Vapers Digest 5th April

Friday’s News at a glance:

Thinking ’bout THR – Handing Out Vapes in Emergency Rooms – Are nicotine pouches the new vapes? – Study finds e-cigarette users now more likely to quit – LGA Still Not Happy – Over half a Bi££ion for Criminals – The APPG For Responsible Vaping – Red-Hot Parliamentary Action – Craig Whi’a’ka’s Questions – Vermont Governor Vetoes Flavor Ban Bill – New FDA Ads – Government Don’t Know how many Vapers will Return to Smoking – We’ll Fight Them on the Pouches – Nicotine isn’t a health hazard – Please make a submission to the Senate vaping inquiry – Oversight Committee to Hold Hearing – Time for India to Regulate Vapes – The Chilean Vanguard Towards a Smoke-Free Future –

Thinking ’bout THR

Skip Murray

Tobacco harm reduction means different things to different people. Some may wish to achieve a nicotine-free society. Others may wish to squash the tobacco industry. Some prefer that people who choose to use nicotine use it in a form that has less risk than smoking tobacco. What we all have in common is a desire to reduce/eliminate smoking-related diseases and premature deaths. The events listed below focus on nicotine. Some events may not be supportive of reduced-risk products. Some have covered nicotine in the past but may not cover that topic every year.

Handing Out Vapes in Emergency Rooms

Could Save Thousands of Lives – Kiran Sidhu

Handing out free vapes in emergency rooms to people who smoke could save thousands of lives in the United Kingdom, according to researchers who trialed this approach.

The researchers, from the University of East Anglia (UEA), conducted their trial in six emergency departments in England and Scotland—including the Royal London Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.


Are nicotine pouches the new vapes?

Serena Smith

Gen Z will do anything but smoke a cigarette. We’d rather huff on Elf bars, Lost Marys, or hookah pipes – and apparently, there’s even been an uptick in young people smoking cigars and pipes. Now, the latest way of getting your nicotine fix without lighting up a Pall Mall is via a nicotine pouch.

Nicotine pouches are small sachets of nicotine, usually stored in round tins, which users tuck under their lip as the nicotine is absorbed into their bloodstream. Popular brands like Velo and Nordic Spirit sell pouches in a range of flavours, such as “ice cool” and “bergamot wildberry”. While nicotine pouch usage is still relatively rare in the UK, with only one in 300 adults using pouches, the number of people who use nicotine pouches is gradually rising.

Study finds e-cigarette users…

Now more likely to quit traditional cigarettes

A new paper in Nicotine & Tobacco Research finds that smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes are now more likely to stop smoking regular cigarettes. In the past, smokers who began using electronic cigarettes mostly continued smoking. The paper is titled, “Divergence in cigarette discontinuation rates by use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS): Longitudinal findings from the U.S. PATH Study Waves 1-6.”

Electronic nicotine delivery systems first emerged on the U.S. market in 2007. The first e-cigarettes resembled conventional cigarettes (in appearance) and used fixed low-voltage batteries. Beginning in 2016, manufacturers introduced e-liquids containing nicotine salt formulations.

Five from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

LGA Still Not Happy

Despite celebrating the death of disposable single use vapes, the Local Government Association (LGA) is still unhappy – demanding larger fines for bad actors in the vape industry. The LGA is warning that because the fine amount is too low it might let unscrupulous businesses off the hook.

Under the Government’s proposed plans, businesses caught selling disposable vapes after the ban has come into place could be given a fixed penalty notice worth £100 by their local council.

Over half a Bi££ion for Criminals

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Government to focus on effective enforcement to deal with the huge illicit trade in vapes that it says will receive a £645m boost if disposable vapes are banned next year. In response to the Government’s short consultation on the proposals to ban disposable vape devices from April 2025, the ACS has highlighted a number of fundamental issues with DEFRA’s own impact assessment on the ban.

The ACS is warning that DEFRA has significantly underestimated the losses that will be felt by retailers. It says the impact assessment also fails to recognise the significant illicit trade that already exists and will receive a huge boost when disposables are banned.

The APPG For Responsible Vaping

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Responsible Vaping has been established “to ensure the raft of government measures on vaping are balanced and proportionate whilst acting to encourage and highlight sector led improvement”, according to the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA). The trade body is supporting this third AAPG that will offer its opinions on vaping.

IBVTA Says parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, including a former Health Secretary, have come together to launch this cross-party group on vaping. The APPG for Responsible Vaping will provide a voice on vaping issues within Parliament and with a clear focus on proportionate regulation and responsibility within the sector.

Red-Hot Parliamentary Action

This may surprise some readers but Parliamentary questions about tobacco harm reduction has ranked in first place in a survey of ‘exciting things people love to read about’. True, it is a survey that I made up during Easter Bank Holiday Monday, but that shouldn’t invalidate the results. So, let’s crack on with some ripping red hot political content – content that gives us an idea of what we can expect in the future following a general election.

Jim Shannon is the DUP Shadow Spokesperson for Health. Did you know that his name only rhymes with salmon, gammon, and canon? Come for the politics, stay for the fantastic facts. Shannon asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care what assessment has been made of the use of disposables by teens and any potential health impact.

Craig Whi’a’ka’s Questions

Anyone of a certain vintage may remember a television programme called Gilbert’s Fridge. In this show, Gilbert, an alien, would sometimes refer to the then Page 3 model Maria Whittaker with a heavy Geordie accent. We do not know if Craig Whittaker is related to Maria Whittaker, we do know he doesn’t have a Geordie accent. We also know that he asked a series of vape related questions in Parliament and that I say his name with a Geordie accent in my head – Every. Single. Time.

Conservative Assistant Whip Craig Whittaker asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care whether the Department has considered the potential merits of introducing a retailer licensing scheme for the sale of vapes.

Three from Jim McDonald, Vaping 360:

Vermont Governor Vetoes Flavor Ban Bill

On April 3, Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed bill S 18, which would have banned the sale of all nicotine and tobacco products in flavors other than tobacco. The bill would have also prohibited online sales of vaping products, flavored or not.

In a letter explaining his decision, Gov. Scott said that protecting children must be “balanced in such a way that we honor the rights and freedoms of adults to make decisions about their individual lives.” He noted that a flavored vape and tobacco ban would be inconsistent with state laws allowing sales of flavored cannabis and alcohol products, and said that flavored products would be easily available to residents anyway. Scott, a Republican, had previously spoken about the lost tax revenue a flavor ban would cause.

New FDA Ads

The FDA’s Real Cost anti-tobacco campaign has been attacking vapes and vapers for almost six years now, beginning with the 2018 “Epidemic” ad, a tribute to chemophobia that featured a school full of vape victims with invisible worms crawling under their skins.

Since then, the agency has hired high-priced advertising execs to claim vaping “magically” turns vapers into smokers, engage in old-fashioned Drug War-style stigma, and collaborate with Marvel Comics to portray vaping as a form of “mind control.”

House Oversight Committee

Will Question FDA Commissioner

The powerful U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Committee has announced a hearing that will examine the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with committee members questioning FDA Commissioner Robert Califf. Califf will face scrutiny on a wide variety of topics, including the agency’s tobacco and nicotine product regulation.

According to a press release, the hearing “will examine the Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigations into the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) response to several issues, including the infant formula crisis and food safety, drug shortages, facility inspections, hemp regulation, regulation of tobacco and nicotine products, and over-the-counter decongestants.”

Government Don’t Know how many…

Vapers will Return to Smoking after Disposables Ban

Yesterday Government Minister, Andrea Leadsom was asked by Adam Afriyie MP whether she had done a risk assessment of vapers returning to smoking in the event of a disposable vape ban. Given that smoking represents a death sentence to around half who are unable to quit, it is clearly imperative that restricting access to the most effective quitting tool is not taken lightly. However, despite the fact that nearly a third of adult vapers use disposables (ASH, 2023), the Government’s impact assessment concluded that the number who might return to vaping was ‘difficult to quantify’ and so the issue will essentially be ignored, as will the potentially fatal consequences.

We’ll Fight Them on the Pouches:

Mark Holland Channels Churchill – Richard Crosby

Canadian Health Minister Mark Holland delivered what I’m sure he felt was a powerful speech the other day… However, I’m not entirely sure his ‘incredible concern’ is about the right things. He has the easy target of Big Tobacco in his sights, and very specifically nicotine pouches.

Tough talk indeed from a representative of the government that invoked the Wartime Emergencies Act to deal with protestors. Proportionality seems like such an alien concept to these jokers that one has to wonder what Holland and his ilk would do if they saw something truly evil? Oh, wait. We do know. They’d invite him to parliament and praise him as a war hero.

Nicotine isn’t a health hazard.

Why is Ottawa so against vaping?

The first thing to be said about Health Minister Mark Holland’s recent media outburst is that he has reason to be frustrated with British American Tobacco, parent of Imperial Tobacco Canada (BAT/ITC). After two years of negotiation and safety verification, Imperial obtained Health Canada approval to sell its Zonnic oral nicotine product as a smoking cessation aid but then proceeded to market it as a consumer product, using images of young adults, as the e-cigarette Juul did when it first came on the market.

Please make a submission to the Senate …

Vaping inquiry – Colin Mendelsohn

THE CURRENT SENATE VAPING INQUIRY is a real opportunity for change policy. There is growing support for vaping reform in federal Parliament. We think a majority of senators understand that the current model has failed. The deadline for submissions is COB 12 April 2024.

The vaping bill before parliament is intended to ban “the importation, domestic manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of vaping goods”. Overall, the goal is to reduce youth vaping and provide prescription access for adult smokers.

‘It’s a gateway out of smoking’:

Dr Joe Kosterich believes vapes should be regulated not banned

Dr Joe Kosterich, a health industry consultant, speaker and author, joined Gary Hardgrave on 4BC Mornings to give his perspective on how the government is handling the vape situation in Australia.

Dr Kosterich outlined how other countries have handled vapes much better than Australia and how vapes are not the problem as they can help people quit smoking.

Oversight Committee to Hold Hearing

With FDA Commissioner

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability will hold a hearing tiled “Oversight of the Food and Drug Administration.” The hearing will examine the Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigations into the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) response to several issues, including the infant formula crisis and food safety, drug shortages, facility inspections, hemp regulation, regulation of tobacco and nicotine products, and over-the-counter decongestants.

Time for India to Regulate Vapes

Pratik Gupta

The first Indian state to ban vapes was Karnatataka, in 2016. The reason for this is that Karnataka, in the southwest, is our country’s largest producer of Virginia tobacco. The ban was a political ploy to get votes: “Vote for us and we’ll ban vapes, so you can keep your livelihood.”

The second state was Rajasthan. In 2018, we at Association of Vapers India (AVI) were told that a committee of doctors had been set up in the northern state to look at the question and study e-cigarettes. My colleagues and I went to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, numerous times to try to meet with them.

The Chilean Vanguard …

Towards a Smoke-Free Future

“Chileans will soon be able to vape safely, without risks because vaping will be regulated in this country.” That was the affirmative message we received in January 2022 from a figure with ties to Chilean political life who preferred not to identify themselves publicly. “I am confident that 2024 will be a different year for the direction of the tobacco issue in our country,” they concluded with a Chilean flag emoji followed by a smiling face.

Back then, the wave of optimism forming at the beginning of the year was also influenced by the atmosphere of renewal. On March 11th, former deputy Gabriel Boric assumed the Chilean presidency, becoming Latin America’s youngest head of state.

On this Day…2023

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

Innco Weekly Issue | April 3rd, 2023

International Network of Consumer Organizations (INNCO)

Hi Dear Friends,

We hope you are doing amazingly well. The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training UK has released an updated version written in partnership with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) of their guidance. It makes a case for providing nicotine vapes as a first-line option for clients alongside medicinally licensed stop-smoking products. This edition updates some of the evidence on the safety and effectiveness of vapes.

Beyond Tobacco Harm Reduction

Clive Bates, Tobacco Reporter

There is no doubt that tobacco harm reduction is a powerful and effective public health strategy. It takes the widely understood public health concept of harm reduction (see drugs, alcohol, HIV and so on) and applies it to the enormous burden of harm created by smoking. We already have enough science and experience to know that this strategy works. Two conditions must be met: (1) The new noncombustible nicotine products must be much less risky than smoked products; (2) these low-risk products must displace the high-risk combustible products. Let us briefly consider these two questions.

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