Vapers Digest 3rd May

Friday’s News at a glance:

ETHRA April news roundup – Call It Whatever You Want — Tobacco Harm Reduction Saves Smokers’ Lives – Smoke Free Sweden welcomes Moderate Party’s pledge – Finland: A Step Backward for Public Health? – New mix of MEPs may change Europe’s conservatism – Thinking ’bout THR Newsletter – No To the Vape Tax – ASA’s Idiotic Ruling Against IBVTA – Government Ignores Vaping Industry – Cheeseman New ASH Chief – The WVA Speaks Out – My evidence at the Senate Inquiry – Make fruit flavour vapes available on prescription – Proposed restrictions will have no impact on black market – PMTA Registry Bills, Are Spreading – Delay in Authorizing Vaping Devices Takes Toll – Medscape Gets Smoked – Brazil Maintains Vape Ban – Doubling Down on Failure – The Forgotten Frontier – A Perfect Storm – Real-World Quitting – Southern States Advance Harmful Legislation – What’s wrong with the WHO? –

ETHRA April news roundup

European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates

ETHRA’s monthly roundup of news: UK vape tax call to action – Sovape presents to the Senate – Spain flavour ban consultation – Debunking Anti-Vaping Claims – Lethal miscommunication – The WHO: Masters of misinformation – Country updates. Read on for more.

Call It Whatever You Want —

Tobacco Harm Reduction Saves Smokers’ Lives
Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth

The U.S. desperately needs tobacco harm reduction, starting with reducing the harm from the pronouncements of federal officials.  Case in point: FDA Commissioner Robert Califf’s April 11 tobacco testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

Dr. Califf made so many false statements that I penned a response for Real Clear Health. Following are some additional observations related to his testimony.

Readers know that I don’t tolerate doctors who claim they saw many people die from the ravages of tobacco, when those patients actually died from the smoke!


Smoke Free Sweden welcomes…

Moderate Party’s pledge to protect nicotine pouches

3 May 2024, Stockholm, Sweden – International harm reduction experts have commended a new pledge from Sweden’s Moderate Party to protect nicotine pouches ahead of the upcoming EU elections.

As part of its EU election campaign, the Moderate Party has outlined eight pledges to protect snus and nicotine pouches, which have been instrumental in reducing Sweden’s smoking rates to record lows of 5.6%.

Among the pledges is a commitment to preventing a ban on nicotine pouches in the EU.

A Step Backward for Public Health?

Considerate Pouchers

In a recent proposal, the Finnish government has announced plans to enforce stricter regulations on the sale of nicotine pouches under the revised Tobacco Act. The primary objectives are to deter youth usage and manage the transition from illegal to legal nicotine products. Notably, the proposed measures include capping nicotine content at 16.6 milligrams per gram of product, limiting permitted scents and flavors, and imposing stricter packaging requirements.

Under the new regulations, health warnings in both Finnish and Swedish will be mandated on all retail packaging, which must adhere to standardized “plain packaging” guidelines to reduce visual appeal.

New mix of MEPs

May change Europe’s conservatism on novel tobacco products

Changes in the European Parliament composition may favour a more open approach towards harm reduction. However, for the time being, the EU Commission (EC) maintains a conservative stance – which is likely to be reflected in its proposal of a revised EU tobacco policy framework, according to member of the EU Parliament (MEP) Radka Maxová (pictured).

Maxová, from the Czech Republic, who serves within the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democratic (S&D) group, thinks that newly elected MEPs – following the vote for the renewal of the Parliament in June – may bring about some different, less restrictive positions in the regulation of novel nicotine and tobacco products.

Thinking ’bout THR Newsletter

Skip Murray

Is there a better way to interact with people we don’t agree with?: I Never Thought Of It That Way by Mónica Guzmán. “I can see this book helping estranged parties who are equally invested in bridging a gap…” —New York Times

Do you know any bullies in the nicotine space?: On Critics and Bullies. “A critic—even a forceful one—does business in the proper currency of intellectual discourse: presenting evidence, providing reasons, making arguments; a bully questions people’s motives and calls them names.” Written by Robert P. George.

Five from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

No To the Vape Tax

The organisers of No Vape Tax aim to fight the proposed UK government tax on e-liquid, it is a joint project being coordinated by the New Nicotine Alliance and Both of the consumer organisations say that they are “concerned that the proposed vape tax will punish smokers who want to quit smoking and also vapers who use these products to avoid returning to smoking”.

With both the New Nicotine Alliance and staffed by volunteers, this campaign is solely reliant on donations from you – vapers.

The New Nicotine Alliance is Britain’s only charity dedicated to improving individual, organisational and public understanding of what is known as ‘tobacco harm reduction’.

ASA’s Idiotic Ruling Against IBVTA

Britain’s freshly oppressive anti-vaping landscape became darker today as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published its ruling against the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA). The ruling confirms that there is an effective ban on all forms of advertising unless directed solely at the trade. This comes as misunderstanding about vaping continues to increase and the majority of adults now believe vaping is as or more harmful than smoking.

The ASA stated: “A press advertorial from the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) seen in the East Lothian Courier on 26 October 2023, featured the headline ‘Let’s clear the smoke of confusion: Vaping saves smokers’ lives’. The article contained an image of the Chair of the IBVTA, standing in front of a billboard that stated, ‘Vaping instead of smoking, helps saves smokers’ lives’. Further text in the image of the poster stated ‘Always buy from reputable retailers’.

Government Ignores Vaping Industry

The Vaping industry has been shunned yet again by the government as it fails to invite the industry and consumers to give evidence to the Tobacco and Vape Bill Committee. The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) says the decision to side-line experts is “fundamentally undemocratic”, and expressed its shock and dismay.

Last week, the 16-member committee was announced, only it contained no MPs who had voted against the Bill. The make-up of the Bill’s committee drew criticism from industry commentators, who labelled it “ludicrously one-sided”.

The list of MPs who voted ‘no’ makes for impressive reading, there’s a clear pool of talent there.

Cheeseman New ASH Chief

Hazel Cheeseman was appointed by the Trustees to take up the role of chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) following the announcement of Deborah Arnott’s retirement. She will commence the position from 1 October 2024. ASH says there was “an open and competitive recruitment process”. The ASH chief executive plays a key role in influencing the government on its vape legislation.

Hazel has worked in senior roles at ASH for over 10 years before becoming deputy chief executive in 2021. She has played a key role in the development of the organisation, including:

The WVA Speaks Out

As MPs lined up to vote in Rishi Sunak’s anti-vape legislation, the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) warned that the United Kingdom stood on the verge of a public health disaster. The Bill will prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone aged 15 and under, but contains provisions that will deter smokers from switching to vaping. In Turin, the city council passed an amendment, introducing significant restrictions on smoking and vaping.

The WVA warned British MPs to reconsider their vote as Sunak’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill moves to the next stage in the Parliament. The proposed bill implies that anyone born after 2009 will not be able to purchase cigarettes or Heat-not-burn-tobacco products. The Parliament also agreed on possible restrictions on e-cigarette flavours and product packaging among others.

My evidence at the Senate Inquiry

Colin Mendelsohn

IN MY INTRODUCTORY SPEECH to the Senate Vaping Inquiry on 2 May 2024, I cover two major concerns about Australia’s vaping policy and comment on the blatant misinformation presented to the Inquiry.

1. The current de facto ban is not working and will not work with the proposed changes

Ninety percent of vapers have rejected the legal pathway and only a small number of doctors will prescribe nicotine. Supplies are very hard to access through pharmacies.

2. We haven’t got the balance right between protecting youth and helping adult smokers

Proposed restrictions will have no impact

On the vape black market – Colin Mendelsohn

THREE EXPERT WITNESSES have told the Senate Inquiry into Vaping that the current vaping black market will continue unabated under the proposed legislation. No level of enforcement can restrict the established illicit trade and reduce its profitability.

All three witnesses recommended that vapes be regulated as adult consumer products sold from licensed retail outlets as they are in other Western countries.

Make fruit flavour vapes available

Ali Anderson

Fruit flavoured vapes should be available on prescription to help smokers quit, the Australian Vaping Inquiry has been told. Strict new laws that came into effect on 1 January ban the importation of all disposable vapes to Australia.

The government is now considering the next tranche of rules, which will see nicotine vapes only available on prescription through chemists – and only in tobacco or mild mint flavours. It comes amid a broader push to phase out recreational vaping in the country completely.

Australian National University Professor

Emily Banks makes shock admission at parliamentary inquiry
Lisa Edser For Daily Mail Australia

An anti-vaping professor has been grilled during a senate inquiry to provide examples of e-cigarette deaths before she eventually admitted the only known deaths is when vape batteries exploded.

Professor Emily Banks was questioned at the senate inquiry for the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill on Wednesday.

The head of the Centre for Public Health Data and Policy at Australian National University in Canberra is a leading advocate for stricter regulations on vapes due to health concerns regarding the popular devices.

PMTA Registry Bills, Are Spreading

 Kiran Sidhu

Virginia has confirmed an effective ban on flavored vapes, though with a one-year delay, while similar legislation in Iowa awaits the governor’s signature or veto.

These are just the latest examples of so-called PMTA registry bills, which are spreading around the United States in the name of protecting consumers from unregulated products. Opponents say they harmfully limit options for people seeking to quit cigarettes.

Delay in Authorizing Vaping Devices

Takes Toll on Public Health – Martin Cullip

In the battle against tobacco-related illnesses and deaths, every opportunity to promote smoking cessation should be embraced. A recent study by academics at England’s University of East Anglia demonstrated the efficacy of providing e-cigarette starter kits to smokers, highlighting a critical intervention that could save lives.

While such initiatives show promise for products widely available in the United Kingdom, the Food and Drug Administration’s prolonged delay in even authorizing thousands of vaping brands in the United States to be sold legally contributes to unnecessary missed opportunities for harm reduction.

Medscape Gets Smoked

Sally Satel

A large medical-information platform that reaches hundreds of thousands of American physicians and millions more worldwide, Medscape is popular for its broad array of quality educational videos. The company allows doctors at no cost to obtain credits toward renewing their medical licenses by viewing modules and passing a corresponding test.

As a medical professional, I’ve watched many of these videos over the years. So I was excited when Medscape invited me to participate as an instructor in two planned videos on the topic of tobacco harm reduction (THR), the practice of delivering nicotine in safer ways through lower-risk products such as e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

Brazil Maintains Vape Ban

Jim McDonald

Brazil has confirmed and strengthened its vape ban following an April 19 board meeting of the Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA), the country’s food and drug regulator. The ANVISA board voted unanimously to maintain the country’s prohibition, which has been in place since 2009.

The agency tightened import restrictions to prohibit individuals from bringing products for personal use, and added a ban on “transportation and storage,” which could be interpreted by law enforcement to mean almost anything, including carrying a vape on the street or keeping one at home.

New Zealand’s Surprising Shifts

In Tobacco Regulation – #GFNTVInterviews #GFNTV

Tobacco policy in New Zealand could leave one with a touch of motion sickness as the country lurches back and forth in its effort to reduce smoking to five percent by 2025. Researcher Marewa Glover joins GFN Interviews to discuss the latest surprising shift and results of her new study on how New Zealand adults who smoke understand novel tobacco ‘endgame’ policies.

Four from Tobacco Reporter:

Doubling Down on Failure

The continuing existence of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which is seemingly controlled by a coterie of authoritarian, publicity-shy, self-appointed morality overseers and to which supposedly sovereign governments humbly send their delegates to worship at the altar of the FCTC Secretariat, is an affront to the environment and to the taxpayers who part fund these COP affairs and whose taxes could be better spent feeding and otherwise providing for people currently in desperate need.

The Forgotten Frontier

Eighty percent of the current users of risky tobacco products live in the “Global South,” the geopolitical clubbing of low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) that includes not only Southern Hemisphere nations such as Fiji but also nations that are firmly in the Northern Hemisphere, geographically, like China, India, Russia and Bhutan, along with countries that straddle both segments, such as Uganda.

A world free of smoked and smokeless forms of risky tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis, gutkha, mishri, zarda and toombak can prevent a billion premature deaths this century.

A Perfect Storm

India’s ban on commercialization of electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS) in 2019 was the blunt political end to a meandering administrative and legal process that began after the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) stated of ENDS in a report presented at its sixth general body meeting held in Moscow in 2014: “while medicinal use of nicotine is a public health option under the treaty, recreational use is not.”

Real-World Quitting

Skip Murray was a failure at quitting. After trying countless times over the years to stop smoking, she was through. When she chose to try e-cigarettes, she says, “I had no intention of making a quit attempt. The purpose of my vape was to use it only when I could not smoke, as a temporary substitute.” Four months later, Murray realized that she could not remember the last time she’d lit up. She had accidentally quit smoking.

Randomized controlled trials are the widely acknowledged gold standard in research. They are great for establishing whether a particular approach can create a meaningful effect.

Scoring Endgame

Former CDC Tobacco Control Director Talks Battle Over Vaping | RegWatch

As the longest-serving director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and founding Dean of Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, Dr. Michael P. Eriksen is a veteran tobacco control warrior and national leader in the fight to end smoking-related disease and death.

In this episode of RegWatch, we ask Dr. Eriksen about the crucial years when big tobacco was exposed for deceiving the public, tobacco control’s reaction to the explosive popularity of e-cigarettes, the FDA’s current regulation of the U.S. vaping market, and what he thinks about public health’s war on vaping.

Southern States Advance

Harmful Tobacco Legislation

National health agencies with authority over tobacco regulations in the United States and the United Kingdom, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Public Health England, respectively, have recognized tobacco harm reduction (THR) products as less harmful alternatives to traditional combustible cigarettes. These products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, have helped millions of adult smokers quit smoking. THR products, which avoid burning tobacco and deliver nicotine without the hazardous chemicals found in conventional combustible cigarettes, can save lives by transitioning smokers away from those harmful products.

Two from Marc Gunther:

What’s wrong with the WHO?

The World Health Organization has 8,000 employees, a budget of close to $4bn dollars, considerable influence and ambitious goals. Expanding access to medical care. Managing global health emergencies. Addressing the root causes of disease.

Even combatting misinformation online. To the latter, one is tempted to respond, “Physician, heal thyself.” Alternative Link

Why is the WHO so wrong about e-cigs?

Meet S.A.R.A.H., the World Health Organization’s new Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health. She’s online 24/7, speaks eight languages, and offers advice on topics ranging from COVID vaccines to mental health to diets.

Should I switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping e-cigarettes, I ask her. “E cigarettes are still considered unsafe and there is not enough evidence to determine if they are safer than smoking tobacco,” she says. Alternative Link

On this Day…2023

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

The Pharmacology of Nicotine

Grant Churchill, Tobacco Reporter

In this article, I will describe the pharmacology of nicotine. I will guide you along nicotine’s journey, starting with how it gets into a person, explain what it does once inside by interacting with specific receptors and finally, how it is inactivated and leaves.

Due to its chemical properties, nicotine can exist in two forms, depending on acidity, which controls its ability to be absorbed and, in turn, the effectiveness of delivery by different routes of administration.

Seeking Substitutes

Stefanie Rossel, Tobacco Reporter

When it comes to tobacco, India holds several records: It is the world’s second-largest consumer, third-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter. Its consumption pattern is also remarkable. According to the 2016–2017 Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 266.8 million adult Indians—28.6 percent of the country’s population—use tobacco in some form.

Visit Nicotine Science & Policy for more News from around the World



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