin to discuss the Canadian Minister of Health’s proposed flavor ban. They discuss the rationale behind the proposal, the numbers of adults and youth who are using e-cigarettes and why, the importance of flavors, the hypocrisy of harm reduction for only certain vices, and what adults can do to protect access to alternatives to smoking.


Francisco Ordoñez explains Colombia’s latest vape restrictions
Global Forum on Nicotine

Colombia has recently introduced new vaping regulations which have effectively equated vapes with tobacco products. In the name of reducing youth access to vapes, have the government sidelined smokers in the process? Joining us to explore this in today’s episode is Francisco Ordoñez, founder and president of Asovape Colombia.

On this Day…2023

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

Britain must stand up to the WHO on vaping

Andrew Lewer MP, Mary Glindon MP

We all know someone who still smokes, and we have all felt their struggles as they battled to quit. It’s not for lack of trying, nor “willpower”. Smoking is a pernicious addiction that kills 75,000 people every year in the UK, with 6.6 million people – or more than 13 percent of the adult population – continuing the habit.

As Vice Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping in Westminster, we have both seen the benefits that vapes offer smokers, allowing them to move away from smoking-related diseases – and death – towards a less harmful alternative.

The WHO meetings that never are or were


You may think this stinks like a week old fish. There is a WHO meeting taking place this week for three days which you will not have heard of. That’s because you are not meant to. It is the intention of the WHO and FCTC Secretariat that the meeting takes place in secret and those present do not report its discussions. Ever.

Copwatch alerted readers to the Global Tobacco Regulators Forum (GTRF) last year. We described it as a “WHO meeting organised behind closed doors” which excludes key stakeholders including “sovereign nations who are signatories to the FCTC.”

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