Vaping Digest 27th November

Friday’s News at a glance:

Spain SOS – Putting the record straight: consumers are not tobacco industry minions – Hope for quitters! – California Flavor Ban Will Go On Hold Until Nov. 2022 – COP Inquiry – What Ever Happened to – Chowdhery Sees The Positive – CAPHRA Slams Bloomberg-funded ‘attack’ – More Lung Lies – Irreconcilable Conflict on RegWatch – Kiwi Vaping Advocate Fights Bloomberg-funded ‘attack’ – Ad voids hampers vape cure – Dear Canadian Smokers: Please Follow Britain’s Guidance – Electronic cigarettes and obstetric outcomes: – “Vaping can be your way out” – Taxing vapes should be handled with care – Kenya lags world in adopting alternatives to smoking – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

Spain SOS

Guest post from ANESVAP, Spanish THR consumer association and ETHRA partner.

Last week the Spanish Ministry of Health published a horrifyingly biased report on e-cigarettes. We believe that the purpose of the report is to justify e-liquid flavour bans and punitive taxation on vaping products, proposals which are expected in 2021.

The Spanish government’s report shares striking similarities with the recently published SCHEER preliminary Opinion on e-cigarettes, a key element of the review report of TPD2. Scientists and other experts have roundly criticised the SCHEER  preliminary Opinion for lacking objectivity and ignoring evidence. We are now waiting to see if SCHEER can redeem their reputation with the final Opinion, expected next month. Unfortunately, there is no such hope for the Spanish report, as the final version – which was issued without any public consultation – is already published.

Putting the record straight:

Consumers are not tobacco industry minions – NNA

On Tuesday 17th November we wrote to Cancer Research UK to express our disappointment that they were “excited” about a Bloomberg-funded report which was designed to paint the consumer voice as somehow part of a mythical tobacco industry plot. We asked for “comments clarifying the position taken by CRUK towards consumer engagement on this matter” but have received no acknowledgement or reply.  Sadly, the tweet in question still remains, celebrating consumers being marginalised when – quite rightly – objecting to opaque policymaking.

We have also complained about the original article which prompted the ill-judged reaction from Cancer Research UK, by submitting a response to the publishing journal which you can read here.


Hope for quitters! 

Gerry Stimson

There is a universal right to health, including for those who, for whatever reason, continue to engage in risky behaviour. Harm reduction refers to a range of pragmatic policies, regulations and actions which either reduce health risks by providing safer forms of products or substances or encourage less risky behaviours. Harm reduction does not focus primarily on the eradication of products or behaviours. The humane response, instead, is to reduce the risks, thereby enabling people to survive and live better – in this case through access to safer nicotine products aimed at encouraging people to switch away from cigarettes, is one of the most dangerous ways of consuming nicotine.

California Flavor Ban

Will Go On Hold Until Nov. 2022 – Jim McDonald

The California flavored vape ban scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, will probably be suspended for two years until voters decide whether to keep or overturn the law. Opponents of the ban, which also includes menthol cigarettes and flavored smokeless tobacco and small cigars, have collected what they believe are enough signatures to give voters the choice to reject the tobacco and vape ban in a November 2022 referendum.

The California Coalition for Fairness, a group funded by major tobacco companies, says it has collected more than a million signatures from registered voters in the state opposed to the ban. According to the Los Angeles Times, 623,312 valid signatures are required. Typically, groups like the coalition collect more signatures than required, because many are discarded by state auditors.

COP Inquiry

APPG to welcome submissions from anyone/any organisation who would like to give evidence

The inquiry will seek to: examine and evaluate how the proposals at COP9 could affect domestic legislation and the Government’s own 2030 smoke free target; enquire how the UK will defend its own smoking cessation policies at COP9 and become a global leader on tobacco control and harm reduction; and offer recommendations for the Government to take forward as we move towards COP9.

What Ever Happened to…

The Vaping Lung Disease? – Ed Cara

In the summer of 2019, months before the word “coronavirus” meant anything to most people, a mysterious respiratory illness began popping up around the U.S., ultimately sending over 2,800 primarily young and healthy people to the hospital and dozens to an early grave. The culprit wasn’t an infectious disease, but a poison: THC vaping devices sold on the black market that were filled with oily contaminants that suffocated and burned victims’ lungs once inhaled.

More than a year later—and what a year it’s been—Gizmodo decided to take a look back at this crisis. Did it truly end, as you might assume from the shrinking media coverage dedicated to it? If so, why? How did it play into a still contentious debate over the health risks of vaping and the need for regulation? And what lessons, if any, have we learned?

Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Chowdhery Sees The Positive

Samrat Chowdhery, president of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), spoke at the launch of “Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) 2020”, a publication released by UK-based public health agency Knowledge Action Change. Despite the influence being exerted by billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s cash, he sees a positive direction of travel in the global approach to vaping legislation.

INNCO is made up of 36 members and affiliate organisations, representing consumers from across six continents. Its core mission “is to support consumers of low-risk alternative nicotine products and their representative organisations so they can be active and engaged participants as primary stakeholders with their governments and public health officials.”

CAPHRA Slams Bloomberg-funded ‘attack’

A well-known New Zealand vaping advocate has weighed into a debate raging internationally that sees consumer groups and public health experts raise serious concerns over the quality and motivation of a recent University of Bath study. Nancy Loucas, Executive Director for Coalition of Asia-Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), has questioned the “highly inaccurate and unfair descriptions” Bath used.

Researchers from the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) recently published a study which explored the Twitter activity around the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The study resorted to labelling different groups that posted Twitter messages, instead of discussing the messages posted.

More Lung Lies

Trust in science and scientists is undermined when findings are produced that stand at odds with observed reality. A Boston University School of Public Health study sought to find an association of e-cig use with respiratory conditions and claims to have discovered one. The researchers say that vapers are 40% more likely to contract a lung infection.

“Science is supposedly based on evidence, but in reality, for most people, it is based on trust. Scientific evidence is mostly inaccessible. Scientific journals are difficult to obtain and their articles are written in a specialized language that is incomprehensible to all but a few experts in the field. We trust what those experts say about their results without having the ability to question the results themselves,” begins an article in Scientific American [link].

Irreconcilable Conflict on RegWatch

Regulator Watch covers “the issues, controversies and impacts arising from the regulation of economic, social and environmental activity in Canada and the United States.” It has been providing outstanding coverage of matters relating to vaping and, in the latest feature, Clive Bates talks about tobacco control crusaders and their principle of “irreconcilable conflict”

Clive worked for IBM before switching to work in the environment movement. Afterwards, he spent five years as the Director for the UK’s Action on Smoking and Health campaigning to reduce the harms caused by tobacco. In 2003, Clive joined Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit before moving to senior roles in the public sector and at the United Nations. Now Clive runs Counterfactual, a consulting and advocacy practice and is widely acknowledge as one of the world’s foremost experts on vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

Kiwi Vaping Advocate Fights ‘attack’

A well-known New Zealand vaping advocate has weighed into a debate raging internationally that sees consumer groups and public health experts raise serious concerns over the quality and motivation of a recent University of Bath study.

Researchers from the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) recently published a study which explored the Twitter activity around the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The study resorted to labelling different groups that posted Twitter messages, instead of discussing the messages posted.

Exploring the Twitter activity around the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Ad voids hampers vape cure

Deborah Hart

Anti-smoking group Ash says the government needs to soften its stance on vaping if New Zealand is to reach its goal of being smokefree by 2025.

It’s blaming a decline in the number of people giving up smoking on restrictions on advertising and a reluctance to promote vaping as a less harmful alternative.

Director Deborah Hart says it’s a particular concern for Māori, with 145,000 or almost 29 per cent of all Māori identifying as smokers.

E-Cigarettes and obstetric outcomes:

A prospective observational study
B P McDonnell, P Dicker, C L Regan

Objective: To compare the obstetric outcomes and socio-demographic factors in electronic cigarette (EC) users with cigarette smokers and non-smokers in pregnancy.

Design: Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting: A large urban maternity hospital delivering almost 8500 infants per year.

Population: Pregnant women attending for antenatal care.

Dear Canadian Smokers:

Please Follow Britain’s Guidance – Dr. Brad Rodu

You may wonder why an American professor accepted an invitation from the Canadian Vaping Association to author an article about e-cigarettes. In part, it’s because I want to apologize to you for the way my government, which is engaged in a coordinated, expensive campaign to create a tobacco-free society, has wrongfully destroyed the prospect of a smoke-free future for millions. Don’t listen to American health officials, who emphasize only the negatives, untruths, and urban myths. Don’t let their campaign stop you from stepping away from the fire.

“Vaping can be your way out”:

Thousands behind petition to legalise e-cigs

The WA Liberal Democrats have today tabled a petition in Parliament to legalise vaping in Western Australia.

Organised by Legalise Vaping Australia, the petition has gained over 7000 signatures and is calling on the WA Government to lift the ban on the sale of liquid nicotine and vaping devices. Currently it’s only legal to purchase the e-liquid (without nicotine).

The group say research shows vaping is a a less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco and helps people to quit traditional cigarettes.

Aerial transmission of the SARS-CoV-2

Through environmental e-cigarette aerosol: is it plausible?
Roberto Sussman, Eliana Golberstein, Riccardo Polosa

We discuss the plausibility, scope and risk for SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission through respiratory droplets potentially carried by e-cigarette aerosol (ECA) exhaled by infected vapers. Considering observational data on droplet emission rates of mouth breathing as a proxy model for this transmission, droplet diameters should be overwhelmingly in the submicron range. For the most common low intensity puffing style (practiced by 80-90% of vapers) we estimate emission rates of 2-230 droplets per puff horizontally transported 0.5-2 meters in the direction of the exhaled jet.

Vaping increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19 by just one percent

22nd Century’s Vice President

Of Regulatory Science Publishes Important Public Policy Article

22nd Century Group, Inc. A leading plant-based, biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction, very low nicotine content tobacco, and hemp/cannabis research, announced today that Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company with an editorial division that issues an influential newsletter reaching more than 300,000 audience members on the Hill and within federal agencies, published a powerful op-ed article penned by John Pritchard, 22nd Century’s vice president of regulatory science.

In the article, Pritchard calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accelerate implementation of its Comprehensive Plan on Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation, in particular to impose the mandate requiring all cigarettes sold in the United States to contain minimally or non-addictive levels of nicotine.

Taxing vapes should be handled with care

Ashley Lechman

Johannesburg – Imposing excise on vapour products in a country like South Africa could prove detrimental, instead encouraging the kind of illicit trade that was seen for contraband cigarettes during the COVID-19 hard lockdown, Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) has warned.

The warning came from the Vaping Conversations series, hosted by VPASA, by Arshad Abba, a partner at management consultancy Quantum Logik Consulting and the lead on the 2018 Canback study on vaping and its economic impact in South Africa.

Kenya lags world in adopting alternatives

Victor Amadala

Kenya is falling behind the rest of the world in the battle to save the lives of millions of smokers, the Campaign for Safer Alternatives (CASA) has warned.

According to CASA, Kenya’s lack of support for tobacco harm reduction products (THRs) is effectively a death sentence for many.

“If we are serious about reducing the 30,000 tobacco-related deaths in Kenya every year, we must give smokers a realistic route to quitting cigarettes,” CASA chair Joseph Magero said.

On this Day…2019

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

Twitter Q&A: debunking tobacco harm reduction misconceptions

Visit Nicotine Science & Policy for more News from around the World



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