Vapers Digest 9th February

Friday’s News at a glance:

Be Vape Vigilant Success – COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction – Why Brazil should drop its vape prohibition proposal – Why Isn’t Tobacco Harm Reduction Prioritized for Unhoused People? – Why you can’t get a nicotine prescription from your doctor – Leaked text messages expose major flaw with vape ban – Interesting country statements made at #COP10 – COP 10: Where Tobacco Control Plays for Keeps (With Your Life) – Former WHO officials highlight harm reduction – Bloomberg-funded groups accused of intervening in LMICs’ smoking-cessation strategies – IQOS Surpasses Marlboro in Revenue – Bad Fiscal Policy is also Bad Health Policy – Flavors Help Save Lives

Two from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:

Be Vape Vigilant Success

The ‘Be Vape Vigilant’ national initiative has exposed more than 100 potential rogue vape traders, says the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), thanks to legitimate retailers, consumers and the general public reporting retailers and wholesalers they suspected of making underage and non-compliant vape sales.

UKVIA Says the ongoing campaign, which started only at the end of 2023 and is supported by Trading Standards, the Association of Convenience Stores and the wider retail sector, was created to encourage legitimate businesses and the general public to help cut off youth sales and the supply of illegal products at source by turning in those retailers and wholesalers believed to be flouting the law.

COP10: Promote THR

With the EU unveiling its comprehensive cancer strategy and the 10th Conference of the Parties on Tobacco Control (FCTC COP10) taking place in Panama, Smoke Free Sweden is calling on public health officials and policymakers to recognise the concept of tobacco harm reduction.

The Swedish success story, which has seen the Nordic country reduce smoking to the point of almost becoming smoke free, with smoking rates of just 5.6 per cent, is the clearest example yet of tobacco harm reduction in practice and should serve as a blueprint for the rest of Europe and beyond.


Why Brazil should drop its ….

Vape prohibition proposal – Clive Bates

The Brazilian government is proposing a prohibition of vapes and heated tobacco products. This consultation response sets out why this will protect the cigarettes trade, promote smoking, nurture criminal networks and do more harm than good.

I just responded to the latest (of many) Brazilian consultations on its plans to prohibit vapes and heated tobacco products, which its regulator wrongly refers to as “Electronic Smoking Devices. ” The consultation page is here (closes 9 Feb 2024), and the text of the proposed standard is here.  The key paragraph is:

Why Isn’t Tobacco Harm Reduction …

Prioritized for Unhoused People? – Kiran Sidhu

People experiencing homelessness are among a number of marginalized groups who remain acutely vulnerable to smoking-related harms, even as global smoking prevalence has declined.

In the United Kingdom, for example, where the smoking rate has fallen significantly, 14.5 percent of the adult population smokes. Yet evidence suggests that among unhoused people, the rate is a staggering 76-85 percent.

This is mirrored in the United States, where 80 percent of the unhoused population is estimated to smoke cigarettes.

Why you can’t get a nicotine prescription

From your doctor – Colin Mendelsohn

AUSTRALIAN GPS HAVE A LIMITED KNOWLEDGE about vaping and nicotine prescribing, are concerned about safety and effectiveness, have poor understanding of the vaping regulations and are reluctant to prescribe a product that is not approved by the medicines regulator, the TGA.

These were the findings of a detailed GP survey published today in BMC Public Health. The findings were broadly consistent with the views of overseas GPs found in a systematic review of 25 studies in 2022 by the same authors.

The study found that some GPs refused point blank to prescribe at all. Others were only willing to prescribe after all other possible treatment options had been exhausted.

Leaked text messages expose major flaw..

With Albanese government’s vape ban – Eliza Mcphee

Chinese exporters shipping millions of vapes into Australia are promising dealers they’ll get their money back if the illegal smoking devices are seized by customs, explosive WhatsApp messages have revealed.

The messages have leaked just weeks after the Albanese government health minister Mark Butler introduced a nationwide ban on the importation of disposable vapes on January 1. Many retailers still boldly sell and illegally import these products, making them easily accessible despite the legal restrictions.

WhatsApp messages between a Chinese exporter and an Australian vape dealer, seen by Daily Mail Australia, show why many retailers are still willing to take the risk.

Three from COPWatch:

COP Live Days 3 & 4 update #2

So, today’s Journal eventually got published, shortly before the sessions started for the day.

The Journal includes an overview of what business the COP will address for the day, and a report on the previous day. From the report section, we see that Committee A’s deliberations over agenda item 6.1, concerning Articles 9 & 10, are still not resolved:

COP Live Day 5 update #1

The COP Journals are informative for what business COP is expected to get through that day and for a report on the previous day. Today’s Journal is here:

From the Journal we learn that ‘Implementation of Articles 9 & 10’ (agenda item 6.1) is still unresolved; Committee A will be dealing with it yet again today. We reported on this several times this week. If you are in Committee A and you are reading this – do look at page 5 of Clive Bates’ Commentary on the annotated agenda for a succinct outline of the issues.

Interesting country statements at #COP10

Countries gave statements during agenda item 5 at COP10. These were live streamed over days one and two. At the time of writing the videos were accessible via the COP10 homepage. We posted the full transcripts here: 1, 2, 3.

In this article we post the individual statements which we think are interesting, with a brief explanation of why we have included them. Are there any other statements you think we should include? Let us know.

COP 10: Where Tobacco Control …

Plays for Keeps (With Your Life) – Jim McDonald

Already underway this week, and running from Feb. 5-10, the member nations of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are holding their 10th biennial meeting in Panama City, Panama. The FCTC is an international treaty, under sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the member countries are called “Parties” to the treaty. The FCTC meeting this week is the 10th Conference of the Parties—or COP 10.

COP 10 had been scheduled for November 2023, but was postponed, supposedly due to political unrest and violence. In fact, FCTC Parties haven’t met in person since COP 8 in 2018. Because of COVID, COP 9 was delayed until 2021 and then held virtually.

Former WHO officials highlight…

Harm reduction as a key strategy for tobacco control

As WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties 10 (COP10) is underway to discuss the road map for global tobacco control efforts, The lancet, a leading medical journal published an article by former WHO directors Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita. The article highlights how harm reduction is a successful public health strategy & suggests that it should be a central strategy of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in addition to the measures for demand and supply reduction which are necessary, but not sufficient.

WHO FCTC has been influential in encouraging a global response to tobacco control, but it has been challenging to show a strong and consistent association between the implementation of FCTC measures and smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption outcomes.

(Day 3) Good Cop / Bad Cop

RegWatch (Live)

Day 3 of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s “Good Cop / Bad Cop” counter-conference to COP10 the World Health Organization’s Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control happening Feb 5 to Feb 10 in Panama City, Panama.
Guests: Jeannie Cameron (Uk), Roberto Sussman (Mexico) and David Williams, Martin Cullip (TPA)

WHO conference in Panama

To affect livelihood of millions of tobacco farmers

A group of tobacco farmers asked the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to include their livelihood among the topics to be discussed at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) that will decide on the future of the tobacco industry.

Delegates from 183 countries, with different interests, are joining the COP 10 at the Panama Convention Center organized by the WHO FCTC, an international treaty that came into force in 2005. Tobacco farmers are worried that their lack of participation in the discussion would displace their livelihood.

WHO FCTC asked to disclose…

Full information on smoke-free products

Harm reduction experts who are keenly watching the developments in the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Panama asked the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to disclose full and accurate information about smoke-free products.

The experts raised their voices as delegates from 183 countries, including the Philippines, gathered for the COP 10 of the WHO FCTC this past week in Panama. The future of emerging and novel tobacco was one of the topics discussed.

(Day 4) Good Cop / Bad Cop

RegWatch (Live)

Day 4 of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s “Good Cop / Bad Cop” counter-conference to COP10 the World Health Organization’s Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control happening Feb 5 to Feb 10 in Panama City, Panama.

Guests: Will Godfrey (USA) and David Williams, Martin Cullip (TPA)

Bloomberg-funded groups accused …

Of intervening in LMICs’ smoking-cessation strategies

Tobacco harm reduction advocates have revealed the substantial influence of non-governmental organizations funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies in intervening in smoking cessation strategies of low- and middle-income countries.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a U.S. nonprofit advocacy group, is hosting “GOOD COP/BAD COP,” where leading voices on consumer issues, national and global policies, and harm reduction representing 14 countries have a platform to discuss relevant tobacco control issues.

IQOS Surpasses Marlboro in Revenue

Tobacco Reporter

Philip Morris International reported net revenues of $9.05 billion for the fourth quarter and net revenues of $35.17 billion for fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2023. On a reported basis, the figures were up 11 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively, over the comparable 2022 periods.

Performance was driven by revenue growth in both the combustible cigarette business, where pricing offset reduced volumes, and the company’s smoke-free operations, which continued to increase their share of the company’s business mix.

Flavors Help Save Lives

Tobacco Reporter

Today, the R Street Institute released a new report that explores how flavors are processed by the brain, especially as it pertains to tobacco and nicotine products. Using these findings, the author, Jeffrey Smith, resident senior fellow for integrated harm reduction policy at R Street, explains how flavor can influence behavior and why well-intentioned efforts to ban flavored tobacco and nicotine products can have unintended consequences in the fight to reduce smoking rates in the United States.

This report comes at a crucial time as the debate over flavored tobacco and nicotine products continues at state, national, and international levels.

Ian Irvine – Vaping Taxes:

Bad Fiscal Policy is also Bad Health Policy

Federal and provincial taxation of vaping products has increased dramatically in the past three years.

When the federal government moved in 2022 to levy a substantial excise tax on vapor, it took care of its own revenues in a shared tax jurisdiction. Unsurprisingly, the provinces now want a piece of the pie and several are seeking to match the federal levy. Ontario, for example, has entered into an agreement with the federal government to have it collect the combined levies and remit the province its share.

On this Day…2023

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

Worst science journalism of the week

Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove Iron Fist

From the Daily Mail

EXCLUSIVE: Using snus or dipping tobacco may raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 30 PERCENT, study suggests

Using snus tobacco products may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30 percent, a study has suggested.

… In the latest study, researchers in Sweden — where snus was invented and the product is popular — monitored nearly 37,000 people in the country for eight years.

This included 2,000 snus users who had never smoked a cigarette.

They found that these individuals were 29 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people who did not smoke cigarettes or take snus.

What the study actually says…

U.S. & UK Vaping Rates Similar …

Among Youth & Young Adults – Brad Rodu

I have previously commented on the so-called American teen vaping “epidemic”.  Using federal data, I have shown how the CDC and the FDA exaggerate the magnitude of vaping, portraying a fake crisis (here, here, here, here, here, here and here).  This post compares the prevalence of vaping among young people in the United States and the UK.  In the latter country, e-cigarettes have been welcomed and endorsed by the public health establishment as effective quit-smoking, life-saving aids, and there has been a noticeable absence of the U.S.-style crisis scaremongering.

The chart on the left shows the prevalence of vaping in the U.S. and UK among youth and young adults age 16 to 24 years from 2014 to 2019, and 18-24 years in 2020.  Note that prevalence was the same in both countries in 2014, and was higher in the UK over the next three years.  Prevalence spiked in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019, but by 2020 both countries had similar rates.

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