Vaping Digest 13th July
Monday’s News at a glance:
Tobacco attacks Quit Smoking Services? – Montana Health Dept and Legislature Go to War Over Flavor Ban – ONS Data Reveals Further Drops – Poor Pod Paper – Government cancels Medicare rebates – China Gets Its First Vaping Industry Billionaires – Vaping industry responds to new advertising rules – DeSantis can save local small businesses – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
Recently at least six local newspapers ran articles claiming poor value for money from local “stop smoking” services. Northumberland1 and Redbridge2 councils were both called out by local papers for spending £1000 and £5000 of taxpayers’ money per successful quit respectively. While this might seem expensive, the figures completely ignore the huge savings to the NHS, to society, and to consumers themselves, when someone manages to move away from a deadly addiction to smoking.
With a lifetime 20-a-day smoking habit now running in at well over £160,000, and the high costs of cancer and COPD treatment that so many lifetime smokers need towards the end of their lives, the cost of assisting quitting needs to be put in perspective. It is very difficult to imagine a scenario where it is not worth investing in helping people to stop smoking, as it currently costs the UK economy around £11bn a year.3
Go to War Over Flavor Ban – Jim McDonald
The Montana state health department intends to ban flavored vaping products, but the state legislature says it can only be done by elected lawmakers. The fight between the two may precipitate a constitutional crisis in the state, leading to a court battle.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced in June its intention to ban flavored vapes by passing a rule—all predicated on the supposed epidemic of youth vaping in the state. The agency has scheduled a public hearing on July 16, and is accepting public comments until July 24. If you’re a Montana resident, please click the CASAA call to action below for all the details on how to respond.
Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes
The Office for National Statistics (ONS), the government’s official agency for assessing economic and social behaviour, released its latest bulletin on smoking. The New Nicotine Alliance said, “it made for interesting reading,” and the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) commented that this could be the time to reduce VAT on vape products.
The report says: “E-cigarettes are increasingly being used by smokers to help quit smoking. In a recent evidence review, Public Health England found that vaping poses a small fraction of the risk of smoking and that when e-cigarettes are used as part of a quit attempt, success rates are comparable with or higher than licensed medication alone. Welsh Government have also reported that the most common reason for using e-cigarettes was to help stop smoking tobacco (76% of current users).
Birmingham City UK is telling its citizens the truth.
American cities and states are engulfed in moral panic, enacting taxes and bans that (knowingly or unknowingly) protect cigarette sales by discouraging use of vastly safer alternatives. https://t.co/JMI85dZrOQ
— Charles A. Gardner, PhD (@ChaunceyGardner) July 13, 2020
Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes
In what seems to be a growing trend within the American anti-tobacco harm reduction research community, a team has claimed its paper represents a ‘world first’. The group from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Seoul’s Konkuk University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute believe their systematic review of pod system papers emphasises a need for “stronger regulations on product design, social media, marketing channels, and youth access”.
The team began their time by identifying, “pod-based e-cigarette–associated articles from June 2015 (the time when JUUL [JUUL Labs] was introduced) to June 2019”.
MOST VAPERS will no longer be able to get Medicare rebates for telehealth consultations for nicotine prescriptions due to new restrictions from 20 July 2020.
Most GPs are not willing to write nicotine prescriptions and vapers have been looking elsewhere. A small number of GPs has been providing nicotine prescriptions for vapers by telehealth (phone or video consultations).
In Australia, it is a criminal offence to possess or use nicotine for vaping unless you have a prescription from a doctor. Penalties range up to $45,000 for each offence and up to 2 years jail in some states.
Russell Flannery, Forbes
The growing global popularity of vaping helped China formally mint two billionaires from the vaping device industry on Friday.
Shares in Smoore International Holdings more than doubled from their IPO price of HK$12.40 to close at HK$31.00 at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday. That left Smoore’s valuation at HK$178 billion, or nearly $23 billion.
At yesterday’s closing price, Chairman and CEO Chen Zhiping, 44, held a stake worth nearly $8 billion; shares held by executive director Xiong Shaoming, 49, were worth $1.2 billion. Each shares his fortune his wife; neither spouse is a board member.
The Federal Government released new regulations on June 8 for marketing vaping products. The new rules prohibit the display of any product brand element in a place or way that young people can see it and ensures vaping devices are not visible at the point of sale where young people might be present.
While vape industry representatives say they support federal moves to keep vaping products from minors, they oppose other restrictions that prevent them from reaching adult smokers.
Gov. DeSantis has a choice to make: the 1.5 million Florida voters who have used flavored vapor to quit cigarettes, or the handful of big-tobacco donors who pushed SB 810 through the Legislature.
In 2013, I used Peanut Butter Custard flavored vapor to completely quit my two-pack-a-day habit. Since then, I’ve started my own e-liquid company along with two retail vape stores here in Tallahassee.
If Gov. DeSantis doesn’t veto SB 810, all of my companies will be forced to close and all of my employees will lose their jobs. Even worse, the thousands of people I have helped quit smoking will be forced back to cigarettes.
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise…
Never Smokers May Have Smoked – Brad Rodu
Last week I revealed that, based on the 2018 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), there were about 8.07 million American adult vapers, up from 6.9 million in 2017. I noted that there were 1.71 million vapers who were never smokers, which is also a substantial increase from the prior year – and potentially troubling. Let’s take a closer look.
First, it’s important to understand how the NHIS defines never smokers. They are not necessarily cigarette virgins; they just never smoked 100 cigarettes in their life, which is the cutoff for ever smokers.
In Bid to Promote Smoking Ban – NY Times
Two hospitals in England have allowed an e-cigarette company to open vape shops on their premises as part of a move by the hospitals to ban smoking in and around their buildings.
The ban was introduced last week at two of the largest health institutions in the Birmingham area as “a public health necessity,” according to the BBC, because “smoking kills.”
“Given that simple truth, we can no longer support smoking on our sites, even in shelters or cars,” said Dr. David Carruthers, the medical director of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals N.H.S. Trust, which oversees the hospitals.