Vaping Digest 24th January
Friday’s News at a glance:
Where Did Underage Vapers Get E-Cigarettes in 2019 – Azar Promises Streamlined PMTA – Federal Government Misled Public – WHO Vape Report Misleading and Misinformation – Instagramers still love vaping – NZ Government Delay Helps Nobody – No NZ Teen Epidemic – E-cigarettes: how risky are they? – Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health – The Rise of Vaping and the War Against It – In Seeking the Truth, you have to get both sides of the story – What Would Actually Convince the Surgeon General? – Time for FCTC to integrate THR at COP9 – A One Shoe Fits All Solution – Taxing Nicotine Products: A Primer – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
In 2019, and Why Did They Use Them? – Brad Rodu
The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (link here) offers a wealth of critical data. In last week’s blog entry I noted that underage vaping increased over the prior year, as the number of frequent “virgin” vapers (those who never used other tobacco products and used e-cigarettes 20-30 days in the past month) rose from 95,000 to 172,000. This negative news was accompanied by a dramatic decline in the use of cigarettes (2.6% to 0.8%) from 2018 to 2019, indicating that the eradication of teen smoking is within reach.
Recently, Congress enacted Tobacco 21 legislation, which the FDA implemented in December. The agency also announced a partial ban on e-cigarette flavors.
For Small Vape Businesses – Jim McDonald
Alex Azar says the FDA will not shut down vape shops and small vaping companies in May, when manufacturers must submit Premarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs), and that the agency will “streamline approval” for small companies.
President Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services made the surprising comments during an interview on an Ohio radio station Tuesday. The HHS is the parent agency of the FDA, and Azar reports directly to Trump. The President recently told Azar that getting personally involved in the vaping issue had been a mistake for Trump.
New Jersey Governor Signs Flavor Ban, Vetoes Nic Cap – Jim McDonald
On E-Cigarette Health Risk: CEI Report – Michelle Minton and Will Tanner
A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute calls into question government handling of e-cigarette risk to public health, especially last week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tacitly conceded that the spate of lung injuries widely reported in mid-2019 were not caused by commercially produced e-cigarettes like Juul or NJOY.
Rather, the injuries appear to be exclusively linked to marijuana vapes, mostly black market purchases – a fact that the Competitive Enterprise Institute pointed out nearly six months ago. The CDC knew that, too, but for months warned Americans to avoid all e-cigarettes.
In licit e-cigarette products available on the UK market
Blessing Nyakutsikwa, John Britton, Ilze Bogdanovica, Tessa Langley
Vitamin E acetate has been implicated alongside THC in the recent outbreak of severe disease in the United States and the fact that the outbreak has, to date, been limited to North America suggests that a speciﬁc exposure or exposures arising from e-liquids available in that region are responsible. Two prime candidate constituents are THC and vitamin E acetate. In the United Kingdom, vapers and those considering switching from tobacco to vaping can therefore be reassured that licit products available on the UK market do not contain these ingredients. THC is illegal in the United Kingdom and it is therefore not surprising that this ingredient is not listed as being present in any licit products; our data do not include illicit products and it is possible that illicit products similar to those available in the United States are available in the United Kingdom
Here’s a good example of the @Surgeon_General‘s office using politicized “public health” messaging in its new report on smoking cessation.
An e-cigarette approved as a NRT could be “safe,” but the very same e-cig cannot be “safe” if it is regulated as a tobacco product. pic.twitter.com/0PMpEr3EUK
— Gregory Conley (@GregTHR) January 23, 2020
Neil Humber, ecigclick
UK health experts say not only is a new WHO vape report misleading, it’s factually incorrect on every single level. And they say this fake message is not only blatantly false but will severely damage the World Health Organizations reputation.
Not only that – the WHO has linked the recent EVALI deaths and illnesses over in the states directly to vaping – ignoring the CDC recent statement proving the cause was contaminated THC cartridges bought from drug dealers.
OK, so what’s this all about then and why has three of the UK’s leading experts in vaping and personal health got so angry with the supposed guardians of world health?
Despite FDA’s anti-vaping slogans – Dr. Liji Thomas
A unique study posted in the journal Frontiers in Communication in January 2020 reports that of 200,000 posts on Instagram, the number of hashtags favoring vaping or e-cigarette use outnumbers the number of those against it by an astonishing 10,000 times. Vaping refers to the use of flavored juices, often containing nicotine, in electrically operated heating devices that allow the user to inhale the fumes of the heated juice and exhale it, similar to smoking a conventional cigarette.
“The Real Cost” is a US high school program that seeks to raise the awareness of the ‘real cost’ of vaping among young potential consumers. Even apart from the vaping-associated illnesses and deaths of last year, vaping causes lung inflammation, disrupts the immune response and causes lung damage.
A trio from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:
The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) says that delays to common-sense regulation of vaping is helping nobody, according to spokesperson Jonathan Devery. VTANZ sent Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa a letter back in December saying that her reluctance to move forward with sensible regulations is a detriment to both adult smokers, vapers and children.
“The Government keeps promising to regulate vaping. However, with no end in sight independent Kiwi vape businesses are left hanging and many smokers remain confused about transitioning to something that’s actually 95% safer”, says Devery.
“Use of e-cigarettes” research, published on Lancet Public Health Online First journal, has found there is no evidence of any teen epidemic in New Zealand. The annual study by academics at the University of Auckland, looked at the use of vapes in around 30,000 students.
The study found: “All measures of e-cigarette use increased and all measures of cigarette use decreased or remained static over time. Although the proportion of students who had ever tried e-cigarettes in 2019 (37·3%, 10 093 of 27 083), exceeded the proportion who had ever smoked (19·6%, 5375 of 27 354), daily use of products was low: e-cigarettes (3·1%, 832 of 26 532), cigarettes (2·1%, 575 of 27 212), both (0·6%, 159 of 27 633). In 2019, daily use of e-cigarettes was very low in never-smokers (0·8%, 175 of 21 385).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) posed itself a series of questions about vaping and then provided its own answers. The responses the organisation gives itself beggars belief, but at least it is due credit for being honest about its rank stupidity. Genuine experts slam WHO for being anti-vaping and disingenuous.
“The WHO has a history of anti-vaping activism that is damaging their reputation. This document is particularly malign” – Peter Hajek
The WHO questions and answers:
And the right to health – KAC
Harm reduction is a range of pragmatic policies, regulations and actions that either reduce health risks by providing safer forms of products or substances, or encourage less risky behaviours. Harm reduction does not focus exclusively on the eradication of products or behaviours.
Tobacco harm reduction, using safer nicotine products, offers new choices to millions of people worldwide who want to switch away from smoking, but have been unable to with the options previously available.
There is substantial international, independent evidence that the safer nicotine products that are available today – including nicotine vaping devices (e-cigarettes), heated tobacco products and Swedish-style oral snus – are demonstrably and significantly safer than smoking tobacco.
Controversial by Default
Almost 5 million Canadians over the age of 12 smoke, in a country of 37.59 million. 45,000 will die of a smoking related disease every year. Health Canada’s goal to reduce smoking from almost 16% down to 5% of the population by 2035 is very ambitious given the tight timeline and the continued uptake of smoking by young people. That’s why the introduction of nicotine vaping has been so exciting. With a switch rate almost double that of other nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), vaping is unquestionably a game changer.
Much of vaping’s success is owing to the designers of the technology. Unlike traditional NRTs that have been thought up in pharmaceutical laboratories and by tobacco firms, vaping was and continues to be developed by former smokers for smokers.
You have to get both sides of the story – The Media, Part II
Nancy Loucas, Aotearoa Vape Community Advocacy (AVCA)
The Role of the New Zealand Media in moral outrage, mass hysteria and “fake news.”
In September, the media reported a whole swathe of illnesses and deaths due to e cigarette use across the US and the world that has been termed EVALI. These were due to illegal THC cartridges and not nicotine e liquid that is used in conventional e-cigarettes, as has now been acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control just this week.
However, there has been no mention of this in the NZ media, no clarification or retraction of earlier stories that went to air/publication that created moral outrage and public distrust in one of the most effective methods of tobacco harm reduction available and that can assist Aotearoa meet its SmokeFree 2025 goal.
The Surgeon General Vaping Is Better Than Smoking? – Guy Bentley
The Surgeon General just released a comprehensive report on smoking cessation in the United States. At a mammoth 700 pages, the report covers everything from tobacco use patterns to nicotine replacement therapies to menthol cigarette bans to tax increases.
But there’s one area that will no doubt draw more interest than most, and that’s its assessment of the role of e-cigarettes can play in smoking cessation. E-cigarette policy is one of the most fraught in public health, with fierce divisions between those advocating a prohibition model and those advocating harm reduction and consumer choice.
Has mixed message on e-cigarette effectiveness
The U.S. Surgeon General released Thursday a 30-year update on smoking-cessation efforts that provided a mixed message on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a quit-smoking aid, and are not considered as safe products for any user.
“E-cigarettes, a continually changing and diverse group of products, are used in a variety of ways,” Dr. Jerome Adams said in the 20-page consumer guide.
Joseph Magero, Medium
The Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (W.H.O F.C.T.C) is only months away. The F.C.T.C’s stated objective is to progressively reduce tobacco consumption “by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national, regional, and international levels.
Being the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of W.H.O,It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003 and entered into force on February 27, 2005, with 168 Signatories, including the European Union, which made it one of the most widely embraced treaties in United Nations history. Currently, there are 181 Parties covering more than 90% of the world population.
To E-Cigs Is Erroneous – Coehar
Politics must make peace with science. The public debate must mainly take into account the results based on scientific evidence. It is imperative that the data resulting from hundreds of studies be considered as the main source for the application of international public policies.
The latest person to call for a ban on e-cigs ignoring science is Professor Charlotta Pisinger from Denmark who this week recommended such a ban citing examples from 43 other countries during a widely watched television program in Iceland.
The American nicotine market is developing faster than ever due to introduction of non-combustible recreational nicotine products. These new products, along with a greater consciousness about the dangers of smoking, have prompted millions to give up smoking. This contributed to federal and state excise tax collections on tobacco products declining since 2010.
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise….
Clive Bates, The Counterfactual
Dr Lynne Dawkins of London South Bank University gives her terrific myth-busting lecture on e-cigarettes – see the YouTube video above. Here are the slides (Slideshare) and here below is Lynne’s summary of the key points.
Summary of the lecture & key points
In 2013, I delivered a public lecture on e-cigarettes (here). At that time, not much was known about e-cigarettes, they were only just starting to gain popularity and very little research had been published on the topic.
Since then, the technology has moved on considerably, many more people are using them and there have been hundreds of research studies published on the topic. Nevertheless, public perceptions of e-cigarettes seem more distorted, confused and naïve than ever. I thought it was about time to present an update of what we know now based on the research that has been conducted since 2013.
Clive Bates, The Counterfactual
I have been following FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Twitter and was alarmed at the threat he issued to vapers and the vaping industry in response to recent trends in US adolescent vaping.
I disagree with the FDA’s analysis of what is happening with adolescent vaping and also what should be done about it. So I need to put some flesh on the tweet above and examine some of FDA’s claims in more depth. Please dip to these talking points… it’s a long blog but I hope at least some of it will be illuminating.