Vaping Digest 28th August
Friday’s News at a glance:
Your Help Is Needed NOW to Postpone the PMTA Deadline – National – FDA Citizen’s Petition – PMTA Delay – What do we know about the TPD application report? – California Ramps Up the War on Vaping – Re-Analysis of Retracted Research – Anti-Nicotine Zealots Only Care about Science When it Says What They Want – Anti-Tobacco Posers Posture Over Public Health – VPZ Attacked by ASH UK – The Sad Truth About Bans – Glantz In The Spotlight – ETHRA Writes To Danes – GTNF Free Registration Open – Cigarette sales down as vaping up – New Research Questions Link – Banning Flavored JUUL Pods Is Actually Dangerous – The CDC must take an integrated approach – Incriminating e-cigs no matter what – Smokin’ Smokeless Sales – Vaping ad tactics ‘exploited’ the pandemic – New tech and new aromas make vaping an even more attractive – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest
To Postpone the PMTA Deadline – Jim McDonald
The FDA has published the citizen petition submitted two days ago by a group of vaping manufacturers and trade associations to a public docket. The agency is now asking for public comment on the request for a 180-day postponement of the PMTA deadline.
The deadline is just two weeks away. Without massive engagement from businesses and vapers, the FDA is unlikely to ask the federal court for permission to postpone it, especially since any attempt will almost certainly be opposed by the anti-vaping groups that sued last year to move up the deadline. There are sympathetic elected officials working behind the scenes to support a delay, but they will be unsuccessful if the vaping community doesn’t turn out to ask for the postponement.
A Citizen’s Petition has been filed with the FDA requesting that the agency seek a 180-day extension to the PMTA deadline for certain small, open-system manufacturers. The request is narrowly limited to companies that are already in the process of submitting a PMTA and are compliant with other FDA deadlines for regulating vapor products.
All interested parties are invited to comment on the Citizen’s Petition by using the form below or following the instructions on this page and customizing your message.
Small Manufacturers: Click Here for specific guidance for your comment.
The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) regulates the manufacture, sale and marketing of most safer nicotine products (as well as combustible tobacco products) across the EU.
The TPD is the most comprehensive regulatory framework for safer nicotine products worldwide and is also the only regional framework. This gives the TPD global as well as regional significance because (1) regulators worldwide look to it as a legislative model; and (2) the EU is a powerful player in WHO FCTC and COP (Conference of the Parties),which has global affect. The tobacco control field does not operate in silos and so there is considerable overlap and inter connectivity between tobacco control activity and actors, at global, regional and national levels.
With Flavor Ban – Helen Redmond
They never stop. Tobacco control organizations in California convinced the California Assembly to pass SB 793 on August 24, after the Senate had already done so. The bill bans the sale of flavored vaping products in brick-and-mortar businesses. It also outlaws sales of flavored smokeless tobacco, small cigars and menthol cigarettes. Flavored hookah products, pipe tobacco and premium cigars are exempt.
The mainstream media predictably played their part, with headlines like, “California must ignore Big Tobacco’s attacks and protect kids from flavored nicotine.” The Sacramento Bee editorial board took drug panic to a whole new level: “The bill would stamp out the tobacco industry’s efforts to addict young people with candy-flavored tobacco by banning the products, setting an example for the rest of the nation …
About Science When it Says What They Want – Michelle Minton
Opponents of nicotine vapor products like to claim the scientific high ground. For years, they have asserted there isn’t enough evidence on the long-term risks associated with e-cigarettes or their effectiveness for smoking cessation. But, even as evidence supporting the relative safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes emerged, opponents balked. Each study was dismissed for having flaws, limitations, or authors with real or imagined conflicts of interest. They suddenly forget their commitment to high quality evidence when it comes to studies that say what opponents want to hear.
EU stops the Danish flavour ban – temporarily
EU stoppar det danska smakförbudet – tillfälligt https://t.co/bHh60FAe5y
— European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (@europethra) August 28, 2020
— Vapolitique (@VapolitiqueCH) August 27, 2020
On Heart Attacks Before Vaping – Brad Rodu
Dharma Bhatta and Stanton Glantz last year published a study claiming that e-cigarettes cause heart attacks. That assertion was based on 38 heart attack incidents, but the authors knowingly included people who had heart attacks years before first using e-cigarettes.
My economist colleague Nantaporn Plurphanswat and I described that fatal error in two letters to editors of the Journal of the American Heart Association. I applied pressure for the next seven months, and the editors retracted the study on February 18 of this year.
Over Public Health – Steven Greenhut
Sen. Jerry Hill, who authored a bill that would ban flavored-tobacco products across the state, once declared that he isn’t interested in “half measures” to deal with what he views as a teen vaping epidemic. Yet the San Mateo Democrat and the Assembly members who approved his Senate Bill 793 this week, have supported what is the ultimate tobacco half measure.
In the name of fighting Big Tobacco, lawmakers are about to ban those nicotine products that help smokers break their deadly smoking habit — while ensuring that only the most dangerous tobacco products are still available. Actually, the Hill bill isn’t even a “half” measure, given that cigarettes account for far more than half of all tobacco use, and the bill doesn’t address their sales. In fact, it might lead to a boost in the cigarette business.
Five from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes:
The group European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) represents consumer groups from across the European continent, promoting tobacco harm reduction products and policies. It has written to the Danish Health Minister, MPs and MEPs to explain why the proposed advertising ban will be damaging to public health.
Denmark says it is driving to place harsher restrictions on vaping and other alternative nicotine products in order to combat tobacco related disease and protect children and young people, “as they are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco and other nicotine products.”
VPZ, the UK’s largest chain of vape stores, announced it was donating £100,000 worth of products to show its appreciation to the work of front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Action on Smoking and Health (ASH UK) pressure group must have suffered a knock to its radar, as it launched into a bizarre attack on VPZ.
After doing their utmost to help the nation, key workers including police officers, NHS staff, and blue light card holders are able to benefit from free products as VPZ says ‘Thank you’.
San Francisco pushed through a ban on flavoured eliquids, then went further, on the back of billionaire-funded lies and zealotry. A new study has highlighted the true cost of this blinkered policy making: a rise in smoking. Was this anti-science approach ever about protecting children?
In 2018, residents of San Francisco were asked “Shall the City ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco take effect?” They voted on this as part of the election of officials. The build-up to the vote was dominated by billionaire Michael Bloomberg flooding the city with millions to taint the process as a fight against ‘Big Tobacco’, rather than an argument about tobacco harm reduction and saving lives. Once the votes were in, the ‘Yes’ vote won by 164,844 to 76,193.
Brad Rodu and Nantaporn Plurphanswat have conducted a re-analysis of the paper on e-cigarette use and heart attacks by Bhatta & Glantz, published in and then eventually retracted by the Journal of the American Heart Association. Unsurprisingly, they confirmed Glantz’ study was a total sham.
When the journal published “Electronic Cigarette Use and Myocardial Infarction Among Adults in the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health” it was met with almost universal condemnation and calls for it to be retracted
Thanks to the global COVID pandemic, the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) conference is going to be a free to attend online event in 2020 and offers an opportunity to see what is happening from the point of view of experts in the industry and related sectors. Viewers will hear from public health experts, government representatives, industry experts, people from the media, and the finance sector.
Organisers of the GTFN say the event exists to promote conversations “about tobacco, nicotine and public health” that can develop “more informed views and decisions by all stakeholders”. One of the problems is that many opposed to tobacco harm reduction refuse to engage and have refused invitations to attend this and many similar conferences.
End Smoking NZ says, but Smokefree 2025 target won’t be met
Cigarette sales are plunging faster than any time before as smokers turn to alternatives like vaping – with 410 million fewer smokes sold annually than just two years ago.
Dr Murray Laugesen, a trustee of the End Smoking NZ charity, analysed tobacco company returns that are published by the Ministry of Health and found a remarkable drop in sales.
About 2132 million cigarettes were sold last year – 193 million fewer than 2018, and following a 217 million drop the previous year.
Between E-Cigarettes and Respiratory Disease – Ayda Yurekli, Ehsan Latif
A quote from Plato’s work Phaedrus says, “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” This proverb is an apt description of some recent research on e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction, where first assumptions appear to be inaccurate based on a deeper examination of the data.
A recent 2019 article by Dharma Bhatta and Stanton Glantz in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the link between e-cigarette use and respiratory disease, using data from the USDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. They concluded that e-cigarette use was an independent risk factor for respiratory illness..
In well-meaning prohibition of vaping flavours
Do restrictions on e-cigarettes, such as flavour bans, send users back to smoking? No doubt it’s the law of unintended consequences at work, but the answer would seem to be “yes”.
In April 2019, a headline in Britain’s Financial Times summed up the then situation neatly: “US cigarette sales drop as smokers shift to vaping”.
Now here’s another headline, this one from the Wall Street Journal at the end of last month: “Cigarette smoking makes comeback during coronavirus pandemic”.
Is Actually Dangerous – Chris Roberts
A little over a year has passed since mostly young people began appearing in U.S. hospitals, complaining of a serious and mysterious lung ailment.
That means it’s been just shy of a year sine U.S. regulators and public health officials started banning flavored nicotine vaporizer pods—the main policy response to the “vape-lung crisis,” the outbreak of “e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury,” or “EVALI.”
And not only was that exactly the wrong thing to do—once-legal products like flavored JUUL pods, banned in the wake of EVALI, have not been linked to the crisis—such bans can make vaping more dangerous, recent research from the Yale School of Public Health has found.
To understanding youth behaviors – Derek Yach
Many habits—both healthy and unhealthy—are established during adolescence. For this reason, strong data regarding youth behaviors can be of immense value to health policymakers, as well as schools and parents. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) seeks to gather precisely this type of data. Yet the survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has methodological deficiencies that currently limit the value of its findings.
On August 21, the CDC released its report on the 2019 YRBSS, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of almost 14,000 students in grades 9 through 12. While the study is ambitious in scope, its design leaves something to be desired.
Is the new international sport – Barbara Mennitti
An article published in The Lancet linking lung diseases to e-cigarettes has triggered reactions in the scientific community that supports tobacco harm reduction policies.
Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Catania (Italy) and Founder of the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (COEHAR) believes that “the authors are presenting a case devoid of scientific evidence.”
The Lancet piece dates back the “EVALI” cases – lung diseases that occurred last year in the United States (US) and the presence of vitamin E acetate in cartridges containing illegal cannabis and not linked to e-cigs at all.
And heated tobacco bill – Manila Bulletin
The House joint committees on Trade and Industry and Health approved the substitute bill regulating the manufacture, importation, sale, distribution, use, advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) and heated tobacco products (HTPs).
To be known as the “Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act of 2020,” the bill aims to regulate ENDS/ENNDS and HTPs “in order to promote a healthy environment and protect the citizens from any hazards.”
Anne Baye Ericksen
For years, snuff, or loose tobacco, dominated the smokeless tobacco category. Then came snus — tobacco pouches that produce less spit — which added new life to the other tobacco product (OTP) segment. But the category really received a boost four years ago when Swedish Match launched ZYN, a tobacco-free nicotine pouch, often referred to as an all-white pouch.
This OTP addition has generated a reliable revenue stream for convenience stores. IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, reported spitless tobacco sales in c-stores, including snus, posted noteworthy dollar gains this summer compared with the same time last year:
On vaping differ from the rest of the world?
Vaping is again in the spotlight with the Cancer Council supporting the Department of Health’s renewed stance on blocking the sale and marketing of nicotine vaping products in Australia.
Currently, nicotine e-liquids cannot be sold or marketed by Australian retailers, but they can be imported from international sellers.
The announcement comes after New Zealand implemented their own changes in July which have been touted as “sensible, balanced vaping regulation” – helping smokers switch to vaping while restricting access from young people.
Michael Nedelman, Lauren Mascarenhas
Vaping companies — long criticized for marketing that appealed to kids and implied their products were less harmful than smoking — are now under the microscope for seizing on the Covid-19 pandemic to sell their products.
Some have launched promotions offering free toilet paper, face masks or hand sanitizer with a qualifying purchase, according to a new paper published Thursday in the journal Tobacco Control.
“While we thought we’d seen it all, we never imagined that we’d see tobacco companies exploiting a global pandemic for marketing purposes,”
Make vaping an even more attractive way to quit smoking
It has been more than a decade since vaping devices like vaporizers and e-cigarettes began to appear mainstream. Many kinds of models and vape juices have been developed since then that can be used according to the personal preferences of the user. Vaping is also considered to be among the most effective ways to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. Thanks to the variety of e-liquids such as CBD vape oil and many more with aromas that come with an option of choosing strength (and even with or without nicotine), users can pretty much avoid the annoying withdrawal symptoms usually present
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise….
James Dunworth, Ashtray Blog
Professor Polosa has recently completed his latest study, a review of the effect of vaping on respiratory health. We got together with Riccardo Polosa to discuss how vaping can reverse harm, the potential to reduce infections, the latest controversy over vaping and respiratory diseases in the US and more.
Carrie Wade, RStreet
In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to gather information on the role that flavors play in tobacco products. Specifically, the notice sought comments about whether and to what degree flavors compel youth to initiate tobacco product use, as well as whether and how flavors may help adults who smoke combustible cigarettes reduce their cigarette use and switch to potentially less-harmful products.
Harry Shapiro, Nicotine Science and Policy
In the 1955 western Bad Day at Black Rock, Spencer Tracy tells Ernest Borgnine, “You’re not only wrong. You’re wrong at the top of your voice”. And so it is with the anti-vaping lobby (or the Faith Militant (FM) as I like to call them – for all you Game of Thrones aficionados) who bellow confusing and misleading information at the top of their lungs in so-called peer reviewed journals and across the global media landscape, adding-in vicious and vile ad hominem attacks on those trying to reduce the death and disease toll from smoking where all else has failed – and where the FM take-down of harm reduction evidence has also failed.