Vapers Digest 5th February
Friday’s News at a glance:
Europe’s Beating Cancer plan fails smokers – Europe’s Cancer Plan misses the mark – World-first research finds vaping likely to be less addictive than smoking – How the EU plans to expand the nanny state – Vaping is the gateway out of smoking – Mississippi Misses the Mark – Government Launches Consultation – You Don’t Know Nicotine – Tobacco Patent War May Lead to a U.S. Ban of IQOS – Chicago Accuses Online Vape Retailer of Underage Sales – Bloomberg’s Philanthro-Colonialism – The role of vaping nicotine in psychiatry practice – Potential revenue from taxing e-cigarettes – Wake-Up Call – Is Vaping A Social Justice Issue? – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
We have just written to the MEPs on the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) to express our dismay at some of the tobacco control measures proposed in the European Commission’s Beating Cancer plan.
We hope that our elected representatives can take our views into account at tomorrow’s BECA meeting and exchange of views with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
Consumers and experts submitted in their thousands to the two public consultations last year, yet those views are ignored in the Plan.
The Plan spectacularly fails to make a distinction between harmful smoking products and smoke free alternatives and signals that the Commission intends to turn its back on innovation and science by cracking down on vaping, the popular and far less risky alternative to smoking.
Read our letter here.
World Vapers’ Alliance
Today, the European Commission launched its landmark ‘Beating Cancer Plan’ but the World Vapers’ Alliance, a group representing thousands of vapers worldwide, is concerned about the bias the report demonstrates against vaping.
Commenting on the launch of the plan, Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance said:
“Today’s plan shows that the European Commission is allowing ideology to get in the way of science. The aim of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is to reduce the cancer burden for patients, their families and health systems, yet it ignores the wealth of evidence showing that vaping represents only less than half of one percent of the cancer risk that smoking does.”
Likely to be less addictive than smoking – LSBU
New research has found vaping is likely to be less addictive than smoking as smokers are more likely to smoke regardless of cost whereas vapers will set a limit on what they are willing to spend on e-cigarettes. The study by LSBU compared the monetary value placed on tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes by cigarette smokers and vapers.
The study was led by Dr Nicky Rycroft, Deputy Head of the Division of Psychology in the School of Applied Sciences and member of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research at LSBU.
The popularity of electronic cigarettes in UK has increased by around 400% since 2012, from 700,000 users in 2012 to 3.6 million in 2019. Over 90% of e-cigarette users are current or ex-smokers and e-cigarettes are the most popular method for quitting smoking in the UK.
“Given that yesterday was World Cancer Day, I think it is only right therefore to highlight the incredibly damaging policies which the EU is proposing” https://t.co/oU7GxhmaqQ
— Dick Puddlecote (@Dick_Puddlecote) February 5, 2021
Having spent umpteen years trying to encourage people to quit with patches or chewing gum or medication, etc. Vapes (for want of a better descriptor) have proved a breath of fresh air! Patients readily seem to adhere to it much better than other approaches. In my experience!
— Physio@StAndrew’s (@PhysioStAndrews) February 2, 2021
In 2016, Jean-Claude Juncker, then president of the European Commission, admitted that the EU had sometimes been overzealous in its regulation. ‘We were wrong to overregulate and interfere too much’, he said. A year later, he launched the Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and ‘Doing Less More Efficiently’. Ironically, though predictably, the Task Force concluded that the EU should not, in fact, be doing less.
A report published this week by the European Commission is another milestone in the EU’s journey towards regulating every detail of its citizens’ lives. Focusing on alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and ‘unhealthy food’, the first draft of its ‘Beating Cancer Plan’ proposes a range of nanny-state interventions that fall well outside of the EU’s remit.
Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes
The Parliament Magazine is issued on a fortnightly basis to inform and educate politicians with “with balanced, objective and informative coverage”. The latest issue carries an article by Consumer Choice Center’s Maria Chaplia and World Vapers’ Alliance’s Michael Landl saying that “Vaping is the gateway out of smoking”.
The World Vapers’ Alliance has been exceptionally active lately, from attacking the SCHEER Report [link] and demonstrating at the European Parliament [link] to organising a spectacular protest in the Netherlands [link].
Inmates in the state of Mississippi are soon going to be able to buy cigarettes officially, ten years after it was banned, because legislators say they were smoking anyway. Compounding the sense that politicians have totally lost the plot, a majority in the Mississippi House of Representatives voted to enact stricter measures on vaping and vape devices.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner Leo Honeycutt was the one landed with the task of justifying allowing prisoners to buy packets of cigarettes and smoke: “It will cut down on the contraband and gangs using contraband to extort inmates. It will be safer for everybody.
The UK government is reviewing how the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 (SPoT) are achieving their objectives. The public is being invited to make comments and it has been welcomed by the UK Vape Industry Association (UKVIA).
“We’re asking for feedback on the effectiveness of the legislation in achieving its objectives along with any unintended consequences that may have occurred. TRPR and SPoT require the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to complete a review of the legislation within 5 years of the regulations coming into force. This is known as a post implementation review (PIR). We expect a wide range of industry, charities, academic researchers and members of the public to respond to this consultation,” says the UK government.
Aaron Biebert, the man behind the film ‘A Billion Lives’, has made a hard-hitting documentary about nicotine, the people, the science and the politics. Anybody remotely interested in vaping and frustrated by those opposed to tobacco harm reduction will find ‘You Don’t Know Nicotine’ compelling viewing.
The film begins with a brief history of the anti-tobacco movement before running into the current day where a French farm supplies nicotine extract to the vaping industry, from extraction to purification.
Two from Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
May Lead to a U.S. Ban of IQOS
An intellectual property claim by RJ Reynolds could shut down United States sales of Philip Morris International’s controversial IQOS product before PMI’s partner Altria is able to launch the device on a national scale. IQOS is currently sold in a few test markets, including Atlanta and Richmond.
IQOS is a heated tobacco product (HTP—sometimes called heat-not-burn or HNB). Unlike e-liquid-based vapes, it heats actual tobacco until a vapor is produced. IQOS has been sold since 2014 in many Asian and European countries. American tobacco giant Altria is licensing IQOS from PMI for sale in the U.S. Other tobacco companies have their own HTPs, including British American Tobacco (glo) and Japan Tobacco (Ploom).
Of Underage Sales
The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against an online vape retailer, alleging the company sold age-restricted and flavored vaping products to minors. The legal action follows a sting operation in which city employees successfully ordered products through the vendor’s website without providing proper identification.
The businesses named in the action are Vapes.com and its parent company Equte, LLC, both based in Minnesota. The lawsuit, filed by Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), and the Department of Law, alleges that Vapes.com engaged in “marketing and selling flavored vaping products, including to underage Chicagoans.”
A Threat to Global Health and Science – Michelle Minton
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is in hot water overseas —and potentially at home—with members of the Philippines government accusing Bloomberg-funded charities of illegally paying regulatory agencies to implement his anti-tobacco policies. While the general public may be shocked by the allegations, those familiar with Bloomberg may be less surprised, given his tendency to leverage his philanthropic largesse as a means of influencing government policy, from funding tobacco control efforts to installing privately funded lawyers in state attorney general offices across the U.S.
Smoking remains the leading cause of health and financial disparities for people living with mental illness and new and effective strategies are urgently needed. Growing evidence suggests that tobacco harm reduction with nicotine vaping could benefit this population.
People with mental illness have higher smoking rates, smoke more heavily, are more nicotine dependent and have lower quit rates than the general population. As a result, smoking prevalence is declining more slowly than in the wider community, especially among people with serious mental illness (SMI).
Hear Professor Lynne Dawkins’s take on whether vaping should be considered a social justice issue.
And comparison of annual costs of daily e-cigarette use versus daily cigarette smoking among South African adults
Israel T. Agaku, Catherine O. Egbe, Olalekan A. Ayo-Yusuf
Mean annual cost associated with daily use was ZAR 6693 (US$460.32, based on an exchange rate of about 69 US$ to 1000 ZAR) for manufactured cigarettes; for e-cigarettes, this ranged from ZAR 8574.69/year (with price minimizing strategies) to ZAR 19780.83/year (retail products exclusively). Expected revenue from e-cigarette excise tax at 75% of the cigarette tax rate was up to ZAR 2.20 billion (95% CI: 0.96–3.44). If taxed at 37.5% of the cigarette tax rate – half of the government’s proposed rate – the projected revenue was up to ZAR 1.10 billion (95% CI: 0.48–1.72). Of the projected revenue from e-cigarette excise tax at 75% of the cigarette rate, the portion attributable to hardware (device and batteries) was 61% (ZAR 1.35 billion), while the portion attributable to e-liquid was 39% (ZAR 0.86 billion).
The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) made headlines on its 15th anniversary in 2020. Unfortunately, the news was not that it was an overwhelming success but that progress toward getting rid of combustible tobacco was slow. According to the organization’s 2019 report, overall world cigarette consumption fell from 1.4 trillion sticks in 2000 to 1.34 trillion sticks in 2019, or an annual decline of less than a quarter of a percentage point. Eight million people still die every year from tobacco-related diseases. Critics warn that if the FCTC doesn’t modernize, a smoke-free world will remain a distant goal.