Vaping Digest December 13th

Friday’s News at a glance:

Profiting from E-Cigarette Fearmongering – Focus you fack! – How to Spot and Avoid Vape Advocacy Scams – Scientific Studies as “Click Bait?” – The Height of Irresponsibility – Massachusetts DPH Destroys Its Own Justification – Health Survey for England – McKee Concerned For You and Yours – Vape Store Fined – ALA Pushes Quit or Die – Mystery Vaping-Related Illness – Randomized Clinical Trial – FDA to doctors: Don’t interact with tobacco, e cig firms – ATHRA supports introduction of heated tobacco products – Trump aides hold daily meetings on vaping – “Dependence” and the danger – New FDA Chief Stephen Hahn Will Get Credit (or Blame) – Expensive vapes – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

Profiting from E-Cigarette Fearmongering

Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth

Michelle Minton, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is the author of an informative and insightful report, “Fear Profiteers: How E-Cigarette Panic Benefits Health Activists.”  It is a must-read for any tobacco harm reduction proponent who wants to understand the powerful opposition to this life-saving strategy.

Minton asks why “the public perception of e-cigarettes diverts so radically from the actual evidence.”  Her succinct answer: “the confusion is the intended result of an orchestrated disinformation campaign led by individuals and groups that ought to be among the most supportive of lower-risk tobacco alternatives—anti-smoking health advocates.

Focus you fack!


Sometimes I can get slightly irate, sometimes slightly more than irate and sometimes, well let’s just say you don’t want to be around. It never helps when I’m in this state to hear the words “breath deeply and count to 10 dear” to be honest I think it’s said to see if I will literally explode as opposed to figuratively.

I heard it said to me several times before I finally exhausted myself and fell into a fitful sleep. I had spent most of Monday cutting firewood, removing fallen trees after the previous nights storm. I was away from TV, radio and internet’s most of the day. So I missed the big presentation by the Irish Heart Foundation and Cancer Society on ‘E-cigarette packaging and Flavour research’. Once I did hear of it I checked it out and could not believe the bullshit that these two charities thought to pawn off as research. Ok OK, breath deeply and count to 10……….


How to Spot and Avoid Advocacy Scams

Danielle Jones, Vaping 360

From the very beginning vapers have been a community of people passionate about saving our own lives—and the lives of others—from death and disease caused by smoking cigarettes. For most of us, existing cessation products had failed, and the promise of early e-cigarette products led to curiosity and excitement as we discovered and helped innovate and refine vaping technology.

We’re still passionate, but now our focus has shifted to recruiting new vapers, advocating for reasonable legislation, demanding fair treatment from the news media, and growing our circles of influence. But our passion can also, unfortunately, make us vulnerable to people who promise to help in the war against extinction-level regulations, but turn out to be predators.

New FDA Chief Stephen Hahn

Will Get Credit (or Blame) for New Vaping Rules – Jim McDonald

The Senate has approved Dr. Stephen Hahn as the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The vote was 72-18, but even some of those who voted for the Trump nominee expressed uncertainty that he would tackle the issue of teen vaping.

“Dr. Hahn said to me he doesn’t want to be known in history as the head of the FDA who saw this epidemic grow dramatically,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, an old school tobacco warrior who also opposes vaping, and has consistently advocated for flavor bans and other restrictions. But Durbin added that he would become Hahn’s biggest critic if he doesn’t stand up to the administration on vaping.

Scientific Studies as “Click Bait?”

Jeffrey A. Singer

A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on an association between e-cigarette use and depression. The cross-sectional study of nearly 900,000 e-cigarette users who self-reported into the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2016 to 2017 found that users had a higher likelihood of reporting a history of depression, and that incrementally higher frequency e-cigarette use was associated with an incrementally higher likelihood of reporting depression.

The authors mention that several earlier studies showed an association between tobacco smoking and depression, but there are few studies looking at an association between e-cigarettes and depression. Regarding the meaning of their findings, the authors stated:

“Dependence” and the danger

Of adopting the language of your oppressors – Carl V. Phillips

Vaping, smoking, and other tobacco product use are routinely described as “addictive”. As I have pointed out repeatedly, this is a very misleading characterization. (You might recall my major essay – years in the making – on this topic from earlier this year. If you missed it and are reading this, you will definitely want to go read it.) The two sentence summary of the headline point is: All ‘official’ definitions of “addiction” hinge on the behavior being highly disruptive to someone’s functioning – work, social, etc. But tobacco product use has no such effects, at least not for more than a minuscule fraction of consumers.

This Was the Decade When Politicians…

Stopped Panicking About Marijuana and Started Panicking About Nicotine
Jacob Sullum, Reason

During the same week last month when a congressional committee passed a groundbreaking bill aimed at repealing the federal ban on marijuana, another congressional committee approved a new federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes. The House Judiciary Committee’s vote on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act showed how far politicians have moved in their thinking about drugs during the last decade. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s vote on the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act showed how far they have to go.

Eastern U.S. Embraces Witch Hunt

Two from Michael Siegel, The Rest Of The Story

The Height of Irresponsibility:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tells Public the Cause of Respiratory Disease Outbreak is Unknown

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) proclaimed to residents of the Commonwealth that it has no idea what is causing the outbreak of respiratory illness that has affected more than 2,000 people and killed 47 throughout the country.

The proclamation came on a day when the Public Health Council voted to rescind the emergency order that banned the sale of all e-cigarettes in the state.

Massachusetts Unknowingly Made E-Cigarettes More Dangerous

Massachusetts DPH 

Destroys Its Own Justification for the Emergency E-Cigarette Ban

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), via a vote by the Public Health Council, has rescinded its emergency ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes which was issued on September 25. When the ban was implemented in September, the Department’s rationale was that since we don’t know what is causing the outbreak, there may be e-cigarettes that could be involved. Therefore, to protect the public’s health, we need to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

In rescinding the emergency order, DPH stated that the cause of the outbreak remains unknown. So by its own rationale which it invoked on September 25, there could still be e-cigarettes causing the outbreak and therefore we need to continue to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to protect the public’s health.

Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Health Survey for England

“There is a consensus that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes, since e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and thus no tar, with some estimating them to be around 95% safer, although the longer-term effects of e-cigarettes have not been established,” quotes The Health Survey for England (HSE) as it details current trends in smoking.

The HSE monitors trends in the nation’s health and care. It provides information about adults aged 16 and over, and children aged 0 to 15, living in private households in England. The survey consists of an interview, followed by a visit from a nurse who takes some measurements and blood and saliva samples.

McKee Concerned For You and Yours

BBC Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ host Winifred Robinson asked, “How worried should we be about school age children vaping?” In order to provide a balanced a fair response to the question she invited Professor Martin McKee into the studio.

Robinson coloured the proceedings from the off by stating: “British paediatricians warn the number of British children smoking e-cigarettes is being grossly underreported in the official figures, and they are calling for tougher controls on vaping sales and marketing.”

Vape Store Fined

Although vaping has been accepted as a sensible and successful route out of smoking by politicians and the medical community, it remains a sensitive issue. Unfortunately, a vape store in Berkshire chose to ignore its reputation and that of vaping in general by supplying eliquids to an underage buyer.

Vapourwise has shops in Andover, Thatcham and Tilehurst, but it was the Thatcham branch that failed to comply with UK legislation when Trading Standards conducted a sting operation with a 15yr-old.

ALA Pushes Quit or Die

“Quit, don’t switch”, exclaims the American Lung Association (ALA), because it is “very concerned about the increasing rates of vaping and the failure of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on the false quit smoking claims made by e-cigarette manufacturers”. Rather than abiding by its ‘tell the truth’ slogan, the ALA is going all out on the lies.

“The Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. While the e-cigarette industry tells smokers falsely that switching to their products is safer and can help them quit,” lies the ALA.

Mystery Vaping-Related Illness

Shouldn’t Put People off Using E-Cigarettes to Quit Smoking – Kashmira Gander

Experts have warned restrictions on e-cigarettes aimed at protecting public health amid a rise of vaping-related lung illnesses in the U.S. “may do more harm than good.”

In an article published in the journal Science, scientists argued banning vaping products would deprive people of a tool which—despite its problems—could help them quit smoking. Every year, smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans.

“The most conservative estimates suggest that were vaping nicotine to replace most smoking over the next 10 years, 1.6 million premature deaths would be avoided and 20.8 million quality adjusted years of life would be saved in the United States alone,” they wrote.

Will vaping bans do more harm than good?
Noble Experiments? A Primer on Prohibition and Public Health

Randomized Clinical Trial 

Examining the Effects of Instructions for Electronic Cigarette Use on Smoking-Related Behaviors, and Biomarkers of Exposure

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have the potential to significantly reduce exposure to harmful constituents associated with cigarette smoking when smokers completely substitute cigarettes with e-cigarettes. This study examined patterns of e-cigarette and cigarette use, and extent of toxicant exposure, if smokers were instructed and incentivized to completely switch to e-cigarettes compared to instructions to use the product ad libitum.

Expensive vapes

Steve L – HMP Erlestoke

Every man and woman held in HMP’s glorious accommodation must have realised by now that DHL have got us by the short and curlies when it comes to canteen prices. Every price seems significantly increased compared to outside, but the obvious main culprit is our vapes.

We pay £3.99 for 3 of the cheapest, nastiest, tackiest vapes that have ever been produced. Every week they seem to run out faster, too. It would appear that the very same vapes are sold for £1 in Poundland. I doubt that DHL bods just roll into Poundland and pick them up cheap, I would suggest that they instead go to Poundland’s suppliers and pick them up even cheaper.

Don’t interact with tobacco, e cig firms

Sheila Crisostomo – The Philippine Star

Philippines — The Food and Drug Ad­ministration (FDA) has is­sued a “gentle reminder” to all physicians connected with public hospitals not to have any form of interaction with the tobacco and electronic cigarette industries.

The FDA issued an advi­sory under acting director general Eric Domingo that said doctors of state hospitals should avoid all interaction with the industry in compli­ance with Joint Memorandum Circular 2910-01 issued by the Department of Health and Civil Service Commission.

ATHRA supports heated tobacco products

Philip Morris Ltd has submitted an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration to allow heated tobacco products (HTPs or heat-not-burn) to be sold in Australia as a consumer product.

ATHRA supports the availability of heated tobacco products as another tobacco harm reduction option for Australian smokers. HTPs can help smokers quit and are far safer alternatives to lethal tobacco cigarettes for adult smokers who can’t quit.

Trump aides hold daily meetings on vaping

As White House scrambles to formulate policy

The White House, grappling with the outbreak of a deadly lung disease associated with vaping, has been holding daily meetings on the issue for over two weeks, according to a senior administration official.

President Donald Trump is expected to participate in the final meeting of the year on the public health emergency sometime before Christmas, the administration official said.

House Democrats to vote 

On flavored e-cigarettes ban next year – Jessie Hellmann

A bill aimed at curbing youth vaping rates by banning flavored e-cigarettes will not get a vote in the House until next year, one of the measure’s co-sponsors said.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), who co-sponsors the bill with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), told The Hill on Wednesday that she has a “promise” from House leadership for a vote on the floor “early” next year.

On this Day…2018

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

Open Access Farsalinos

Mawsley, Planet Of The Vapes
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos works at the Department of Cardiology, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, and the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Patras, both in Greece. In the first open access paper Farsalinos looks at the nicotine delivery from vape devices and heat-not-burn (HNB) products. In the second, he looked at how higher power levels change vape device use.

A noticeable difference between vape research conducted by independent sources (and that from the tobacco industry) is that it tends to be accessible by everybody. The majority of papers produced by tobacco control are inevitably locked away behind a paywall, restricting public access and scrutiny.

Increased e-cig regulation increases barriers to health

Carrie Wade, Truth On The Market

The Food and Drug Administration has spoken, and its words have, once again, ruffled many feathers. Coinciding with the deadline for companies to lay out their plans to prevent youth access to e-cigarettes, the agency has announced new regulatory strategies that are sure to not only make it more difficult for young people to access e-cigarettes, but for adults who benefit from vaping to access them as well.

More surprising than the FDA’s paradoxical strategy of preventing teen smoking by banning not combustible cigarettes, but their distant cousins, e-cigarettes, is that the biggest support for establishing barriers to accessing e-cigarettes seems to come from the tobacco industry itself.

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