Vapers Digest 8th September

Friday’s News at a glance:

Sweden Reduces Tax on Snus by 20% – Finland’s Proposal on Nicotine Pouches: ‘A Step Forward’Expert ReactionFDA Decries Vape Misinformation – FDA’s New TargetCAPHRA Emphasises ‘Lived Experience’ – Global Pouch Initiative Launched – US Flavour FailAustralia Still Silencing Vape AdvocacyDoctor Survey Discussed – Number of young Londoners smoking halves – Looking into nicotine – Esco Bar Manufacturer Challenges FDATobacco policy in New York – California’s tobacco flavor ban backfires – Party Time – A call for pragmatismHigh Court rejects bid – Is vaping worse than smoking ?

Sweden Reduces Tax on Snus by 20%

World Vapers’ Alliance

On track to achieve a smoking rate below 5%, Sweden has taken yet another progressive step in the realm of harm reduction, solidifying its leadership role among the EU countries. Today, the Swedish government has announced its plan to reduce the tax on snus, a smokeless tobacco product, by 20% while increasing the tax on cigarettes and smoking tobacco by 9%.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:

“Sweden’s new taxation policy is an exemplary move in fast-tracking the country even further towards its smoke-free target. By making less harmful alternatives like snus more accessible through tax reductions, Sweden is not just theorising harm reduction; it’s effectively implementing it. It’s time for the EU to take a leaf out of Sweden’s book.”

Finland’s Proposal on Nicotine Pouches:

‘A Step Forward’ – Snusforumet

From the vision of a ‘smoke-free Finland’ to a more progressive attitude towards alternative nicotine products. What does Finland’s nicotine pouches policy shift mean for the country’s future? Snusforumet had a chat with Theo Herold, a doctoral student at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki.

Given Finland’s new stance on nicotine pouches, can you share your take on them and snus?

I advocate for smokeless options like snus, personally seeing their advantages over traditional smoking. Given the EU’s ban contrasted with Sweden’s lower cancer rates linked to smoking, it’s evident many are considering these alternatives.


Expert Reaction to ….

Vaping is as bad for oral health as smoking

A press release by the European Federation of Periodontology made the claim that vaping was as harmful for oral health as smoking.

Dr Richard Holliday, Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Specialist in Periodontics at Newcastle University, said:

“This press release is completely out of step with the research base and expert opinion in this area. I am not aware of any research that shows e-cigarettes are as harmful for oral health as smoking. No studies are cited in this press release to support the bold statements made.

Report on adult smoking habits

A report published by the ONS looks at adult smoking habits in 2022, including cigarette and e-cigarette usage.

Prof Peter Hajek, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Health and Lifestyle Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, said:

“This is good news and it puts to rest the often repeated concern that use of e-cigarettes promotes smoking.

FDA Decries Vape Misinformation

Of Its Own Making – Lindsey Stroud

Dr. Brian King, director for the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), acknowledged a major public health failure in recent commentary in the journal Addiction: Many adults who smoke are unaware of the relative safety of nicotine vapes and other tobacco harm reduction options compared with combustible cigarettes.

What he conspicuously failed to acknowledge was his own agency’s role in perpetuating misperceptions that cost lives.

Dr. King was commenting on a study published earlier this year by Dr. Olivia Wackowski et al., which found that just 18 percent of participating adults who smoked held the correct belief that “e-cigarettes contain fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes”—a belief associated with higher chances of switching to vapes.

FDA’s New Target… Spongebob Vapes?

Allison Boughner  – World Vapers’ Alliance

On August 23rd, 2023 the FDA sent more warning letters to online retailers for selling and/or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products packaged to look like youth-appealing characters, school supplies, toys, and drinks.

#1 on their list? Spongebob. Yes, you read that correctly Spongebob.

While I agree that vaping products should obviously not be created in the image of childhood cartoon characters, I can’t help but blame the FDA for this product ever being on the market in the first place.

Most responsible retailers are more than willing to comply with rules and regulations to keep their products on the market and in the hands of their adult customers.

Five from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

CAPHRA Emphasises ‘Lived Experience’

To be serious about stamping out smoking, next NZ government needs to embrace consumers’ lived experience, says the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). The consumer advocates, representing Kiwis switching to vaping from deadly cigarette smoking, are calling for the next National or Labour Government to embrace consumer participation in its own policy-making, and at an important upcoming World Health Organisation meeting in Panama.

“The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) claims global leadership for anti-smoking and tobacco control measures, but WHO’s leadership stubbornly closes its mind to the net benefits of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) alternatives, including vaping”, said Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

CAPHRA Calls for Dismantling Regulator- Tobacco Reporter

Global Pouch Initiative Launched

Considerate Pouchers, an oral nicotine consumer advocacy organisation, says it has taken a significant step forward in supporting pouch users worldwide with the unveiling of its latest initiative – the Nicotine Pouch Survey 2023. This comprehensive global survey aims to gather invaluable insights from pouch users, advocating for their preferences and needs while shaping the future of pouch products.

The Nicotine Pouch Survey 2023 strives to elevate the voices of pouch users, understanding their experiences, preferences, and aspirations in a rapidly evolving world. At the heart of this initiative is the commitment to empowering pouch users to be heard and make a difference.

US Flavour Fail

A new study conducted by a research team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in New York has looked at the impact of flavour bans in the United States. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Centre for Tobacco Products (CTP) has been waging a war on e-liquid flavours since it published a document about them in 2020. The researchers discovered that restricting the availability of flavours has been a complete failure.

“In the US in 2019, more than 5 million youth were using e-cigarettes, including nearly 1 million using e-cigarettes every day,” the authors write.

Australia Still Silencing Vape Advocacy

In its push to control the narrative at home, Australia remains committed to silencing dissenting voices speaking out in favour of tobacco harm reduction and vape products. Dr Colin Mendelsohn has been targeted again – censoring public debate and smearing him as a paid mouthpiece of the tobacco and vape industries.

“Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a well-respected tobacco harm reduction expert who wrote an article for the Australian website Education HQ advising schools on strategies to deal with vaping among students,” writes Harry Shapiro.

The article was swiftly taken down from Education HQ’s website.

Doctor Survey Discussed

A panel of tobacco control experts have discussed the findings from the Foundation for a Smokefree World’s Sermo’s Doctors’ Survey. The online video covers their views “on how the survey results impact smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction efforts.” The Survey revealed that doctors are still labouring under a number of misapprehensions and confirms more needs to be done to educate them.

The survey covered over 15,000 doctors from the following nations:

Young Londoners smoking halves

In decade amid rise in vaping – Daniel Keane

The proportion of young people in London who smoke has halved in over a decade, new figures have revealed, amid a sharp rise in vaping.

Analysis by the Standard shows that just 10.1 per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 regularly smoked cigarettes in 2022 – a drop of 10.7 per cent on the figure reported in 2011.

Londoners in the age group are the least likely to smoke of any region in England, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Men were slightly more likely (10.7 per cent) to smoke than women (9.4 per cent).

You and Yours:

What’s your experience of vaping?

Looking into nicotine –

A tobacco-related poison or a food-derived health aid?

Despite increasing interest in synthetic nicotine, most nicotine still comes from tobacco. But could other plants also be a commercially viable source of the substance?

Nicotine is a product of an evolutionary advantage, so it isn’t surprising that the compound has popped up in plants beyond tobacco. Nature is filled with cases of convergent evolution, times when unrelated plants and animals develop similar traits to meet an evolutionary need.

Esco Bar Manufacturer Challenges FDA

Jim McDonald

Esco Bar manufacturer Pastel Cartel has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the FDA’s refuse-to-accept (RTA) determination for over 100 products included in multiple premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) filed by the company. The products include disposable Esco Bar devices and bottled e-liquids.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleges the FDA acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it refused to accept the PMTAs for review on technical grounds.

Tobacco policy in New York

Should help those looking for an alternative

Summer heat waves and Canadian wildfire smoke have smothered New Yorkers this year, creating nearly unbearable conditions outdoors. In fact, the smoke coming from Canadian wildfires is estimated to be as damaging as smoking 22 cigarettes a day. That is scary to think about.

When it comes to smoking and the harm it causes, we know that smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of death and disease in the U.S. Like our environmental and climate experts who follow the science when it comes to the origins of Canadian wildfires, we should also expect – and demand – that public health officials follow the science when it comes to smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction.

California’s tobacco flavor ban backfires

Jeffrey Smith

Last November, 63% of Californians chose to ban flavored tobacco products statewide by voting in favor of Proposition 31. The measure consolidated previous prohibition efforts across several individual cities, including San Diego. Though the statewide ban went into effect Jan. 1, there are clear indications that the public-health improvements voters expected are not materializing.

Most notably, illicit flavored tobacco product sales have increased while state revenues have decreased, products not covered by the ban have entered into the marketplace and the rate of cigarette smoking remains unchanged.

Party Time

Taco Tuinstra – Tobacco Reporter

From Nov. 20 to Nov. 25, delegates representing the countries that have signed to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will gather in Panama City to discuss tobacco and nicotine policies at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10). It’s an event that warrants close scrutiny because the decisions taken at the COP tend to have profound implications on the nicotine business and its customers, impacting the future of manufacturers, suppliers and tobacco growers along with stakeholders such as smokers and vapers.

Is vaping worse than smoking ?

Is vaping worse than smoking? We debate on the show with Dr. Garrett McGovern GP Specializing in Addiction Medication and also Dr. Emmet O’Brien Chairperson of ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation, and Consultant Respiratory Physician, Beaumont Hospital.

A call for pragmatism:

Rethinking tobacco harm reduction on the global stage

KARACHI-In the quest to liberate the world from the shackles of smoking, it’s evident that a one-size-fits-all approach falls short. This realization must extend to the very institution that aims to lead the charge – the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Two decades ago, the WHO unveiled the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, envisioning a universal solution to combat smoking’s scourge. Yet, today, over a billion people still smoke worldwide, and the WHO’s stringent stance on alternative options, particularly vaping, appears to be part of the problem, not the solution.

High Court rejects bid

To temporarily put vape liquid back on Poisons List

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — The High Court today dismissed three civil society groups’ application to temporarily bring nicotine-containing vape liquid and vape gels back under the Health Ministry’s regulation and control.

The three civil society groups had wanted the court to make a court order to effectively temporarily restore vape liquid in the Poisons List until their lawsuit against the health minister is heard but were unsuccessful today.

On this Day…2022

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

EVALI: What It Is

And Why Nicotine Vapers Shouldn’t Worry About It…
James Dunworth, Ashtray Blog

EVALI stands for E-cigarette, or Vaping, product use-Associated Lung Injury. It refers to a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory illness. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pains.

EVALI was first recorded in 2019, when a sudden spate of respiratory illnesses broke out in the USA, leading to 68 deaths by February 2020.

In this post I look at the causes of EVALI and the impact on vaping. Please note this article has been updated after a new study by Dr Colin Mendelsohn (see further reading), who also kindly checked this article for accuracy.

Vaping Promotes Smoking Cessation —

More Data From the UK – Cameron English

The UK’s National Health Service just published the results of its survey Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England. The media amplified the report’s finding that teen vaping increased slightly, from six to nine percent, between 2018 and 2021. Headlines and commentary were everything you’d expect from public health officials and journalists.

“Doctors say children are being targeted by e-cigarette companies, with bright packaging, exotic flavors and enticing names,” BBC reported. One official with the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health told the news outlet he was “deeply disturbed” by the rise in teen vaping.

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