Vaping Digest October 18th

Friday’s News at a glance:

Oregon appeals court halts vaping ban – Vaping Twitter Bot Study – New Pro-Vaping TV Commercial is Aimed at  Trump – Prohibition doesn’t work – Regulate, but don’t ban – Tennessee Department of Health – How mainstream media botched the vape lung story – VICE Probes British Anomaly – UK Resists Influence Best – NZ Vape Industry is Fighting – BBC Whips Up Fear Following Report Release – Mental health hospital to hand out free e-cigs – Health Canada – Juul agrees to restrict youth advertising – ‘We vape, we vote’ – Vaping ‘helps 50,000 smokers a year – Fear of passive smoking – Five myths about vaping – Falling smoking rates prove vaping’s value – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

Oregon appeals court halts vaping ban

Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

Oregon vape shops won a temporary stay Thursday on the governor’s flavored vaping ban, putting a halt to the action just two days after the ban took effect.

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruling appears to apply only to tobacco-based vaping products, sold under the oversight of the Oregon Health Authority. It leaves the ban in place on marijuana vaping products regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Vaping Twitter Bot Study…

Is Dehumanizing Propaganda – Amelia Howard

On October 4th I received an email from a Wall Street Journal reporter who wanted my thoughts on a study about “bot-marketing of e-cigarettes” for a story he was planning.

I figured this was about a recent report from the British company Astroscreen, who told Wired UK that they discovered a “coordinated, inauthentic social media campaign has been explicitly targeting key U.S. policymakers in an attempt to force them to withdraw plans for anti-vaping legislation.” Ironically, Astroscreen had built a bot to do their work for them, and because the bot is “proprietary machine learning technology” (translation: no one but the authors can see how or why they came to their conclusions), there is really no way to judge the validity of their conclusions.

Bots’ Superhuman Role in Pro-Vape Social Media Messaging

New Pro-Vaping TV Commercial

Is Aimed at President Trump – Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

Industry trade group the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) is reportedly spending more than $100,000 to place a 30-second commercial on Fox News for a week, beginning today. The ad is targeted at President Donald Trump, who is a fan of the cable news channel.

The content of the ad is quite clever, offering an opportunity for the President to back down gracefully from his promise to ban flavored vapes and blame it instead on one of his favorite targets: the regulatory state. In this case the villain would be Trump’s own Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the FDA.

Industry fractures over looming laws as Big Tobacco plays the long game


Prohibition doesn’t work — 

Need it be said again? – Michael Lafaive

New York state briefly banned flavored vaping products in September, only to have that ban stayed by a court of the New York State Appellate Division days later. The state Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the stay on Friday. The ban, and those considered in other states, should not take effect. America has experience with prohibiting popular products — alcohol comes to mind — and making others prohibitively expensive, such as cigarettes. The results should serve as a warning signal to all policymakers.

Regulate, but don’t ban

Michael Siegel – The Hill

A new drug epidemic is sweeping across youth in our nation’s schools and colleges. These products come in attractive flavors like banana split, birthday cake, cotton candy and bubble gum. Its use has been linked to an outbreak of severe respiratory failure that has affected 1,300 people and resulted in 26 deaths. The use of this drug among college students has reached a 35-year high.

If you think we are talking about electronic cigarettes, you are wrong. The drug that is ravaging the health of youth and young adults across the nation is marijuana.

Tennessee Department of Health

Tragically Misleads the Public in Order to Falsely Blame a Death on E-Cigs
Michael Siegel, The Rest Of The Story

Sadly, Tennessee recently experienced its first death from vaping-associated respiratory illness.

Here’s how the Tennessee Department of Health reported it: “The Tennessee Department of Health has reported one death in a patient with serious respiratory disease associated with use of electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. This is the first such death reported in Tennessee.”

So which one was it? Was it the use of “electronic cigarettes” or was it the use of “other vaping devices.”

Tennessee Department of Health Appears to Have Deliberately Blamed E-Cigarettes for a Death It Knew Was Caused by THC Carts
SPH’s Michael Siegel Testifies Before Congress on Legislation to Curb Youth Vaping

Mainstream media botched the lung story

David Bienenstock, Leafly

In 1989, a mysterious figure known as Dr. Lunglife sent High Times a set of detailed instructions for transforming a handful of easily obtained equipment into a low cost vaporizer. He included a guide to making a highly potent cannabis concentrate that optimized the contraption’s effectiveness.

Soon thereafter, the magazine published a letter to the editor from K.O. of Clarksville, Mississippi:

Four from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

VICE Probes British Anomaly

VICE reporter Alex Norcia looked at why the UK hasn’t collapsed into hysteria over the American lung outbreak. Norcia spoke to Youtuber Matt Culley, American professor Brad Rodu, Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report author Harry Shapiro and a New Nicotine Alliance trustee.

Norcia begins by contrasting the hospitals of America and Britain. While the Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust has allowed vape stores to open on hospital sites, in the U.S., “now you have people going to vape shops and telling the owners that they’re killing people. It’s crazy,” said Culley.

UK Resists Influence Best

Industry watchdog Stop (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products) has produced a global index that tracks the influence over public health policy by the tobacco industry. It has found that the U.K. tops the charts for resisting external pressures when coming up with anti-smoking strategies.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have been landing on the desks of tobacco control policy makers across the United Kingdom. It has all the appearances of a coordinated campaign to discredit the positions taken by the government, Public Health England and various charities – trying to demonstrate that our positive vaping environment is the result of tobacco company influence.

NZ Vape Industry is Fighting

For several years New Zealand’s vape industry has been calling for regulation. It was somewhat frustrating then when Leader of the Opposition, Simon Bridges, issued a media statement recently claiming that vape companies were “coming together to stop restrictions”.

Good on the National Party for offering its cross-party support as the Government looks to introduce its Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill into Parliament soon.

However, the party for small business and Smokefree New Zealand will soon spot some fishhooks in what Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa is now indicating she will table.

BBC Whips Up Fear Following Report

The BBC is guilty of whipping up fears of a “teen epidemic” following a recent report by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. It claims almost 40% of stores are illegally selling vape products to underage buyers. What is being forgotten are the true facts surrounding teen vaping in the U.K.

Trading Standards say 90 out of 227 premises tested illegally sold products to under-age teenagers over the last year, according to data supplied by 34 councils. This equates to a rise of 12%. Over half of these illegal sales are reported to have been made by specialised B&M vape stores.

Mental health hospital..

To hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking

One of the UK’s largest mental health hospitals is to hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking, in a deal with a vaping retailer. The trust said it would help patients “transform” their health.

But critics last night said the deal – believed to be the first of its kind – was “extraordinary” at a time when the safety of vaping is under increasing scrutiny.

Health Canada considers…

Allowing e-cigarette companies to promote harm-reduction benefits

The federal government is considering letting e-cigarette companies promote the health benefits of their products to the public, despite the growing number of young Canadians who vape and mounting questions about the long-term risks.

Health Canada conducted a closed consultation last fall with industry and health groups on health claims that the industry could use in advertisements and promotional materials.

As cannabis vaping set to become legal, public health experts urge strict control

Juul agrees to restrict youth advertising

Kari Paul, The Guardian

Juul has agreed to a settlement restricting its youth advertising practices, the first legally binding commitment related to marketing to children for the embattled e-cigarette company.

The settlement, announced on Thursday by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), an environmental health watchdog, will enforce nine new regulations around the promotion of Juul products.

JUUL Labs suspends sale of non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors in the U.S

‘We vape, we vote’:

How vaping crackdowns are politicizing vapers – Kaiser Health News

Vapers across the country are swarming Twitter, the White House comment line and statehouse steps with the message: “We Vape, We Vote.”

They’re speaking out after a slew of attacks on their way of life. President Donald Trump announced his support for a vaping flavor ban in September. Some states temporarily banned the sales of vaping tools or flavors. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people to stop vaping until public health experts can find the cause of more than a thousand cases of lung injuries nationwide.

Vaping ‘helps 50,000 smokers a year

Brett Gibbons

A new study found that more people had turned to e-cigarettes since 2011 to help them quit smoking, with a corresponding finding that the success rates for quitting regular cigarettes went up.

Researchers funded by Cancer Research UK also found that when the increase in the use of e-cigarettes flattened off somewhat around 2015, so did the increase in quitting success rates.

Expert Reaction to study linking e-cigarettes to successful attempts to quitting smoking
Vaping is helping more smokers quit, new study findsATHRA

Falling smoking rates prove vaping’s value

The latest statistics released by the Health Promotion Agency showing a dramatic fall in the numbers of cigarettes being sold in supermarkets, service stations, and liquor stores are being welcomed by the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ).

“We haven’t seen this level of New Zealand data since 2016. To now see AC Neilsen numbers confirming that cigarette sales have continued to drop, and quite sharply year-on-year, is very satisfying for the local vaping industry,” says Jonathan Devery, spokesperson for VTANZ.

Congressional Hearings

Conflate Vaping With Smoking, Legal E-Cigarettes With Black-Market THC Products
Jacob Sullum, Reason

The titles of two congressional hearings held yesterday give you a sense of how serious Democratic legislators are about understanding health issues related to vaping. A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee considered “Legislation to Reverse the Youth Tobacco Epidemic,” while a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee heard testimony about “E-Cigarettes: An Emerging Threat to Public Health.”

Fear of passive smoking

Has led to fear of vaping – oh, the irony – Simon Clark

Ahead of a busy month I am away next week and to keep myself entertained and informed I shall be reading this book, amongst others.

The author, Jacob Grier, is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Reason, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast and many other publications.

Five myths about vaping

No, vaping is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes, and it doesn’t cause “popcorn lung”
Daniel Giovenco, Washington Post

Authorities have blamed vaping for a rash of recent lung injuries and deaths thought to be linked to products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. At the same time, use of nicotine-based e-cigarettes, such as Juul, has skyrocketed among middle and high school students, placing them at risk of addiction and potential health harms. In response, states including Michigan, Massachusetts, Oregon and Montana have initiated bans on flavored vaping products or all e-cigarettes.

Decision to ban e-cigarettes in Gaza..

Sparks mockery on social media – Rasha Abou Jalal

Nael Abu Diya quit smoking a year and a half ago, after having been addicted to cigarettes for 13 years. He has been smoking e-cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco ever since.

However, the Oct. 6 decision by the Ministry of National Economy in the Gaza Strip to ban the entry and import of electronic cigarettes and shishas due to health risks angered Abu Diya and fellow e-cigarette smokers, who took to social media.

On this Day…2018

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

Applying harm reduction to smoking

Carrie Wade, Truth On The Market

Abstinence approaches work exceedingly well on an individual level but continue to fail when applied to populations. We can see this in several areas: teen pregnancy; continued drug use regardless of severe criminal penalties; and high smoking rates in vulnerable populations, despite targeted efforts to prevent youth and adult uptake.

The good news is that abstinence-oriented prevention strategies do seem to have a positive effect on smoking. Overall, teen use has steadily declined since 1996. This may be attributed to an increase in educational efforts to prevent uptake, stiff penalties for retailers who fail to verify legal age of purchase, the increased cost of cigarettes, and a myriad of other interventions.

Vaping is much safer than combustible cigarettes

, Express Healthcare

Canada-based policy expert and lawyer, David T Sweanor JD, Chair of the Advisory Board, Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics, University of Ottawa recently criticised the Indian Government for enforcing a policy to ban e-cigarettes. In an email interview with Usha Sharma, David expresses his views and believes that India could lead the world on disruptive technology that replaces toxic tobacco products and export products and expertise to other countries.

The smoke and mirrors of vaping

Harry Shapiro, Drug Wise

I have spent the last year writing and editing No Fire, No Smoke; the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2018 inspired by the work of Harm Reduction International who have been monitoring the global state of drug harm reduction biennially since 2006.

This is an entirely new world for me since I started work as the rapporteur for the Global Forum on Nicotine conference back in 2016. But I soon realised that the same challenges that faced and still do face drug harm reduction also present major challenges for tobacco harm reduction. Those who oppose drug harm reduction claim that such interventions encourage continued drug use or even stimulate initiation and at root are simply stalking horses for drug legalisation.

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