Vapers Digest 7th June
Monday’s News at a glance:
ETHRA letter to Dutch members of parliament – IBVTA writes to local authorities – Bloomberg‘s dark money – Why the Dutch vaping flavour ban won’t drive down underage smoking rates – Historic Pinoy Victory For Vaping – San Francisco’s Vape Flavor Ban Saw More Teens Start Smoking – Maine Should Learn From Massachusetts – Local authority wants smoking bans outside pubs – Ukraine: The war on e-cigarettes is absurd – Harm reduction month: vaping and public health – E-cigs seen as inclusive harm reduction strategy – Health expert says smoke, not nicotine, causes deaths – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
3 June 2021. ETHRA wrote to MPs at the Ministry of Health, Welbeing and Sport, to protest at the proposed flavour ban being forced through parliament. We cautioned against the unintended consequences such an action would have on current vapers, and those who smoke that could benefit from switching to vaping. Also included was our July 2020 letter to Dutch Health Minister Mr Blokhuis.
The IBVTA are aware of recent media reports claiming that a number of local councils have already, or are considering banning smoking in outdoor spaces. We have written to the councils concerned, and the contents of that correspondence are below.
The Independent British Vape Trade Association is the only trade body for vaping in the UK exclusively representing businesses that are independent of the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. We are writing to you regarding recent media reports of outdoor smoking bans at hospitality venues, and outside retail premises.
Vaping (the use of e-cigarettes) is now the UK’s most effective and most popular tool to de-normalising smoking and has already helped millions of smokers across the UK to quit…..
Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove Iron Fist
If you’re going to write a lengthy article in a peer-reviewed journal accusing scientists of having undisclosed competing interests, it helps if you don’t have undisclosed competing interests of your own.
On Thursday, I mentioned the BMJ article which falsely claimed that studies showing smokers to be at lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been “roundly disproved” and implied that the whole thing was a tobacco industry ruse to promote nicotine. At the moment, my Rapid Response is the only one accepted for publication by the BMJ. The main target of the article – Dr Konstantinos Farsilinos – has written a response but it has not been published.
Germany: If the current TabStMoG draft was waved through this week, that does not mean that the state is expecting more tax revenue, but only that a further step towards the destruction of the E-cigarette retailers are to be launched.https://t.co/4Wqm8V6CPM
— European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (@europethra) June 7, 2021
Some of the usual suspects are still trying to argue against the real world.https://t.co/fnO69OHsGM
— Phil (@phil_w888) June 7, 2021
Won’t drive down underage smoking rates – Maria Chaplia and Michael Landl
Starting from 1 July 2022, flavoured e-liquids might be banned in the Netherlands. The decision to proceed with the ban – originally proposed in June 2020 – is drastically at odds with public opinion, let alone science. Combined with the EU Beating Cancer Plan’s restrictive anti-vaping measures, the flavour ban demonstrates Europe’s incessant drift away from evidence-based policymaking.
Vaping is facing such regulatory hardships primarily because it’s misunderstood. Invented as a cessation tool, vaping targets adult smokers, in particular heavy ones, to help them quit. In the UK, electronic cigarettes are even given to smokers at hospitals. And vape flavours play a crucial role in the crusade for lowering tobacco smoking rates.
Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes
Despite a Bloomberg organisation handing over money to politicians in a bid to influence the independence of the Pinoy government, the Philippines has moved to deliver a historic victory for vaping and tobacco harm reduction. The bill that regulates the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs) has passed its third and final reading in the Philippines’ House of Representatives. It will now go to the Senate.
According to consumer advocates, barring any undue outside influence, there the bill will be approved into law. Known as House Bill 9007, the proposed ‘Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act’ is a massive legislative achievement for tobacco harm reduction advocates in the Philippines, says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).
Saw More Teens Start Smoking – Alex Norcia
In the summer of 2018, San Francisco residents voted overwhelmingly to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products (as well as flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes). By January 2019, when the prohibition took effect, almost every retailer in the city was immediately compliant. It had been an expensive fight, with companies that sell vaping products spending tens of millions of dollars on one side and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a longtime anti-smoking funder who has since turned his abstinence-only approach to vaping, bankrolling the opposition with millions of his own.
Outside pubs. Why not try vaping? – Jason Reed
Oxfordshire wants to become England’s first smoke-free county. Its county council is aiming to reduce its smoking rate from 12 per cent to 5 per cent by 2025. The ambitious “Oxfordshire Tobacco Control Strategy” hopes to see employers “encouraged to promote smoke-free environments and support staff to quit smoking”. Most eye-catching, though, is its promise to ban smoking for outdoor hospitality.
Despite its bold goals and obvious yearning to set an example for other counties, Oxfordshire County Council’s public health directors are ignoring the leading tool for weaning people off cigarettes…
Failed Flavored Tobacco Ban – Guy Bentley
This month marks the one-year anniversary of Massachusetts’ experiment in banning all flavored tobacco products. The Bay State was the first in the nation to enact such a far-reaching prohibition. Now, Maine is considering a similar ban on flavored tobacco products. But before moving forward, it should look at the data coming out of Massachusetts.
Before the Massachusetts bill prohibiting flavored tobacco passed in 2020, its supporters claimed that concerns over tobacco sales fleeing to other states were overblown and they said the expected public health benefits of the ban would offset any potential tax revenue losses. But, with eleven months worth of excise tax stamps, it appears they were wrong.
And scientifically unjustified
Kyiv, Ukraine – On June 1st, the Verkhovna Rada passed in the first reading the bill №4358 “Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Public Health from the Harmful Effects of Tobacco.” The bill amends a number of legislative acts on the health effects of smoking.
According to Maria Chaplia, research manager at the Consumer Choice Center, this approach to e-cigarettes replicates the World Health Organization’s anti-vaping rhetoric. Instead, let’s look at the facts.
“Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and vaping is recommended as a way to quit smoking in the UK. Moreover, recently vaping there has even begun to be encouraged in hospitals. France, Canada and New Zealand hold the same position,” added Chaplia.
Vaping and public health – Rob Calder
In this last in our series of articles for harm reduction month, Rob Calder discusses vaping as harm reduction and the implications for the public health agenda. With just a small detour for a discussion of recovery from other research areas. And relatively few references to cakes.
I once ran a thought experiment with some psychology students. I told them to look at a nitrous oxide cannister and think of it as a drug, then to think of it as something to whip cream for a cake display and then remember that it could be a drug. As the mind drifts, so too does the legal status of the cannister. It becomes legal and illegal again. The status, the rights and wrongs are in the eye of the beholder.
Electronic cigarettes may be an inclusive harm reduction strategy for African American and Latino/Latina (Latinx) smokers, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study.
“African American and Latinx smokers experience significant tobacco-related health disparities. They have high rates of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality at lower levels of smoking, and are also less likely than white smokers to switch to exclusive e-cigarette use. These two largest minority groups in the US have been underrepresented in previous e-cigarette studies. Prior to our study, the potential of e-cigarettes to reduce smoking-related harm among these groups was unknown,” said Prof. Jasjit S. Ahluwalia.
Ian Ocampo Flora
INHALATION of smoke, not nicotine, is the culprit that causes smoking-related deaths and diseases, according to a Canadian health expert.
Professor David T. Sweanor, chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa, said for anyone wishing to tackle the global toll of 20,000 lives a day lost due to cigarette smoking, one needs to remember four words: “it’s the smoke, stupid.”
He stressed that contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not the substance that causes these deaths, adding that the primary cause of the cancers, heart and lung disease is the repeated inhalation of smoke.
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise…
Plans to ban flavours and introduce tough new vape legislation challenged by advocates. Vape advocates are ready to take on the might of the WHO and its World No Tobacco Day, with the launch of a European vaping manifesto.
The manifesto declares the ‘rights‘ of all safer nicotine product users and says tobacco harm reduction – THR – is a human right.
It’s a timely release given vaping is under threat not just around the globe, but also closer to home on mainland Europe.
World No Tobacco Day: Debunking the WHO – IGO Watch
To Attack Vaping – Diane Caruana
Contradicting all the scientific research indicating the benefits obtained by switching from smoking to vaping, the World Health Organization (WHO) has used World No Tobacco Day to push its anti-vaping agenda.
In total contrast with other health entities such as Public Health England (PHE), instead of encouraging smokers to switch or quit smoking via safer alternatives, the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2020) attacked low-risk alternatives to smoking. This has once again compelled several international health experts to criticize the agency’s stance and agenda .