Vaping Digest September 30th

Monday’s News at a glance:

The UK vaping population swells again – Witch hunt against e-cigarettes continues – US flavour ban gains momentum – CDC Finally Admits – Vaping In The News – Hell Week: New Bans and Lawsuits, and More CDC Lies – Professor John Britton – VG Is Not A Lipid – Flavor Ban Will Drive Them Back to Cigarettes – Rep. Tlaib, the Only ‘Conspiracy’ – I’m with Carl – Ireland to ban flavoured vapes – Setting the Record Straight – E-cigarette users in Bengaluru protest ban – India faces first legal battle – Vaping companies band together – Q&A: Does NZ have a place for e-cigarettes? – S. Korea to Review Tax Rates – Delaware lawmakers draft bill – FDA Created Illegal and Dangerous Vapes – Teen: What adults aren’t telling us about vaping – Nicotine Science and Policy Daily Digest

The UK vaping population swells again

New Nicotine Alliance

This week saw the publication of the latest survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) into e-cigarette use in the UK which reveals that the number of people using e-cigarettes has swelled once more, despite the best efforts of massed ranks of anti-vaping doomsayers and irresponsible media worldwide.

ASH’s report – the latest annual survey since its inception in 2012 – assesses there to be 3.6 million vapers in the UK now, up from 3.2 million last year. It also reveals that of those there are 1.9 million who have successfully switched from smoking to exclusive e-cigarette use, once again eclipsing the number of people using vaping devices alongside lit tobacco. It is a stunning figure for the fact that there are now over half as many vapers in the country as there are smokers.

Witch hunt against e-cigarettes continues

While people get sick from illicit THC and remain uninformed – Dr Farsalinos

It is ironic to realize that today’s period of information revolution has not only improved access and education for everyone but has also resulted, in many cases, in an unprecedented spread of misinformation and confusion. Take for example the recent case of e-cigarettes and lung disease cases, a story that will be listed in public health history books as one of biggest campaign of misinformation and public deception ever. An immoral “moral panic” campaign based on fiction, intimidation, terror, confusion and misinformation.


US flavour ban gains momentum

Fergus Mason, Vaping Post

Following from last week’s announcement that the Trump administration was considering a ban on flavoured vapour products, two senators have introduced a bill that would ban flavours and all refillable e-cigarettes from the US market. This would leave nothing available except pod systems, dominated by JUUL – but JUUL is also facing new threats to its business. American vapers are starting to get worried enough that they’re stockpiling liquids ahead of a ban, and retailers – including discount giant Walmart and the US military’s on-base shops – are taking vapour products off their shelves.

CDC Finally Admits that Black Market THC

Vape Carts are a Major Culprit in Respiratory Disease Outbreak
Michael Siegel, The Rest Of The Story

The CDC has finally admitted that black market THC vape carts are a major culprit in the respiratory disease outbreak that has affected 805 people and resulted in 13 deaths. Instead of continuing to emphasize that “no single product” is linked to all the cases, the CDC clearly stated yesterday that “THC is the most prominent link across patients” and the agency changed its warning to specifically mention THC: “While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC.”

Oregon Health Department Recommends Ban on Nicotine-Containing E-Cigs

Vaping In The News – September 28th

Kevin Crowley, Vaping Links

Business As Usual At Tobacco Conference ~ The Dead End Feeling ~ From the White House to City Councils, Officials Rush to Ban Flavors ~ Vicki Porter testifies before the ‘Don’t Vape’ House Oversight Subcommittee Hearing ~ Surgeon General ~ Ned Sharpless Stutters ~ Washington Washout ~ Crusade Against Vaping E-Cigarettes ~ Combat Veteran ~ CDC Confirms That the Vast Majority of Vaping-Related Lung Disease Cases Involve THC Products

Hell Week: New Bans and Lawsuits

And More CDC Lies – Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

If you thought things would die down after the New York and Michigan flavor bans, you were wrong. In fact, those states were probably just the beginning. Vaping is holding its own in a news cycle that includes the possible impeachment of the President, 19 Democratic candidates fighting for attention, and the mess in the U.K. called Brexit.

Just in the last three days we’ve seen:

Harm and addiction perceptions

Of the JUUL e-cigarette among adolescents
Christopher Russell, Evangelos Katsampouris, Neil McKeganey

Overall, 6.1% and 9.3% of adolescents believed daily use and occasional use of a JUUL e-cigarette, respectively, would cause them no harm. Around 11.3% believed they would either never experience harm from using a JUUL e-cigarette or they could use a JUUL e-cigarette for at least 20 years before experiencing any harm, and 7.3% believed they would be ‘very unlikely’ to become addicted to using a JUUL e-cigarette. Overall, 39.3% and 29.3% of adolescents perceived the JUUL e-cigarette as ‘less harmful’ and ‘less addictive’ than conventional cigarettes, respectively…

Two from Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Professor John Britton

Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, speaks out about vaping and how the U.K. is leading the way in combatting the impact of tobacco-related diseases. He underlined how the rise of ecig use is linked to plummeting smoking rates, and that Australia’s approach is failing the nation’s smokers.

“Smoking kills,” says Professor John Britton. It is so clear and obvious that it is amazing this simple fact is overlooked by so many when vocalising their opposition to vaping. He calls tobacco use “a damaging and irrational behaviour” and notes that it persists in countries across the globe…

VG Is Not A Lipid

“Europe does not appear to be experiencing an outbreak of the ‘vaping sickness’ gripping the U.S.,” writes Sarah Wheaton for Politico. Anti-vape campaigners know this and are seeking to address it by whipping up non-stories about lung disease and “lipoid pneumonia” in the U.K.

Constantine Vardavas, a scientific relations director with the European Respiratory Society, recently said: “We have not seen anything like what we’ve seen in the U.S. recently in Europe, to my knowledge as a scientist, and I’m pretty aware of the field.”

Heavyhanded vaping clampdown…

Was always going to happen – Christopher Snowdon

It is now several weeks since people started being hospitalised with ‘vaping-related’ lung injuries in the United States. The epidemic has slowed considerably in recent days, but it is said to have claimed the lives of at least 11 people and made hundreds severely ill.

Partly in response to the outbreak, Walmart has stopped selling e-cigarettes. The billionaire nanny statist Michael Bloomberg has put up $160 million to fight vaping. The states of Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island have banned all flavoured e- cigarettes except ‘tobacco’ and menthol.

Flavor Ban Will Drive Them Back to Cigs

Helen Redmond

New York has joined a wave of bans on sales of flavored vape products that’s spreading across US cities and states—with the threat of a national ban to follow. On September 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that an emergency ban on flavors will take effect on October 4.

While the voices of wealthy white parents concerned about youth use have been centered in the vaping debate, those of former smokers who now vape—who overwhelmingly come from marginalized populations, and most of whom used flavors to quit cigarettes—have been ignored.

Rep. Tlaib, the Only ‘Conspiracy’

Is that Government Relies on Smokers for Revenue – Lindsey Stroud

Being privy to the legislative process, I was appalled by the dismissive attitude Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) showed recently to a witness testifying on so-called “vaping-related” hospitalizations.

Vicki McKenna, a beloved radio talk show host from Wisconsin, testified in front of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy in mid-September, attesting that electronic cigarettes helped her “quit smoking after 23 years.” Tlaib, who hails from Michigan, displayed conceit and disdain during the testimony. Her attack wasn’t directed at any “tobacco lobbyist,” either, but toward a constituent from another midwestern state. And to make matters worse, Tlaib’s interrogations were based on blatant misinformation.

I’m with Carl – advocates of the right to vape

Must join the larger fight – Simon Clark

American writer and tobacco risk reduction expert Carl Phillips posted an interesting thread on Twitter at the weekend.

It concluded with him urging advocates of the right to vape to join what he called the ‘larger fight’ to erode ‘the credibility of the myth-creating [tobacco control] machine’. But more on that later.

Is Ireland having a collective meltdown?

Ireland to ban flavoured vapes

Ciara Walsh

Fine Gael Senator Dr James Reilly says there appears to be significant health risks from vaping and young people should be protected.

The senator is very concerned over the names of flavours like bubblegum and candy, which could seem attractive to kids.

He told, “There are more people under the age of 18, children, vaping than ever before and who never smoked.”

‘Vaping helped me quit smoking’:

E-cigarette users in Bengaluru protest ban – AVI

“Have you seen smokers having steady hands like us?” quips a protester holding up a placard that reads, “I quit smoking with vaping. Don’t make me smoke again.”

Inside Bengaluru’s Freedom Park, a huddle of around 30 people are holding up placards while a group of journalists click photographs and videos of them. A placard reads,”The government is denying science, Vaping is safer.”

Nationwide protests against ban on e-cigarettes

India faces first legal battle

Over country’s ban on e-cigarettes – Jason Schott

Just over a week after India’s government enacted a ban on the sale, import and manufacture of electronic cigarettes, it is facing its first legal challenges.

Two separate challenges were filed to the high court in Kolkata – by e-cigarette importer Plume Vapour and another company named Woke Vapors – according to court listing records publicly available online.

Vaping companies band together

To fight Government restrictions – Damien Venuto

A collection of the biggest names in the vaping industry have set aside their competitive differences to fight a bigger foe: Government regulation.

In a bid to offer a collective voice against proposed regulatory changes, a collection of vaping businesses recently banded together to form the Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ).

Q&A: Does NZ have a place for e-cigarettes?

Three University of Auckland researchers discuss the outcomes of new New Zealand trials on vaping amid a global backlash against e-cigarettes

Discussion on the therapeutic benefits of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes to smokers worldwide who want to quit the killer habit is being overtaken by concerns over potential harms.

The global backlash against vaping includes the banning of e-cigarettes in India; the US plan to remove flavoured e-cigarettes from stores; a ban by CBS and WarnerMedia on vaping ads and, more locally, news that WOMAD NZ will not allow vapes at its festival in March next year.

S. Korea to Review Tax Rates for E-cigs

The government plans to readjust a variety of taxes attached to electronic cigarettes, such as the cigarette consumption tax and special consumption tax, to even out the balance between taxes imposed on e-cigarettes and non-electronic cigarettes.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance announced the plans on Monday, following complaints that taxes imposed on e-cigarettes, including IQOS and lil, are lower than those imposed on non-electronic cigarettes.

Delaware lawmakers draft bill

Banning flavored e-cigs, vape shops plan fight back

Delaware lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to ban the flavored liquids used in e-cigarettes and other vape products, amid the outbreak of lung illnesses associated with e-cigarettes throughout the country.

A coalition of Delaware vape shop owners says this legislation would bankrupt their businesses, drive customers back to traditional cigarettes and, with the rise of an internet black market, do little to stop people from vaping.

Setting the Record Straight on Vaping

Julie Gunlock

The government has no business wiping out an industry that actually has saved lives and will, if left in the marketplace, save millions more.

There’s a lot to unpack from this recent piece in The Federalist written by my friend and former White House advisor, Katy Talento, which endorses government plans to limit access to e-cigarette devices and flavors. I’ll take her main arguments — which are the ones most commonly made to support vaping bans — one at a time.

FDA Created Illegal and Dangerous Vapes

Veronique de Rugy

Following the reports of 530 cases of vaping-associated respiratory illnesses—12 of them fatal– the Trump administration announced plans to ban all flavored electronic cigarettes from the market. It is unfortunate since flavored cigarettes are an important factor behind many smokers switching from cigarettes to e-products.

Several states and cities have already banned the product entirely.

Keep calm and vape on: 

UK embraces e-cigarettes, US cautious

While the U.S. scrambles to crack down on vaping, Britain has embraced electronic cigarettes as a powerful tool to help smokers kick the habit.

The Royal College of Physicians explicitly tells doctors to promote e-cigarettes “as widely as possible” to people trying to quit. Public Health England’s advice is that vaping carries a small fraction of the risk of smoking.

U.S. public health officials have taken a more wary approach, and have been slow to regulate e-cigarettes.

Teen: What adults aren’t telling us

Eliza Shapiro

In recent weeks, government officials across America and in other countries responded to legitimate, yet still poorly understood, health threats from vaping with immediate actions, moving toward limiting or even banning e-cigarettes. Given how slowly governments have responded to persistent and life-threatening social problems like climate change and gun violence, many of my high school peers and I have been wondering: Why the rush to action on vaping?

More from The Americas

First case of vaping-related lung disease reported in Quebec
Cannabis vaping — not nicotine — is primary cause of lung illness, CDC says
The US is zeroing in on marijuana vapes
‘No common thread’ in hundreds of vaping lung disease cases, FDA official says
CDC urges people to avoid vaping THC
Counterfeit ‘Dank Vapes’ among products linked to lung illnesses
US probe of vaping illnesses focuses on THC from marijuana
Flu season threatens to complicate diagnoses of vaping-related illness

On this Day…2018

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

EU Tries Again

Paul Barnes, Facts Do Matter

For those of you most familiar with the modus operandi of the EU institutions, this won’t come as much of a surprise. Back in March 2017, the Commission published the results of a public consultation on whether or not e-cigs should be subject to a tobacco-style excise.

Naturally, the overwhelming answer was no. With the largest group of respondents being individuals. Naturally, being the EU, they weren’t particularly satisfied with such a response and all went quiet. Only for them to produce yet another consultation asking the same questions.

I’d be willing to bet you know exactly how it turned out.

Tobacco public consultation 2018 statistical report(PDF)
Consultation européenne – Vapolitique

The WHO’s immortality delusion

Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove Iron Fist

Yesterday saw the WHO’s High Level Meeting on NCDs (non-communicable diseases) take place in New York. The good news is that the accompanying Political Declaration did not mention sin taxes on soft drinks, alcohol or tobacco. This has annoyed lots of nanny state campaigners who have had to settle for publishing a bunch of glorified advice sheets (like this) which are not remotely binding.

The bad news is that the WHO is off its head. I’ve written about the patent insanity of pretending that non-communicable diseases can be wiped out before. You may have thought that I was exaggerating or straw-manning. I was not. If anything, it’s worse than I thought.

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