Vaping Digest 26th June

Friday’s News at a glance:

Smoking and pregnancy: should we really discourage vaping, at the risk of smoking? – Will the Revised EU Tax Directive Include a Minimum Vape Tax? – NNA Zoom Webcast with Dr Farsalinos – Perverse Psychology – Australia delays nicotine ban after backlash from vapers – Why Australia should make it as easy as possible for smokers to switch to vaping – Angry Vapers Force Australian Health Minister to Back Down – Vapers, Federal MPs declare war on TGA and Health Minister – Current smoking, former smoking, and adverse outcome among hospitalized COVID-19 patients – BAT invests a billion dollars in Romanian HnB factory – Thailand asked to consider scientific studies on vaping – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

Smoking and pregnancy:

Should we really discourage vaping, at the risk of smoking? – ETHRA

In France more than half of pregnant women are unsuccessful in quitting smoking during their pregnancy. Faced with this major public health issue, SOVAPE have reviewed studies and scientific advice on the use of vaping as a tool to help quit smoking.

In conversation with INFO VAPE, a support group that is in daily contact with pregnant women, SOVAPE have noted recurring concerns about vaping. Those who smoke are discouraged from using vaping as an aid to quitting smoking, and those that have managed to quit by vaping are stigmatized, made to feel guilty, and “summoned” to stop vaping.

Will the Revised EU Tax Directive

Include a Minimum Vape Tax? – Jim McDonald

The European Union will include vaping products in its harmonized tobacco tax framework, called the Tobacco Excise Directive, or TED. This became a virtual certainty after the Council of the EU recently approved “political guidance and priorities” for updated tobacco taxation rules, and asked the European Commission for legislative proposals. However, no final decision is likely to be made for a year or so.

Ministers from each member state make up the Council of the EU, and along with the European Parliament they pass laws. The European Commission (EC) proposes laws, and once passed, acts as the executive body and carries them out.


NNA Zoom Webcast with Dr Farsalinos

Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) hosted its second webcast on Zoom last week with guest speaker Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, researcher and expert of high repute. He discussed the research surrounding nicotine and its impact on the severity of symptoms in patients suffering from the COVID-19 virus.

The New Nicotine Alliance is a charity dedicated to representing the voice of nicotine users, including vapers, snus and heat-not-burn product users. The board of the NNA donate their time and services for free, relying on public donations to fund activities, and the NNA does not take funding from vape or tobacco companies.

Perverse Psychology

Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Michelle Minton is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. She has fought vaping’s corner for many years and frequently, forensically dissects the actions of governments around the world on their treatment of tobacco harm reduction. In her latest outstanding essay, Michelle explains how anti-vaping campaigners have created the so-called youth vaping “epidemic”.

Michelle specialises in consumer policy, covering regulatory issues that include gambling, tobacco harm reduction, cannabis legalization, alcohol, and nutrition. She has authored numerous studies, including topics like the effectiveness and unintended consequences of sin taxes and history of gambling regulation.

Australia delays nicotine ban

After backlash from vapers – Christopher Snowdon

Following on from Wednesday’s post about the once-in-a-lifetime stockpiling by Australian vapers as they prepare for a ban on personal imports of vape juice, I’m pleased to report some good news

Greg Hunt has delayed the introduction of a ban on imports of liquid nicotine for vaping by six months, after his unilateral decision prompted widespread backlash on the Coalition backbench.

The health minister announced on Friday the ban will now apply from 1 January, with a “streamlined process” for patients to get a prescription from their GP.

The backdown came just two days after Coalition MPs began to openly campaign against the ban and one day after the government made a regulation for the ban to apply from 1 July.

What that ‘streamlined process’ will involve, I know not. There is a suggestion that vapers will be able to get e-cigarette fluid on prescription, which would be better than nothing in that puritanical country. At the least, the six month delay this allows the government time to have a rethink.

Why Australia should make it as easy

As possible for smokers to switch to vaping – Alex Wodak

Last Friday, minutes after Parliament rose for a six-week winter recess, the Health Minister Greg Hunt announced draconian new restrictions for Australia’s 300,000 vapers’ capacity to obtain nicotine liquid. These including fines of up to $220,000 for unauthorised importation. Parliament cannot scrutinise the new arrangements since they commence on July 1.

Vaping nicotine is a popular exit strategy for smokers who are unable to quit using current treatments. It is more effective than nicotine patches and gums and for many it is a safer long-term replacement to prevent relapse to smoking.

Angry Vapers…

Force Australian Health Minister to Back Down – Jim McDonald

Forgive Australian vapers if they celebrate too loudly today. Following a week of public outrage, Australian health minister Greg Hunt has backed down and postponed a strict nicotine import ban that had been due to take effect on July 1. The ban was announced just a week ago, and would have essentially prevented vapers in Australia from accessing nicotine to mix e-liquid. It is now postponed until Jan. 1, 2021.

The health minister had faced growing backlash to his ban, including from members of his own party. On Thursday, 28 Members of Parliament from the ruling coalition signed a letter opposing the import ban.

Health Minister gives into backbench pressure on vaping ban
Why does Big Public Health want to keep us smoking?
Australia needs a safe and regulated e-cigarette market
Banning e-cigarettes dangerous: UOW toxicology expert
Asian coalition protests Australian ban on nicotine liquid imports
Smoke and mirrors: The big money behind Australia’s vaping ban

Vapers, Federal MPs declare war

On TGA and Health Minister – Legalise Vaping Australia

Legalise Vaping Australia has declared war on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Minister of Health, Greg Hunt. Legalise Vaping Australia, Senator Canavan, and George Christensen, and tens thousands of thousands of Australians have raised their voices against the TGA’s import ban on e-cigarettes and vape liquid to contain nicotine.

Individuals caught shipping nicotine vape products from abroad will face fines up to $220,000 as of July 1. This change ( was implemented by unelected bureaucrats under a ministerial decree from the Greg Hunt, completely bypassing the democratic system.

Greg Hunt delays ban on liquid nicotine

Imports after backlash from Coalition MPs – Paul Karp

Greg Hunt has delayed the introduction of a ban on imports of liquid nicotine for vaping by six months, after his unilateral decision prompted widespread backlash on the Coalition backbench.

The health minister announced on Friday the ban will now apply from 1 January, with a “streamlined process” for patients to get a prescription from their GP.

The backdown came just two days after Coalition MPs began to openly campaign against the ban and one day after the government made a regulation for the ban to apply from 1 July.

Smoking and vaping RAISES the risk

Of falling critically ill with Covid-19, claim experts – Connor Boyd

The review — published in the European Heart Journal — did not actually analyse the hospital records of Covid-19 patients, however.

It means it does not offer any concrete evidence smoking makes the disease worse, and instead is only a warning based on reports — actual studies have suggested smoking could offer protection against the coronavirus.

One scientist said the methodology behind the review on how smoking and vaping damages the body was so sloppy ‘it cannot be described as a study’, while another described the the findings as ‘questionable’.

Current smoking, former smoking,

And adverse outcome among hospitalized COVID-19 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Konstantinos Farsalinos, Anastasia Barbouni, Konstantinos Poulas

A systematic review of the literature (PubMed) identified 18 (from a total of 1398) relevant studies. Pooled current smoking prevalence was compared with the gender-adjusted and gender and age-adjusted, population-based expected prevalence by calculating prevalence odds ratio (POR). The association between current, compared with non-current and former, smoking and adverse outcome was examined. A secondary analysis was performed by including 12 pre-publications (30 studies in total). All analyses were performed using random-effects meta-analysis.

Smoking and COVID-19 Press release

Slice & Dice

Vape Crusader Fights Toe-To-Toe | RegWatch (Live)

BAT invests a billion dollars

In Romanian HnB factory – Fergus Mason

There’s been a lot of talk recently from opponents of Heat not Burn – including, regrettably, some of the less intelligent vape reviewers – about how the technology has already peaked. Growth has slowed, they say; fewer smokers are switching to HnB, and the market is already saturated. It’s true that iQOS sales in Japan have slowed over the last quarter, but does this mean the great heated tobacco experiment is fizzling out?

Well, I’m not convinced. Has iQOS reached market saturation in Japan? It might have done. That wouldn’t really be a huge surprise. After all, iQOS is the first generation of HnB that’s really gone mass market.

Expert Reaction

To review of the effects of tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes and waterpipe use

Prof John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies and Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, said:

“This paper provides an unsystematic overview on evidence relating to the likely relative risks of nicotine use, and of questionable reliability: for example, that e-cigarette use increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 194% but COPD is a disease with a lead time of decades, so to attribute a risk directly to e-cigarettes – which have been widely used for less than a decade and are almost exclusively used by former smokers – is inappropriate.”

Vaping effects:

Real-world International Surveillance a 20-site, multi-country, 6+ year study of daily vapers who have smoked very little

The goal is to, for the first time, observe the health outcomes of exclusive vapers compared to controls with a history of no tobacco use. Outcome measures include clinical assessments of lung health, as well as self-reported health status and other measures.

To date, almost all assessments of the health of vapers have been among ex-smokers, where it is impossible to distinguish any small effects from vaping from the residual effects of long-term smoking. This study will allow us to test the hypothesis that vaping alone poses no measurable health effects.

The research is led by Dr. Riccardo Polosa from Italy and Dr. Carl V Phillips from the USA.

Thailand asked to consider scientific studies

A consumer advocacy group has asked the government of Thailand to follow the lead of Hong Kong in looking at scientific studies as the basis for ending the ban on smoke-free nicotine products such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products (HTPs) and snus.

Asa Ace Saligupta, who runs consumer group ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand, said the Hong Kong Legislative Council (Legco) decided to suspend the discussions on the proposed ban on vaping products, after some members of Legco’s Bills Committee on Smoking cited scientific studies showing that e-cigarettes, HTPs and the likes have much lower levels of toxicants compared to combustible cigarettes.

Electronic cigarette use among university

Students aged 18–24 years in New Zealand: results of a 2018 national cross-sectional survey

More males than females reported vaping (ever, current, daily and daily for ≥1 month), nicotine use and belief that e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes. More participants aged 18–20 years reported not vaping in outdoor smoke-free spaces, vaping out of curiosity and belief that e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes, while more participants aged 21–24 years vaped daily for ≥1 month and for enjoyment. More Māori than non-Māori ever vaped. More cigarette smokers than non-smokers vaped (ever, current, daily and daily for ≥1 month), used nicotine and vaped to quit, while more non-smokers did not vape in smoke-free spaces and vaped out of curiosity.

On this Day…2019

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

Latest Tax Return Sheds Light on The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-free World

Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP)

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (‘the Foundation’) was set up in September 2017, ostensibly as a scientific organisation aiming to “accelerate an end to smoking”. It describes itself as an independent foundation, yet was set up with a pledged amount of nearly a billion dollars from global tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI). On 13th May 2019 the Foundation filed a tax return for its first full year of operation, 2018, providing new information on the organisation and those it funds.

E-cigarettes: How safe are they?

BBC News

San Francisco has become the first US city to ban sales of e-cigarettes. Yet in the UK they are used by the NHS to help smokers quit – so what is the truth about the safety of e-cigarettes?

Dual Use of Vapes and Cigarettes—Harmful or Harm Reduction?

Staff, Filter

Mixing use of vapes and combustible cigarettes, known as “dual use,” is seen as a win by some—especially those who are working towards quitting smoking—while others view it as an absolute health threat. The latest data from the Food and Drug Administration’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study confirm an already-observed outcome: Dual users are exposed to higher levels of nicotine and the carcinogen NKK than people who exclusively use combustibles.

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