Vapers Digest 28th June

Friday’s News at a glance:

UK Political Parties Stance On Vaping – EU Ministers, Failing on Smoking Cessation, Weigh Vape Flavor Ban – Disposable Lives – Reluctant Quitters – New Zealand is Quitting Strong – High Nic Popularity – Sweden reduces price of snus by 20% – Menthol vapes approved in U.S. for first time – Menthol Breakthrough – Leaving out science and innovation – 5 Observations from the Eurobarometer Survey – Smoking-Cessation Hope – Success story – Reduced risk products are a hit – Harm Reduction as an effective health policy – Smoke-Free Nicotine Products Propel New Zealand – I Tried Getting A Vape Prescription – Reactions to a Nicotine Reduction Policy Among Adolescents Who Smoke

UK Political Parties Stance On Vaping:

General Election 2024 – Michelle Jones

As we have a general election on the way I thought it would be good to take a look at the UK Political Parties stance on vaping.

Obviously there are many issues which will influence how you vote in the election, but if vaping regulation is one of them – hopefully this article might help you decide. As always these promises are just words and we all know that politicians who want to be elected to office make many promises but fail to deliver.

For this information I have visited each party’s own website. Plus I have also emailed each party to ask for specific vaping policy. I will update as responses arrive – so this article really is a “Work In Progress”! I have to add the SNP and Liberal Democrats replied within 24 hours!

Ministers, Failing on Smoking Cessation

Weigh Vape Flavor Ban – Kiran Sidhu

Health ministers from all 27 countries of the European Union met on June 21 to discuss a potential bloc-wide ban on flavors in vapes and other safer nicotine products. They considered submissions from Denmark and Latvia, which also included recommendations like cracking down on cross-border sales.

The proposals would have to go through multiple further steps before being enacted. But amid hundreds of thousands of annual smoking-related deaths—and new evidence of the EU abjectly failing to meet its smoking-cessation goals—it’s a worrying development for tobacco harm reduction advocates.

EU’s Approach to Achieving a Smoke-Free Target Is Failing – WVA


Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

Disposable Lives

A new study from Caitlin Notley, Anna Varley, Ian Pope, Lynne Dawkins, and Emma Ward at the University of East Anglia claims to show how disposable vapes have become a prominent part of young people’s lives. The researchers say it reveals that young people see smoking and vaping as interchangeable but are seriously misguided about the potential harms of vaping.

The UEA says a key finding from the research suggests that banning disposable vape products or increasing their prices could lead young people to revert to smoking tobacco. This is as worrying as it was predictable.

Reluctant Quitters

Martin Dockrell, the Tobacco Control Programme Lead for The Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), previously Public Health England, is reminding doctors and nurses that vaping helps smokers to quit even if they don’t want to stop smoking. He is encouraging them to read a paper on the subject published by JAMA Network Open.

Martin Dockrell joined Public Health England after 7 years working at Action on Smoking and Health. He has worked in public health since the mid 1980’s when he was involved in HIV prevention work and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

New Zealand is Quitting Strong

Smoke Free Sweden says it is delighted to share its latest report, “Quitting Strong: New Zealand’s Smoking Cessation Success Story.” The organisation says its comprehensive analysis highlights the innovative strategies New Zealand has employed to significantly reduce smoking rates and promote public health.

Smoke Free Sweden says: “One of the key achievements detailed in the report is New Zealand’s success in halving its smoking rates in just five years by supporting adult smokers to switch to vaping. As a result, the country is on track to become one of the first to achieve official smoke-free status, with less than 5% of adults smoking cigarettes.

High Nic Popularity

The proportion of vapers using high-strength nicotine has increased sharply in England since 2021, when disposable e-cigarettes first became popular, according to a new study by University College London researchers. The study, published in the journal Addiction and funded by Cancer Research UK, found that a third of vapers (32.5%) used high-strength nicotine in January 2024 compared to just 3.8% on average between July 2016 and June 2021.

The work was conducted by Sarah Jackson, Jamie Brown, Lion Shahab, Deborah Arnott, Linda Bauld, and Sharon Cox.

University College London says: “The biggest increases were among 18- to 24-year-old vapers (from 3.9% to 53.1%) and vapers who mainly used disposables (2.6% to 49.0%), but large rises were also seen in older age groups and among current smokers and recent ex-smokers.

Two from Ali Anderson:

Sweden reduces price of snus by 20%

The Swedish Parliament has agreed to lower the tax on snus by 20 per cent. Meanwhile, tax on cigarettes, cigarillos, smoking tobacco and other tobacco will rise by nine per cent.

The Riksdag – the highest decision-making assembly in Sweden – approved the bill on Monday, with the new taxes coming into force on November 1. Global health advocacy group Smoke Free Sweden applauded the move, saying: “It is great to see Sweden continuing to be a trailblazer when it comes to tobacco harm reduction.”

Snus, pronounced ‘snoos’, has been banned in the EU since 1992, but Sweden negotiated an exemption when it joined in 1995.

Menthol approved in U.S. for first time

Menthol-flavoured vapes have been approved by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. for the first time. The move supports the vaping industry’s assertion that vapes can drastically reduce the harms of smoking, which kills eight million people a year – including 480,000 in the U.S.

To legally market a new tobacco product in the U.S., a company must receive a written marketing order from the FDA. The new approval includes two disposable vapes and two pre-filled vape pods manufactured by NJOY, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Altria Group, which makes Marlboro and some menthol-flavoured cigarettes.

Menthol Breakthrough

Former NJOY Exec on FDA’s Landmark Flavor Authorization | RegWatch

NJOY will be the first company to have flavored e-cigarette products legally sold on the U.S. market. The decision came late last week when the U.S. FDA announced it had issued marketing granted orders to NJOY LLC for four menthol-flavored e-cigarette products under the PMTA pathway.

It’s the first time the FDA has authorized a non-tobacco flavored e-cigarette product. Joining us today for a special two-part edition of RegWatch is former NJOY exec Jeffrey Weiss, whose tenure at NJOY was significant and consequential. Weiss served on the board, as general counsel, and during the tumultuous years as interim president. His time at NJOY ended with the completion of the Altria purchase in 2023.

Leaving out science and innovation

From nicotine regulation perpetuates smoking, warns GFN

“What if we found a parallel universe where people got their nicotine in non-combustion ways but they got their caffeine by smoking tea leaves? If somebody wanted to teach people to brew tea instead, would you say ‘oh my God, think of the children? What if a child is attracted to drinking tea? What if somebody who would have totally quit smoking tea leaves, starts drinking tea? What if there were flavours for those teas and people found that tea more acceptable? They might even drink more!’ We would laugh at that sort of thing and we should be laughing at the people who make that argument now about nicotine”.

5 Observations from Eurobarometer Survey

On Tobacco and Related Products – Joseph Hart

The new Eurobarometer survey on Attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco and related products is out. Based on face-to-face interviews with EU citizens conducted throughout May and June last year, the survey provides an interesting snapshot into the use and perception of harm-reduction products like nicotine pouches.

While there is a lot of data to pour over, I’ll keep this focused on nicotine pouches. Read the fevered headlines, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that nicotine pouches were tearing through inner-city neighbourhoods in a repeat of the 1980s US crack epidemic. However, data does not support this position.

Smoking-Cessation Hope

For People With Mental Health Conditions – Kiran Sidhu

In 2015, Richard Pruen spent time staying in a mental health hospital ward in England.

“One thing that was evident when I was in hospital for treatment was that almost everyone smoked,” he told Filter. “It was clear that this was the norm, and little or no effort was made to help people with mental illness quit—it was just accepted, there was no advice or anything.”

Success story – Reduced risk products

Are a hit both economically and from a public health perspective

A report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found the industry’s aggregate turnover was valued at £2.8 billion in 2021 – in that same year, the sector supported almost 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the supply chain.

From a public health perspective, the value of the industry is immense. Not only is vaping amongst the most effective stop smoking tools available, so far helping almost 4.5 million adults in Great Britain alone move away from cigarettes or quit altogether, but it is also 95% less harmful than smoking – which claims around 80,000 lives in the UK every year.

Effective health policy to tackle smoking


“The examples of countries like New Zealand and Australia, geographically close but vastly different in terms of shared public policies, provide a clear picture of the global situation regarding the implementation of harm reduction policies for smoking. While Australia, committed to restrictive policies on reduced-risk products, is forced to backtrack on its positions, New Zealand, by promoting combustion-free devices as effective tools for tackling smoking, has halved the smoking rate, almost eradicating the problem,” explained Professor Polosa.

Smoke-Free Nicotine Products

Propel New Zealand Toward Smoking Eradication

Following Sweden’s success, New Zealand has reduced its daily smoking rate to just over 5%, the threshold the WHO uses to declare a country “smoke-free.”

New Zealand’s smoking rate has halved in just five years thanks to the acceptance and widespread use of smoke-free nicotine products. This is stated in a new report from Smoke-Free Sweden, prepared by a group of international experts led by Dr. Marewa Glover, a prominent New Zealand public health scientist and director of the Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty & Smoking.

I Tried Getting A Vape Prescription

And Was Prescribed Star Jumps Instead

My 2024 Wishlist included Botox, a taser, and a government-issued vape. This week, nearing the end of my 13th “my last vape I will ever purchase”, I decided to conquer the easiest and cheapest of my wishes.

By government-issued vape I mean a prescription vape and by easiest and cheapest I mean apparently all you have to do is tell your doctor you’ve tried it all and are simply at your wits end. And I am. Vaping is stupid as fuck but unfortunately I am addicted. The government vapes are apparently flavourless and colourless, and extremely expensive. It is for these three factors I have long believed them to be my golden ticket to saying farewell to smoking forever.

Reactions to a Nicotine Reduction Policy 

Among Adolescents Who Smoke: A Qualitative Study

The Biden administration is pursuing a nicotine reduction policy in the U.S. to render cigarettes less addictive. In this study, we qualitatively investigated adolescents’ subjective responses to very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes, reasons for incomplete adherence to using them, and their expected responses to a nicotine reduction policy.

Methods: Adolescents who smoke cigarettes daily (ages 15-19; N=60) were enrolled in a three-week double-blind randomized clinical trial and assigned to smoke either normal nicotine content (NNC) or VLNC research cigarettes. Following the trial, 52 participants completed qualitative interviews about their reactions to the cigarettes and to the idea of a nicotine reduction policy.

On this Day…2023

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

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