Vapers Digest 26th January
Friday’s News at a glance:
Rethinking Nicotine with Clive Bates – Since vapes work the fools want to ban them – #COP10 – full steam ahead – COP10: A missed opportunity? – Adult smokers in Kent urged to swap to vapes – Ministers must not forget the millions of adults who need e-cigarettes – Retail Encouraged To Fight Back – Study: Vapes Help Pregnant Quitters – Oz Ban Is Misguided – Australia Tightens the Screw Even More Against Vaping – Discussing Australias Vape Ban – Ohio State Senate Votes to Block Local Flavored Vape Bans – Chuck Schumer Attacks Lifesaving Zyn Pouches – Urgent Regulations Needed for THR Products in Pakistan
The sad news that Dr Colin Mendelsohn is retiring from harm reduction advocacy is a bitter blow for anyone who believes in seemingly arcane concepts like truth, decency, and critical thinking. Coupled with the fact that global health bodies are getting stranger and more conniving by the day, voices like Clive Bates have never been more vital.
I’ve been a massive fan of Bates’ work and no-nonsense style for years, so I was delighted when he agreed to a quick chat about rethinking nicotine. Sharp, erudite, and super funny, he’s tailor-made for taking apart the pompous and corrupt world of tobacco control, which he does regularly on his brilliant blog, The Counterfactual.
The interview has so many unique thoughts and insights that there is no time to waste. Let’s get into it.
Tim Worstall – Adam Smith Institute
There are those days when the entire idea of government is called into question – given how hard it seems to gain good government:
Half of young people using disposable vapes were not smokers, research has shown, as ministers consider a ban.
The UK study of almost 70,000 people shows a steep rise in the number of adults using the products.
Overall, the study found that from January 2021 to August 2023, the prevalence of disposable e-cigarette use grew from 0.1 per cent to 4.9 per cent of the adult population.
The propaganda assault on safer nicotine products and those who advocate for them is at fever pitch. Bloomberg has poured a lot of money – ‘Bloombucks’ – into attacking tobacco harm reduction and journalists for hire are working overtime to smear anyone who speaks up for it. This media manipulation will be familiar to advocates but still raises eyebrows – it’s arrant hypocrisy when the Bloomberg funded media attacks advocates for perceived conflicts of interest.
Read on for more COP10 news since our last update.
Dr Delon Human, Smoke Free Sweden
As the global community gears up for the delayed 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, it is important not to lose sight of the one real tobacco control success stories in recent years. The World Health Organization may be ramping up the negativity on alternative products in the run-up to the conference, but we ignore at our peril the key role they have played in bringing Sweden to the brink of smoke free status.
With a smoking rate of 5.6%, Sweden is near the widely held threshold for being considered “smoke free”, and may by now have even passed it – nearly 17 years ahead of the EU 2040 target.
It looks like headless chickens in government are going to ban disposable vapes. 🧵 https://t.co/VdWkeYYN0k
— Christopher Snowdon 🇺🇦 (@cjsnowdon) January 26, 2024
Read our piece in The Sun today setting out the facts: https://t.co/ekXwAmNFmK
The IBVTA supports proportionate legislation and recognises more needs to be done to stop young people accessing vapes, but further demonising #vaping will only increase smokers reticence in making…
— IBVTA (@TheIBVTA) January 26, 2024
As part of scheme to make UK smoke-free – ITV
Adult smokers in Kent are being urged to swap to vapes instead as part of a scheme to make the UK smoke-free.
Kent County Council (KCC) is receiving £1.9million to help residents who smoke kick the killer habit. It forms part of the government’s £70million ‘Stopping the start’ funding pot to help the UK become smoke-free by 2030.
Further annual funding to help Kent smokers quit will also follow from the Department of Health and Social Care for an additional four years, between 2025 and 2029.
The millions of adults who need e-cigarettes to quit smoking
The success of vaping in helping to drive down England’s smoking rates to one of the lowest in Europe is one of the many Conservative achievements of the past ten and more years.
But we find ourselves now at a critical juncture in this journey. As the Government embarks on a major reform of nicotine product laws, we must strike a balance between tackling underage and illicit vaping, and ensuring vapes remain an accessible alternative for the six million plus remaining adult smokers.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes, first became available shortly before David Cameron took office in 2010, and since then have become a lynchpin of our public health strategy for bringing down smoking rates.
Three from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:
Retail stores are being encouraged to fight back against the push to get the government to ban disposable single-use vapes and the generational smoking ban. While the vape ban isn’t certain yet, ministers are already talking about increasing the tax on all vapes and restricting flavours. The generational smoking ban will see no child who was 14 in 2023 able to buy tobacco – ever.
Retailers are being told that the proposed bans will affect store owners and their businesses. “There is still time to act,” is the message from Talking Retail.
Queen Mary University of London says that new analysis of trial data on pregnant smokers led by its researchers found that the regular use of vapes during pregnancy is not associated with adverse pregnancy events or poor pregnancy outcomes. The PREP 2 study used data collected from over 1100 pregnant smokers attending 23 hospitals in England and 1 stop-smoking service in Scotland.
Queen Mary University says the study compared pregnancy outcomes in women who did or did not use nicotine in the form of vapes or nicotine patches regularly during their pregnancy.
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates (CAPHRA) says that Australia’s disposable vapes ban is “a puff in the wrong direction” and “misguided”. The organisation says the controversial move has left public health advocates and consumers in a cloud of disbelief, a decision that flies in the face of harm reduction evidence and the rights of smokers seeking safer alternatives.
“While the details of the new regulations are shrouded in smoke, reports suggest that Australians may now face up to $150 for a prescription to access vaping products,” said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.
One million additional GP appointments will be needed in Australia annually, according to the Health Department, as the government tightens its highly restrictive prescription-only policy on nicotine vapes.
The country’s prescription-only model has existed since 2021, but the vast majority of people who vape there have been getting their products through the illicit market. Figures like Health Minister Mark Butler have fueled alarmism around youth vaping, and the government is now ramping up efforts make everyone go through medical providers.
With Dr. Colin Mendelsohn & Grimm Green
A Panel discusion/break down of the new laws coming in March, what they are exactly, how the Goverment bypassed democracy to implement them, How this will affect consumers and business and who will benefit, what this means for the future of harm reduction in Australia.
The Ohio State Senate voted today to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of legislation that would prevent local governments from banning flavored vapes and tobacco, and imposing other local standards that exceed state restrictions.
The 24-8 senate vote came weeks after the State House voted 60-31 to override the veto. Gov. DeWine had used his line-item veto power to block the preemption language, which was included in the state budget bill passed last July.
The flavor ban preemption bill will become law in 90 days, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Nicotine Pouches – Guy Bentley
Less than three months after launching an attack on energy drinks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) has a new target: Zyn nicotine pouches.
In a press release Sunday, Schumer labeled Zyn a “quiet and dangerous” alternative to vaping, claiming that with the decline in smoking, tobacco companies are adapting by focusing on new products like oral nicotine. Zyns are small pouches of nicotine meant to be placed between the lips and gums. Two strengths of the product are available at three and six milligrams of nicotine, and they come in several flavors.
For Tobacco Harm-Reduction Products in Pakistan
Supporting the decision to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vapes to minors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) reiterated its call for sensibly regulating tobacco harm-reduction products in Pakistan.
“Under no circumstances should young people and minors have access to these products,” said Arshad Ali Syed, Project Director of ARI. However, he added that unless regulations are developed, there is a strong possibility of misuse. “There are around 400 outlets of THR products in major cities of the country, which are legally imported and sold. However, there are no clear regulations about them.”
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise….
Nicotine from tobacco does not protect against Covid-19, a new Swedish study has found. However, the study also adds to the body of evidence suggesting that smokers are somehow protected from Covid-19 infection. It remains unclear why.
The aim was to evaluate whether smoking had an impact on Covid-19 risks and explore whether those risks were tied to nicotine, specifically, by comparing health outcomes for snus users, smokers, and non-tobacco users.
The Troubled Vape Company Looks for Help – Jim McDonald
Juul Labs has engaged in discussions with at least three major tobacco companies in an attempt to work out an arrangement that would revitalize the cash-strapped vape manufacturer. The talks are still in early stages.
Juul has spoken with Philip Morris International (PMI), Japan Tobacco Group and Altria Group, seeking a possible sale of the company, a major investment, or a licensing or distribution arrangement, according to the Wall Street Journal.